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68927 – 17

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by monkitoucher, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    After looking for a good project canoe for a long time, I finally found one. I bought what I believe is a 17' Old Town. The serial number is 68927 – 17. I'm not completely sure that the 9 in that number is correct. But I'm about 80% sure it is. Thinking that the 17 would either confirm or deny that to be correct. Where can I find any information on this boat? I'm hoping this is the place.
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, you clearly have a 17 foot canoe and the record for number 68927 shows a 16 foot one. There are several other records in the 68x27 range that show 17 foot canoes so some pictures for your canoe including the areas around the serial numbers from both ends would help. The tricks at may also be useful. Some likely records are shown below.

    68027.jpg 68827.jpg 68927.jpg

    These scans and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details. I hope that you will join or renew your membership to the WCHA so that services like this can continue. See to learn more about the WCHA and to join. Let us know what you find,

    monkitoucher likes this.
  3. OP

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Thanks for the really quick reply!

    Here are some shots that I took this morning after rubbing some lemon oil on the stems. I'll try to use some of these techniques to shed some light on that third digit

    Attached Files:

  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    My guess is that you have the Old Town canoe with serial number 68027. This is a 17 foot long, CS (common sense or middle) grade Charles River model with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, ash decks, ash thwarts, ash seats, and a keel. It was built between November, 1921 and March, 1922. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It was shipped on April 10th, 1922 to Old Forge, New York. Some other possible but less likely records are shown below.

    68127.jpg 68427.jpg 68527.jpg

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck with the restoration,

    monkitoucher likes this.
  5. OP

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Bingo! It's the 68027 – 17. Did some pencil rubbing and a bit of wet paint rub-off to definitively get that zero.
    I get that it was sent to Old Forge NY on April 10th 1922 to a Guy named Emmett or E.L. Marks.

    After some Google work it turns out that good ol' Emmett was a really interesting guy.

    He was a Mason with the North Woods Lodge No. 849 F. & A.M..
    In 1878 he successfully hatched and planted the first lake trout ever reared and propagated In the Adirondack Mountains
    He was Superintendent and built the the Fulton Chain Hatchery he Adirondacks N.Y. in 1889.
    in 1907 he was listed as one of the Members of Brown's Tract Guides in the Central Adirondacks
    In the 1910 Census he was 52 has wife was Dorothy S. (46), daughters Betsy K.(8) and Ada (3), and son James H. (10). The census also states that he is the proprietor of a "boat livery".
    He was a "lifetime" member of the Old Forge Fire Department (25 years or more).
    E. L. was also Justice of the peace for "WILMURT, HERKIMER COUNTY, NY"
    In 1935 the state conservation department cited Emmet Marks as the "Godfather of Adirondack Fishermen".
    He lived from 1856 to 1945.

    Article from the RED BANK REGISTER, MAY 28,1936.
    Emmett Marks, veteran pisciculturist and the first man to hatch and plant trout in Odironack mountair waters, celebrated his 82d birthday recently at Old Forge, New York. According to Mr. Marks he was born in 1854, "surrounded by fish," on a neck of land extending into •ake Ontario at Peninsula, New York. When 16 years old he became associated with Seth Green, dean of American fish cuituristo and originator of modern methodB of fish propagation at the Green's Caledonia, New York, hatchery. In 1876 Mr. Emmett journeyed to Old Forge, where he constructed a small hatch ery and hatched 200,000 trout, which he planted In Central Adirondack lakes. Since then he has planted and caught fish in virtually every !ik and stream In the central Adirondacks. In 1881, at the request of the Call fornla Fish commission, he selnei 450 adult striped bass from th Shrewsbury river at Red Bank an transported them across the cont nent, where they were Introduce Into the waters of San Francisco bay Despite extremely hot weather whil, the fish were being tranoported h> lost only 26 of the fish enroute.

    I can't quite make out the hand writing on the build sheet. The questions I have regarding the build...

    I see that the color is "Dark Green" What is annotated in the parentheses? (Oil in ????)
    Is there any way to get a paint code for this color?

    Thank you very much.
  6. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The notation is "Oil in Japan" which means that a Japan dryer was used to cure the paint more quickly. There are some period paint chips available as described at but this is not like having a PMS or CYMK color code. The Kirby's #12 Bottle green as shown at is probably very close. My usual advice is to just pick a shade that you like since no one else is ever likely to know for sure. It sounds like you have a canoe with some wonderful history. Have fun,


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