#11755 - looking for history!

benbro

Curious about Wooden Canoes
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Have an old canoe that belonged to my father, previously to a Warren Proctor in New Hampshire. Been in a garage for the majority of the last 40 years but it’s still in pretty good shape after . I know it was built in 1910 and is a 17’ HW, but that’s all I know and I would love to learn more of the history. Serial number 11755. I will add some pictures too.
 

Benson Gray

Canoe History Enthusiast
Staff member
Welcome back and congratulations, I hate to dispute family lore but the canoe in your pictures did not come from Old Town. The flared stems, heart shaped decks, serial number on a brass tag, keel screws in every rib, and other features indicate that it was built by the B. N. Morris company in Veazie, Maine. The table at https://woodencanoemuseum.org/builder-history/b-n-morris shows that it was probably made around 1914. There are no detailed build records available for Morris so more information isn't available.

The Old Town canoe with that serial number was a 17 foot long HW model sign canoe with long decks and sponsons that shipped to Baltimore, Maryland in 1910 as shown below. Canoes with a family connection are always extra special. Feel free to reply here if you have additional questions.

Benson



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benbro

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Wow! Thank you for the quick reply!

As much as I have loved hearing my father's own version of the history of this canoe I am much more interested in what it actually is. So thanks for helping me learn some truth about what I have. So it sounds like at some point in its life, someone bought an Old Town decal and just plastered it on the sides? I never even considered that the history/manufacturer could be determined through build specifications. From my hasty research over the past hour, I can see how closely it aligns with B.N. Morris type canoes.

One last question if you have any insight. I was looking to sell this hoping that someone can restore it or at least get it on the water again. Do you have any idea as to how much a B.N. Morris such as this would be worth? I could ballpark an Old Town, but I know nothing about this manufacturer. Thanks again.
 

Benson Gray

Canoe History Enthusiast
Staff member
So it sounds like at some point in its life, someone bought an Old Town decal and just plastered it on the sides?

Do you have any idea as to how much a B.N. Morris such as this would be worth?

Yes, that style of Old Town decal first appeared in the 1970s so it is much newer than your canoe. The comments at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/57/ have the best information about how to value your canoe. Several Morris canoes are currently listed at https://www.woodencanoe.org/classifieds if that helps. Good luck with the sale,

Benson
 
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