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Unknown Old Town

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Paul Fopeano, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Paul Fopeano

    Paul Fopeano INNKEEPER

    I just got in a 18' sponson canoe for restoration and the owner hasn't a clue how old it is or how it got to his family's camp up Maine. The stems are almost gone and what remains of the serial number has been obscured by a screw. As best as I can make out, it reads 194301 18,
    104301 18 or maybe 184301 18. I suspect that the boat has spent its' whole life in Maine, perhaps the Bridgeton area. What can you find out about her for me? Thanks!
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Old Towns with numbers 194301 and 184301 are plastic canoes and the one with 164301 is a boat so my guess is that you have serial number 104301. This is an 18 foot long, AA (or top) grade, HW (heavy water) model with western red cedar planking, open mahogany gunwales, a keel, outside stems, a floor rack, and sponsons. It was built between December, 1929 and July, 1930. The original exterior paint design is shown at and was known as number 22. It shipped on July 12th, 1930 to Leominster, Mass. 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 also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.


    Attached Files:

  3. OP
    Paul Fopeano

    Paul Fopeano INNKEEPER

    Thank you Benson! The HW description fits the boat from what I can tell. (I guessed that it was a Charles River.) I thought that the bottom was a little flatter than a HW - it certainly is much flatter that my 16' HW. All the rest is correct. That was quite a paint job!

    Thanks again!
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    It is very difficult to judge the difference between the HW and Charles River models based on the hull shape alone. This is compounded by the fact that wooden canoes often change shape over time due to a broad number of factors including how they have been used, stored, and repaired. The images at the bottom of the page at and may help. Please post pictures if this one gets repainted with the original design 22. Thanks,


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