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Old Old Town.

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by T. Bag, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. T. Bag

    T. Bag Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I recently purchased my first wood/canvas canoe. I was told it is a 1920s old town sailing canoe. The ribs and most of the planking looks good so far, but the gunnels and stems are rotted beyond saving. I believe the serial# to be 45839 18. It is difficult to read because of the rot. The second to last number is half missing so it could also be 45859 or 45889.

    The boat is 18' long with external stems. I believe it to be the OTCA model based on Google. It also has the larger deck plates.

    Any further info would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town canoe with serial number 45859 is an 18 foot long, GS (Guide Special or utility) grade, IF (Indian fishing) model with red western cedar planking, closed spruce gunwales, short ash decks, ash thwarts, ash seats, a keel, and a floor rack. It was built between October, 1916 and January, 1917. The original exterior paint color was slate or auto (gray). It shipped on March 13th, 1917 to Kansas City, Missouri. If you really have a 17 foot long canoe then my guess is that it is the one with serial number 45889. This is an Otca model with red western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, long maple decks, maple thwarts, maple seats, half ribs, a keel, outside stems, and a bang plate along the full length of the keel. It was built between October, 1916 and March, 1917. The original exterior paint color was bright red with a two inch pointed black stripe edged in gold. This may have looked similar to the one at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/designs/design34.gif with different colors. It shipped on March 31st, 1917 to Harrisburg, Penna. Scans showing both of these build records can be found by following the links at the attached thumbnail images below.

    45859.jpg 45889.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 http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ 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 http://www.wcha.org/about-wcha to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/store/membership to join.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if neither of these descriptions don't match. There is no mention of a sail rig on either build record so that may have been added after it first left the factory. I would encourage you to measure the extreme overall length of your canoe in a straight line and attach some pictures of the serial numbers and surrounding area from each end here. Feel free to reply if you have any other questions. Good luck with the restoration,

    Benson
     
  3. OP
    OP
    T. Bag

    T. Bag Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Benson, thank you for the reply. Neither of those correctly describe my boat. Could you check serial# 45839? Thanks.
     
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The record for 45839 shows an 17 foot long HW (heavy water) model with short decks and no outside stems. Pictures of the numbers from each end and a confirmed length could really help in this situation.

    Benson



    45839.jpg
     
  5. OP
    OP
    T. Bag

    T. Bag Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I'll work on getting some pictures uploaded. Thanks again
     
  6. OP
    OP
    T. Bag

    T. Bag Curious about Wooden Canoes

  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    How do the numbers on the other stem look?

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  8. OP
    OP
    T. Bag

    T. Bag Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Rotten and crumbling. Can't read any numbers on it.
     
  9. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Can you also measure the decks from the inside of the coaming to the tip? Are there any signs of diamond headed bolts on the inside rails? Does the mast step have a round or a square hole? Thanks,

    Benson
     
  10. OP
    OP
    T. Bag

    T. Bag Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I'll measure the decks this evening. No diamond head bolts. There is no mast step midship. There was a roughly made wood one under the front cap with a round hole. I was told this was to hold a flag.
     

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