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Picked Up A 15' Rushton-like Indian / Indian Girl

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Howie, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Some may remember that back in May I posted a Thread about a 15' canoe purported to be a Rushton Indian Girl. I finally have it in my hands - thought I'd post some pics that may help someone provide me with information on what I have. Note questions in bold.

    It's 15' long

    Stems are 1-5/8" wide at and and extends just past the 5th rib. Nice painter ring & bracket screwed into the front stem. Might ring help ID the canoe?

    Decks look like Penn Yans. Are 16" x 7-1/16", steam bent & tapered to meet the stem.

    42 ribs, 2" wide tapering to 1" at tips and spaced at about 4" apart. Taper is along one side only. Ribs under decks are also tapered. Rib tips are nailed to side of rail. Note the (about) 30 deg bevel along the thickness of the rib tip that extends to the planking. So what did the outer rail look like? It couldn't have had a rabbet notch. Did outwale have a 30 dev bevel to mate with the beveled rib tip? How thick were they? And I see holes in the upper side of the inner rails that suggest it was once topped with a thin strip of wood. How did rail cap fit with outwale?
    20180708_122330.jpg 20180708_124144.jpg

    Planking is 2" wide except for the 6" wide top-most plank.
    20180708_121216.jpg 20180708_133844.jpg 20180708_133041.jpg

    Keel is very wide like a Rushton. Is 13' long, 1-7/8" x 1/2" at widest tapering to 7/16". Appears to have been unpainted. Was held in place by slotted c-sink wood screws from every other rib. Note screws not centered on rib but alternating left & right from center.

    I think I've run out of picture space. To be continued...
  2. OP

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes


    Both seats are rectangular. The front seat is held by a brackets screwed to ribs 11 & 13. The rear seat is suspended by the rails.
    20180708_122002.jpg 20180708_121955.jpg

    There are several c-sunk screw holes from inside the rails - 2 by the read seat (see above pic) and the one below. Got any idea what they were for?

    There were no thwarts. Can anyone provide Rushton thwart measurements? One was centered to the canoe, the other between rib 15 & 16 behind the front seat.

    Overall, the craftsmanship looks very good to me! No broken ribs that I see as yet. Inner rails are unbroken save for the tips, but need some TLC. And no serial # or plaque that I can see.
  3. OP

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I should also mention that I got a private reply from Pat Smith of WestHollow Boat Company:

    "Howie, the canoe pictured was built in Canton NY by workers of Rushton about 10-15 years after he closed shop. I know the canoe is very much like one that was donated to Sagamore by a lady got it in 1935. We restored it at Sagamore in a class. She lived in Canton and said it was built by a man down the street. She was told it was a Rushton Indian Girl. It measures 15' long. The decks aren't right, the finish was poor on ribs etc. By that I mean the woodworking work, fit and sanding. I'm not sure of gore pattern anymore but don't think that was right either. What I believe happened was that the Rushton's forms were bought or given to workers upon closing of the shop. Various people then carried on building canoes using these materials but not to the high standards of Rushton. Hope this helps."
  4. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    It is definitely Rushtonesque, but a lot of peculiarities as noted.

    FWIW, the painter ring is shown in the 1916 J. W. Rushton catalog. However, the hardware was sourced from elsewhere (e.g. Blaisier in Utica), so while consistent isn't sufficient to pin an id on.

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