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Please help the Penobscot Marine Museum buy a nice old White canoe

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Benson Gray, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    A nice old White canoe has recently shown up on eBay and Ben Fuller of the Penobscot Marine Museum would like to add it to their collection. See for more details about the canoe and the interesting story behind it. The WCHA and several individuals have offered to help but all of these efforts combined are still a bit short of the total necessary to buy it. It would be much appreciated if anyone else who wants to assist would make a tax deductible contribution to this project. You can use their page at with a note that this is for the WCHA/White Canoe Project. Feel free to reply here if you have any questions. Thanks,

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  2. crosscuts

    crosscuts Crosscuts

    Thanks for the notice Benson. What a find. Will we know if the museum bought the White? If so how about a photo spread and story in Wooden Canoe? Glad to help out.

  3. OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes, I will post updates here and I expect that a story in Wooden Canoe is likely if this is successful. Thanks to you and everyone else for the help,

  4. Cliff Ober

    Cliff Ober Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Benson, has anyone considered setting up a GoFundMe account to make it possible for small contributors to participate?

  5. OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The page at will accept any amount of money that anyone wishes to contribute and there is no overhead charge. There are a number of crowd funding alternatives and most of them want a percentage of the total. (See for details.) It also seemed that the larger audiences of those groups might not be very interested in a tiny and focused project like this. Frankly, this is a very small amount of money compared to most fund raising efforts. Saving one old wooden canoe is not likely to attract the attention of any major charitable foundation. Please let me know if I am missing something or if you have another idea. Thanks,

  6. Abenakirgn

    Abenakirgn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I noticed that the Ebay offering has ended. Hopefully it has gone to the museum.

  7. OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes, Ben has negotiated a good museum discount from the seller who has taken it off the market while we try to raise the money. He has also agreed to write an article for the Wooden Canoe Journal about the effort. I have just found out that the former owner is a distant relative and an old friend of my Aunt. She is not likely to have made up the story. Now we just need to come up with the payment.

  8. Ben Fuller

    Ben Fuller Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Folks, just wanted to fill you in. As Benson says, I have negotiated a decent price. We are getting really good provenance ( fancy museum word for ownership history). The owner and I want to conclude the transaction before the weather closes down, so expect to do so in the next weeks. Given the timing of fund raising, what I have agreed to do with admin is to write the check then be reimbursed as funds and pledges come in. I'll be personally helping this project along. One of the things that should not leave the state and be available for people to study. I really appreciate your help on this. Right now I plan to put it in the lobby of the museum library/ visible storage area backed by the set of canoe models built by the late Burt Libby that shows the stages in Wood canvas canoe construction.


  9. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Glad the canoe will be in such good hands-- a happy ending/new beginning.
  10. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish Loves Old Maine canoes

    Good work Ben! Glad its going to a good home.
  11. Steve Lapey

    Steve Lapey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    My check is going out today.
  12. Ben Fuller

    Ben Fuller Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Really appreciate people's help on this one. Weather looks really nice right now, might hit 50 degrees on the weekend, then some rain. Looks like a dry spell Wednesday/ Thursday next week so hope to head the truck up to Orono for a pickup.
  13. Ben Fuller

    Ben Fuller Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Up at zero dark today to take advantage of a window between rainstorms so I could drive up to Old Town to pick up the E.M. White. Somewhere on the forum there are directions to posting the pic I took of the canoe on top of the truck, which I will find tonight. I'll be doing a summary of the canoes history and when we get a chance some photos. Given that it is the membership of WCHA and the WCHA as an organization we will be sure we do something for the Journal. I'll be doing notes to acknowledge donations.
  14. MackyM

    MackyM LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Is there any way to know if a donation was used for the canoe?
  15. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    My donation to the project was made using the web link to Paypal. When making payment there is a small button labeled "Is this donation for a specific purpose?" (or something like that). Clicking there opens a box in which I designated the donation to the E.M. White / WCHA canoe purchase project. I also tagged it with Ben Fuller's name for added assurance.

  16. OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    If a donation was designated as Michael suggested in his previous message then it was used for the canoe. I believe that Ben has the detail about this and will probably reply here with more information. Let us know if this doesn't answer your question. Thanks,

  17. Ben Fuller

    Ben Fuller Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Benson and other folks,

    I've been getting copies of all Paypal donations that are earmarked for the canoe, and will be sending a note to the donors as well as to those who have sent checks. Do keep in mind the New Year if you are an itemizer. I really appreciate your help on this one and once I sort out how to do it will post a pick of my truck with canoe on top. Best wishes to all hands for the holidays, may your canoes run straight and level.
  18. Ben Fuller

    Ben Fuller Curious about Wooden Canoes


    Wanted to bring all hands up to date on the White. We have set it up on display in the barn which houses most of our canoes. Right across the back and it looks pretty good. I have to sort out some lighting but people carry smart phones. Anyway I am thinking about 3 labels or plaques. One will have the WCHA logo on it and a holder for WCHA rack cards. The second will have the story of the canoe, how it descended in the family, was used up at the family camp. I think I will not mention names only that it was a branch of the Gray family that founded Old Town. But for an article I think names would be OK. Benson might be able to enlighten me on this. For the third something about the E.M. White history. And along those lines somewhere I have seen a photo of the factory in Old Town. Anyone have this? The canoe will be credited to Members of the WCHA.

    There was also talk of an article for the Journal with photos. Some guidance on photos wanted would be useful. Closed gunwale, original leather on the end caps, name plate, curved support on rear seat. Presumably we need to carry it outside on a blue bird day to do this. What is the article schedule like for the Journal?

    Thanks, Ben
  19. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Ben --

    Please check your private messages.

    Greg Nolan
    President, WCHA
  20. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish Loves Old Maine canoes

    Any update on this canoe? Pics?

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