Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Old Town Build Sheet by ship to address

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Christopher Lovell, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Christopher Lovell

    Christopher Lovell Curious about Wooden Canoes

    This is a long shot but is it possible to look up a build sheet by the ship to name or address?

    My father, now deceased, purchased an 18’ Old Town canoe that he described as a “Salt Water” model sometime in the mid to late 1940s. It was shipped to Stratford, CT and he told me several times how his canoe was the only item in the rail car when it arrived.

    While I doubt that the records are cross referenced in this fashion it’s worth a shot.

    Thanks in advance!

    Chris Lovell
  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    You’ll need to post the serial number to get the build record. I don’t think the records are searchable by any characteristics. The number will be found on both the bow and stern stems if it is an Old Town.
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, my guess is that you are seeking the Old Town canoe with serial number 141825. This is a 17 foot long, AA (or top) grade, HW (Heavy Water) model with red Western cedar planking, open ash gunwales, ash decks, ash thwarts, ash seats, a keel, and a floor rack. (The AA grade canoes usually had mahogany trim but this was not available during the war.) It was built between March and July, 1945. The original exterior paint color was dark green with a G. S. (Guide's Special) green bottom. This custom order was shipped on August 28th, 1945 to the H. C. Lovell & Company in Stratford, Connecticut. A scan of this build record can be found by following the link at the attached thumbnail image below.


    This scan and several hundred thousand more were created with substantial grants from the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) and others as you probably know well. A description of the project to preserve these records is available at if you want more details. I hope that you will donate, 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.

    The Olsen Marine Company in Stratford, Connecticut also ordered many canoes during this period. Dave is correct that usually it is not possible to search for details like this. However, the factory started typing the destination addresses on these records in the early 1930s. This can work with an optical character recognition (OCR) process to make them somewhat searchable in a few situations like this. This was very helpful when looking for the Deliverance canoes as described at for example. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

    Christopher Lovell likes this.
  4. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    It looks like Old Town put the canvas on your canoe on a very special day. V-E Day May 8, 1945. A lot of people happy that day!

    Christopher Lovell likes this.
  5. OP
    Christopher Lovell

    Christopher Lovell Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Yes!!! That’s the canoe!!! My family business!!! Benson thank you so much!!!

Share This Page