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Help - Strickland Canoe Co. Canoe

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by JasW, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. JasW

    JasW New Member

    Hello all,

    I am new to this site and this is my first post so firstly I must apologise as I'm sure I am bound to display huge amounts of ignorance around this subject!

    I have been a fanatical paddler for many years (canoe & kayak) but I have not really been interested in canoe history / heritage until very recently when my partner & I purchased & had renovated a beautiful old canoe.... and now I'm hooked! She was renovated by a professional over here in the UK, not by us I hasten to add, we wouldn't have trusted ourselves to do any work on such a piece of art! she is a couple of weeks ago on her maiden voyage (since renovation that is of course).....


    We have some history but are trying to find more info and having had a glance around the site, from the wealth of knowledge here, I suspect this is the place to do so!

    She was made by Strickland Canoe Co. (she has a plate with makers name) & we know she was imported to UK in 1934 (we have import documents and documented journeys which she undertook in her earlier years and a few pictures of her at events through her life). Now, each time I try to do research on the details of Strickland I get confusing information!

    The limited info we do have:
    I know the company was not in manufacture (or not as Strickland anyway) for very long & eventually became Lakefield Canoe co. in 1904. We have been given a rough date of build of 1892 which could fit this?
    We've been told the wood is Walnut & Mahogany but I'm afraid my knowledge ends there.

    I am guessing there's lots more info or pictures which you guys will need to be able to help me out but I'm not sure what these are as yet!

    So, if anyone can fill me in with any information I'd really appreciate it - or point me in the direction of where I might find more info?

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer!

  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Hi Jas,
    That is a beautiful canoe. Good to see it being paddled.
    No doubt Dick Persson, will come forward with info about Strickland.
    And in case you didn't know, there is a WCHA Chapter in the U.K.
    Contact the Chapter Head; David Houghton <>
  3. Dick Persson

    Dick Persson Canoe builder & restorer

    Hello Jas,

    Welcome to WCHA and congratulations to a beautiful canoe.

    The company Strickland & Co – Lakefield Canoe Works, was established in 1892 in Lakefield, Ontario by Robert Strickland and his son George Arthur.
    Robert Strickland was a son of Lakefield pioneer Samuel Strickland and a nephew of the well-known authors Catherine Parr Traill and Susanna Modie.
    George had previously worked for the Lakefield canoe builder Thomas Gordon as well as independently on a small scale.

    With his father living in England, handling the sales for Europe from the company offices in West Drayton, Middlesex the company quickly became very successful. The company exported during its first six years more than 600 canoes to England alone.
    The company merged with Thomas Gordon Canoes in 1904 and became Lakefield Canoe & Mfg. Co.

    Your canoe was built sometime between 1895 and 1904. This style of canoe, later often called the queen model, with alternate strips of light and dark “fancy” woods became very popular especially after the company’s awards at the Paris Exhibition in 1900. The planking is likely white cedar and red cedar, but other combinations were popular as well, e.g. walnut or mahogany against butternut or pine.

    Dick Persson
    Headwater Canoe Company
  4. OP

    JasW New Member

    Hi There,

    Many thanks to both for this info.

    Rob - I didn't know that WCHA had a representative in the UK so thanks for that!

    That's great info thanks Dick. We had no idea that so many of these beauties were brought to the UK for sale. What a shame then that we have not seen or heard of others.

    Before she was restored she had a small keel on her. Our restorer told us this wouldn't have been original so we've left it off for now but he's kept it in case we want to replace it. However at present I love the way she handles without the keel.

    We have been given some advice on what the woods might be but it's great to know what they worked with so hopefully we can tie it down. Our last info was Walnut & Mahogany but we were surprised as we would have expected these both to be dark woods. Will certainly take your info & try to find out just what she really is made of.

    We are taking her to an open canoe symposium next weekend in the Lake District (NW England) but I doubt there'll be other traditional wooden boats there as we just don't see them over here - so I guess she might attract some attention!

    Many thanks for a warm welcome here and for the really helpful info.

  5. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Another thing that might lead you to folks interested in open canoes is the Song of the Paddle Forum "The call of the Open Canadian Canoe" which is based in the UK. See;

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