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A canoe from the Indian Old Town Canoe Company

Discussion in 'Canoe Photo Index' started by Benson Gray, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The pictures here show an Indian Old Town canoe with serial number 201. There are no build records that go back this far but it is probably circa 1901 when this company started advertising. This was the first form of the organization that eventually became the Old Town Canoe Company on January 23rd, 1903 as described at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?10647 previously. The name plate is a non-ferrous metal which may have been plated originally. It appears to be a GG model based on the current 35.5 inch width and 18 foot length. The center thwart is missing and was held on with wing nuts but it doesn't appear to have spread too much. It also had cane lashings as carry handles on the bow and stern. There are also many small hooks spread along the bottom of the inside rails that may have been used to help secure camping gear. The deck described at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?5808 is the only other identified fragment of a canoe from this company that I have ever seen. Does anyone else know of other examples?

    Benson
     

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  2. OP
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    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Indian Old Town Canoe, GG model, circa 1901.
     

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  3. SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    are you the owner , i hope? very interesting decks, i wonder how many photos of early old towns have been attributed to say rushton or other companys with heart shaped decks
     
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    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes. Heart shaped decks are very common, especially on old canoes from Maine so it is possible that there may be other examples out there which could have been attributed to other builders. Please supply pictures of you know of one. Thanks,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  5. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    My question too--- is this your canoe Benson? Where did you find her? Does it seem the "canoe weave" on the seats is the original pattern (would be interesting to know how far back that pattern goes)? Is it my imagination, or do the rails extend beyond the stems, on the more-intact end? Lovely that it has those cane-lashing carry-thwarts! And the metal tag! The oldest Old Town!
     
  6. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Spectacular find Benson, care to share some details on how you came to have it? Interesting on those hooks, the early Chestnut has a similar arrangement along the underside of a gunwale. I've not done anything with it, having learned from past mistakes although my kneejerk reaction was to remove them. Still studying it. Perhaps a common period modification, but from owners or factories i wonder.
     
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    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes. It came from the personal collection of the family who started the former Maine Watercraft Museum many years ago. (See http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?4590 for more about another nice old boat from the same source.) Mine appears to have been one that was purchased at an auction many years ago since it still had a listing item number tag attached when I found it. The rails do extend beyond the stems on the unbroken stern end. The seat cane pattern may not be original but it is very interesting.

    Rollin Thurlow inspected it today and commented that he had also seen other old canoes with similar hooks like this so it may have been a somewhat common addition in that era. I've never seen a mention of this as an option in any manufacturer's catalog though. I will be leaving them in this one as well.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  8. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Impressive. That is a very special find.
     
  9. SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    is rollin restoring her or is it staying as is? is this the oldest canoe attributed to oldtown ?
     
  10. SWEETWATER

    SWEETWATER LOVES Wooden Canoes

    i will look through my photos just bought an old family album with many pictures from grand lake stream from the early 20's lots of canoes in them will check
     
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    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Nothing is going to happen to this one for a few years. Rollin is willing to restore it so that is probably what I will do. There are many canoes that I have never seen or heard about but this is the oldest complete canoe which can be attributed to Old Town as far as I know. However, another older one may show up tomorrow. Let us know if you find anything interesting in your photo album. Thanks,

    Benson
     
  12. crosscuts

    crosscuts LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Congratulations Benson. What a marvelous find and in such good condition. Do you have room for it in your living room?

    R.C.
     
  13. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Good for you Benson!
     
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    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  15. crosscuts

    crosscuts LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Benson,

    Great way to display a beautiful canoe. Yankee ingenuity.


    R.C.
     
  16. Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    What a fabulous find Benson!!! Great to see those interesting photos. Very interesting and intriguing decks. Love it.
     
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    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  18. OP
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    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The interesting Assembly find shown below confirms that these name plates were plated.

    Benson
     

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  19. Cliff Ober

    Cliff Ober Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Looks like nickle...

    Cliff
     
  20. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Agreed. Nickel plate was the chrome of that time period.
     

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