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The 34 foot Old Town war canoe form is available

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Benson Gray, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Rollin Thurlow just called me to say that the 34 foot long Old Town war canoe form is available but neither of us has a place to store it. The factory has decided to cut it up if no one else can collect it within the next two weeks. I have contacted the Penobscot Marine Museum and the Old Town Museum to see if they might want it. Is there anyone here with an interest and the ability to remove it from the Old Town, Maine area that soon? Let me know if you want more details. Thanks,

    Benson
     
  2. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

  3. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I have traded messages with the seller and he isn't sure who made them. He said "I had a look and will have to scrape a little paint to find the number if it is on the bow stem of the one canoe. The other will take a little time to get to. I will let you know if I can find anything. The canoes were owned and likely bought new by Camp Kennebec in North Belgrade, just a few miles from Waterville." My guess is that he will find serial number 132890 in one of them as shown in the attached build record from Old Town.

    Two members of this forum have offered a home for this form and one is actively working with the company now to sort out the details. There were two of these forms shown in the factory inventories at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=24296&d=1360243338 and the message at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?5421&p=29339#post29339 has several pictures of these canoes over the years. An early build record for one is shown at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?4722&p=29416#post29416 with notes on the back about how many hours were involved. This may have a happy ending after all,

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Benson,
    Maybe too late.... Check your email....
    I have an interested party.
    Contact me.
    715 892 7391
    Dave Osborn
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  5. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Has anyone looked at the inside of a 34 foot Old Town war canoe closely enough to be able to report the serial number and if the tacks were hand clenched (and all aligned in the same direction) or if they were clenched by iron bands on a form (with no obvious pattern)? I looked at the surviving 34 foot Old Town form recently and was surprised to see that it isn't banded and has no sign of ever having had them. The 1905 inventory identifies the 34 foot war canoe form as a “Skeleton” which was worth only $6 as compared to the more common forms that were identified as “Ironed” and worth $25 each. The 1918 inventory only shows one 34 foot form but the 1919 one shows two with a note that the second one was from 1918. I'm curious if the second 34 foot form may have been banded. This might help date this form if the newer one wore out first and the older one survived. Thanks,

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

  6. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    My brother has volunteered to drive the war canoe form to Massachusetts with the truck shown in the attached image below. The plan is to pick it up early next week and deliver it a week or two after that. This should be a lot safer than trying to move it with a passenger vehicle.

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

  7. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The war canoe form was looking a bit forlorn when we arrived at the factory to pick it up yesterday morning. Jeremy Smith, Jeremy Shepard, Drew Pierce, Adam Bishop, Billy Taylor, Kevin Gerrish, Justin Neal, Andrew White, from the Old Town Canoe Company store and distribution center cleared off the snow along with a cubic foot of water that had inadvertently collected and frozen inside one portion of the form. We easily lifted it on to the truck. It seemed ironic to have a Gerrish, a White, a Neal, and two Grays involved in this effort. The form is now waiting in a warm and dry warehouse for a good day next week to deliver it to Massachusetts. Thanks to Seth Gray, Alex Gray, and Production Services of Maine for the help with the truck and storage. Progress,

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  8. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy

    Wow! Looks like a great group project.
     
  9. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Excellent save! It does not look like I expected it to look. That pattern of sheathing looks very random.
     
  10. thompsonboatboy

    thompsonboatboy LOVES Wooden Canoes

    WOW - great that she was saved. That's a lot of truck for a little load!

    Andreas
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes, it doesn't look much like a traditional form.

    Agreed, but it was much easier to load, secure, support during the trip, and unload than any other alternative that I had available. My next best option was a trailer for a 24 foot long pontoon boat which would have left a lot of form hanging out in the wind on each end. This form was much more flexible than I expected.

    The form headed out well before sunrise yesterday morning. Dylan and Emily of Salmon Falls Canoe in Shelburne, Massachusetts were able to unload it before noon. It is now tucked in for the winter as shown below. They have kindly offered to build a new canoe on this form if anyone is interested.

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

  12. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  13. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

  14. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Only three have shown up in the database research described at http://www.wcha.org/ot_records/ which is too small a sample size for an accurate estimate. However, the approach used for the other estimates at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/models.html yields a guess of about 51 between 1906 and 1927 which is an average of around two per year. There are several known to have been built after 1927 but these aren't likely to change an estimate like this by much.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017

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