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Probable Old Town ca. 1920

Discussion in 'Serial Number Search' started by Ron Berry, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Ron Berry

    Ron Berry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    New member here. I have a 16' Old Town (probable via family lore), awaiting restoration. Serial no. best that I can read is: 68673 -- 16 (found on stern stem only). Is there a build record available for this?
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome and congratulations, the Old Town with serial number 68673 is 17 feet long so that isn't a good match. My guess is that you may have the Old Town with serial number 168673. This is an 16 foot long Otca model with a keel. The original color was dark green. It shipped to Brewer, Maine on August 19th, 1959. A scan showing this build record can be found below.

    These scans 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 http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/records/ 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 http://www.wcha.org/about-wcha to learn more about the WCHA and http://www.wcha.org/store/membership to join.

    It is also possible that you could have another number or manufacturer if this description doesn't match your canoe. The information at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/791/ may help if the numbers are hard to read. Please attach some pictures of the numbers and surrounding area along with ones of the bow deck and interior details if you are still not sure. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions.

    Benson



    168673.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  3. OP
    OP
    Ron Berry

    Ron Berry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you, Benson, for the quick turn-around. This description does not fit well with my knowledge of the canoe's history. I remember seeing it as a youth in the mid-50s, and family lore says it was a college graduation present to my great aunt in 1920 for her camp in northern NY. It was recanvased in the 60s. I will continue to attempt reading more of the serial number; perhaps I can break thru the paint/varnish on the bow stem.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Ron Berry

    Ron Berry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    How about 69673?
     
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Another possibility is serial number 63613. This is a 16 foot long, CS (common sense or middle) grade, Yankee model with red Western cedar planking, closed spruce gunwales, birch decks, birch thwarts, birch seats, and a keel. It was built between November, 1920 and March, 1921. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped to Mamaroneck, New York. A scan of this build record can be found below. Does your canoe have closed gunwales? Pictures would help as I mentioned before. Good luck,

    Benson



    63613.jpg
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Ron Berry

    Ron Berry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    We are getting closer. It is encouraging to see the serial number similar to mine in the 1920 date range. Fotos are attached: closed gunwales, decks consistent with Old Town pattern, keel. Plus 2 fotos of the serial number on aft stem; the possible numbers that I see are: 68673, 68573, 69673, 69573.
    IMG_2716.JPG IMG_2717.JPG IMG_2718.JPG IMG_2714.JPG IMG_2725.JPG
     
  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The Old Town with serial number 68673 is 17 feet long as I mentioned before so that isn't a good match. The one with number 68573 is also 17 feet long and 69573 has mahogany seats. Therefore, my guess is that you have serial number 69673. This is a 16 foot long, CS (common sense or middle) grade, HW (Heavy Water) model with red Western cedar planking, closed spruce gunwales, birch decks, birch thwarts, birch seats, and a keel. It was built between January and April, 1922. The original exterior paint color was dark green. It shipped on May 5th, 1922 to Malone, New York. A scan of this build record can be found below. Good luck with the restoration,

    Benson



    69673.jpg
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Ron Berry

    Ron Berry Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Bingo! This is the one--shipped to Malone, NY where my great-aunt Esther Northridge lived. Thank you, Benson, for your help.
    Ron
     

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