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Shell Lake questions

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by GMarchigiani, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. GMarchigiani

    GMarchigiani Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Good morning,

    Just acquired a Shell Lake and wanted to find out more about it. Wasn’t planning on another canoe at the moment but this one came available and just couldn’t pass it up. Really solid and doesn’t need much work other than some cleanup and new canvas; going to try and keep it as original as possible. Also, Shell Lake is pretty special to me, as my grandparents were from the area and had the chance to spend many a days there.

    Hoping to gain just a bit more knowledge about Shell Lake and specifically about this particular canoe. It doesn’t have the deck badge but a decal like the one referenced on this site; I will include it below. It also doesn’t have the serial tag like many, if not most do. I have seen a couple lately that didn’t have it, so not sure what to think. Would this one be a later model? It appears to me that possibly later canoes didn’t have the oval trim tag? Also, the sticker might suggest later since it seems like older models used the deck badge over the decal. I could be completely off with these assumptions, so clarification would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!
    Geoff
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    There are records that exist if you know who to call. My memory is weak, and hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong but Washburn County Historical museum had the records. I got my record from a Mr. Ripley, but it's been a few years. You might find references here if you search the archives.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    GMarchigiani

    GMarchigiani Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Dave. It is the Washburn County Historical Society and the person to speak with is Clay Tallant. Mr. Tallant is a very patient and helpful, I have asked about a few that didn't end up in my garage. :) Shell Lake might have used badges and decals at the same time, and I am just not sure about the tag just yet. I will take ownership as soon as I can get away and pick it up. From what I know, there is no trim tag with model number or sequential number. I am not sure if it was once there and has been taken off or if it never had one. I have seen a few lately that didn't, so will know more once I inspect the area and see if there are holes for attaching a once present tag.
     
  4. dogbrain

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    Hi Geoff, thanks for posting this, it comes at an opportune time for me. In the near future I'll be picking up what looks to be, from a single picture, an old Shell Lake canoe. The cleat for the seat hanger makes me think its a Shell Lake and not a Thompson. Now I know who to call for a building record.
    123-1.jpeg
    Take care, Mark
     
    Dave Wermuth and GMarchigiani like this.
  5. OP
    OP
    GMarchigiani

    GMarchigiani Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Mark, great pic, love it! Do you happen to have photos of the decks and overall canoe, oh wait, I think you said this is the only one you have at the moment? Would love to see them. Does yours happen to have a tag on the stem with two numbers that might tell us a little more? Thanks! Geoff
     
  6. dogbrain

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    Geoff, I don't have any more info or pictures of the canoe. Its a boat that an acquaintance of a friend is giving away because its leaking and needs a new canvas. I don't think the fellow wants to deal, or has been dealing with maintenance, so I'm not really sure what kind of shape it's in. He says it's in good shape but it could be a basket case. It may not have any identifying marks since he didn't mention the make. I'll post a couple photos when I get out there to see it and pick it up.

    Mark
     
  7. OP
    OP
    GMarchigiani

    GMarchigiani Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Picked up the Shell Lake last week. Incredible shape with no rot whatsoever. Will make for a nice restoration. Post pics when it’s done.

    If you’re on Facebook, please check out the Shell Lake Canoe group I started. Please join!

    Geoff
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Congratulations, the Washburn County Historical Society and Museum at https://www.washburncounty.org/services/washburn-co-history-museum-sl and https://www.facebook.com/WChistorybuffs/?rf=881233791926550 has a few of the Shell Lake record books. Some of these have been photographed but those records do not include your number 116 128, unfortunately. They made ten of this model in 1945 and the highest number was 116 112 so your canoe is probably from the late 1940s. Good luck with the restoration,

    Benson
     
  9. OP
    OP
    GMarchigiani

    GMarchigiani Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Benson. I’m pretty sure I have the records correct from Washburn. Mine was sent May 11, 1948 to M. W. Co. I will include the scan which includes #128.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This looks good but my records shown below indicate that the #117 in the upper right corner of that page means that this information applies to their number 117 128 which is a different model from your number 116 128. Can you conform or refute this? Thanks,

    Benson



    IMG_0432.JPG
     
  11. OP
    OP
    GMarchigiani

    GMarchigiani Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Benson you are correct, I didn’t see the 117 at the top. There might not be records for mine, which is ok too. I just always like knowing information like this but I will get over it. Thanks for clarifying.
     

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