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Michigan Chapter

Discussion in 'Chapter Happenings' started by dmd421, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. dmd421

    dmd421 Debbie Darga

    The Michigan Chapter has located a 1921 Old Town 18ft Molitor Canoe. The canoe was built for CJ Molitor of the Molitor Canoe Liveries on Belle Isle located on the Detroit River. Old Town made the canoe to the Morris specs for which Old Town later named the canoe model for.

    The Michigan Chapter bought the canoe and donated it to the Detroit Historical Museum to display at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum of Belle Isle. The 1921 Old Town Molitor Canoe was purchased from a private owner who kept it in great condition for the 50 years that he owned it.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. OP
    OP
    dmd421

    dmd421 Debbie Darga

    More Pictures of when we delivered the 1921 Molitor Old Town Canoe to the Warehouse at the Historical Fort Wayne Museum which is located about 4 miles down river from Belle Isle.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Congratulations, it appears that this canoe has found a great new home. It peaked my curiosity so I spent some time in the build records to see if I could find out more about this canoe and Molitor's original order number 578 which this shipped under. The lowest numbered Molitor appears to be 65395 and this is the second at number 65397. I stopped looking after finding over fifty canoes that were built under this order so it was an unusually large one. It also appears that at least 18 of the canoes which were built under this order number got shipped to other dealers like the one shown at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/12325/ for example.

    Benson
     
  4. OP
    OP
    dmd421

    dmd421 Debbie Darga

    We are so happy everything worked out for this canoe. Excited that people will get to see it on display come summer, back where is started out 98 years ago.
     
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    There may have been an issue associated with this original order from C. J. Molitor. The build records show that 33 Molitor models were shipped to him under order number 578. However, there are at least 18 other build records for Molitor models that shipped to other locations which have order number 578 crossed out as shown at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/29365/ for example. This seems to imply that Molitor may have originally ordered over fifty canoes but later reduced the total substantially before they were shipped. Old Town might have offered the excess Molitor models to other dealers as a way to recover. A total of 92 Molitor models were started between March and May of 1921 so it appears that they were popular. One other example of this first run of Molitor models may still exist since serial number 65722 was repaired at the factory from 1948 to 1949 and a copy of the build record was requested in 1983.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  6. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    I have seen one other canoe that matched this Molitor's design, and heard second-hand of a Molitor with serial number 65395 in Northern Lower Michigan. Old canoes tend to linger in old storage buildings and boat houses so there are likely a few more "hangin around".
     

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