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Seeking Information On A 'new To Me' 18' Old Town S/n 96404

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Scott Gibson, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Scott Gibson

    Scott Gibson New Member

    Hi folks. New to WCHA and to wood and canvas canoes. I recently inherited an 18' Old Town S/N 96404 from my grandmother's estate. It's a true barn find as it's been in storage for about 50 years in a garage attic. My great grandfather supposedly bought it brand new in or around 1927 in Wyckoff, NJ.

    I'd love to know the history of this boat. I plan on doing a full restore of it but at face value, it looks to have had 'upgrades' including a floor rack and flag stem holders both fore and aft as well as a bow painters ring. If I was a betting man, I'd guess it's either a Charles River or H.W. model.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town canoe with serial number 96404 is a 17 foot long, CS (common sense or middle) grade, HW (heavy water) model with red western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, oak decks, oak thwarts, oak seats, a keel, outside stems, and a floor rack. It was built between December, 1927 and February, 1928. The original exterior paint color was P. (Princeton?) orange with a half inch black stripe and Greek ends. This probably looked like the one shown at with different colors. It shipped on April 5th, 1928 to Patterson, New Jersey. 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 others 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 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 to learn more about the WCHA and to join.

    It is possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Canoes with a family history are always extra special. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck with the restoration,

  3. OP
    Scott Gibson

    Scott Gibson New Member

    Wow!!! Outstanding. I so much appreciate the prompt response and information.

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