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serial number search

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by pat dillon, Oct 5, 2022.

  1. pat dillon

    pat dillon New Member

    Hello. My wife inherited OT # 116517, can you research? I'd like to buy a copy of the record if possible. Thank you. pat dillon, Tahoe Vista, CA
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town canoe with serial number 116517 is a 17 foot long, CS (common sense or middle) grade, Otca model with red Western cedar planking, open spruce gunwales, twenty inch oak decks, oak thwarts, oak seats, and a keel. It was built between November, 1935 and May, 1936. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on May 18th, 1936 to Wheeling, West Virginia. A scan showing this build record can be found below.

    This scan 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 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 donate or join.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer this description doesn't match. Canoes with a family connection are always extra special. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.


  3. OP
    pat dillon

    pat dillon New Member

    Benson, thank you so much for the prompt reply. This is fascinating. The canoe was purchased by my wife's aunt's father as a gift for her aunt on her 16th birthday (probably around 1948). She had a choice between a canoe or a car. She picked the canoe. We understood that it was bought used from a camp somewhere in Ohio. At the time, they lived in Cleveland,OH and vacationed at Lake Cardinal in Ashtabula. Sometime in the '70's, my father-in-law took it home to Chevy Chase, MD and re-canvased, painted and re-varnished it. My mother-in-law re-wove the cane seats. Upon their death, my daughter and I drove the canoe out to its new home here with us in North Lake Tahoe. My son and his girlfriend have circumnavigated Tahoe in it twice. We use it often (though Amy and I are not inclined to circumnavigate anything except Webber Lake which is about a 30 minute paddle) She and I are re-painting, re-varnishing and re-doing the seats now. It is a well-loved and well-used family member , and I wonder if there are other OTCA's that were purchased by Luzerne Mercantile. My internet search indicated that Luzerne was a coal mining entity, which leads me to wonder why they'd buy just one.

    Anyway, I appreciate your effort and if you happen to be viewing the records, perhaps you might see if this was a group order for Luzerne. Thanks, Pat Dillon.
    PS. I'll donate to WCHA and order the decal I'll need. pd
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Let me be the first to congratulate you on your new membership with the WCHA. I suspect that Luzerne was just helping with the final delivery since most people didn't have an easy way to get a canoe moved the 'last mile' after it arrived in town on a railroad car. This was not unusual when there wasn't a canoe dealer in the area. See for more information about other canoes that were shipped to coal mining companies. I didn't find any other canoes shipped to Luzerne Mercantile but the hand written cards like yours are not as searchable as the ones where a typewriter was used. The records below show two other Otca models that were shipped to Wheeling in that era. Good luck with the repairs,




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