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Hoping for some ID help -- perhaps a Peterborough?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Erik Anderson, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Erik Anderson

    Erik Anderson New Member

    Hello! A happy new member of the WCHA here, and I'm hoping I might gather some advice to go along with the (very enjoyable!) research and reading I'm doing on the forum and elsewhere online. So much of what I've learned in these last few weeks, besides from my dad, has been from this amazing site -- so already, thank you!

    My dad and I went in together, happily, on our first longitudinal strip from a local estate sale, and we've been trying to determine as much of its history as we can. Unfortunately, no information was forthcoming from the sale, and as you can see from the pictures, it's missing the thwarts, as well as the thwart tags (but you can see the "shadow" of where they were).

    There is a serial stamped in 1/2" tall numerals on the keelson (there's a word I learned on this forum!) just back from a block (?) where a sailing mast would go, and as best as we can tell, it reads 1310 (or 1319) and then directly beneath, a 7.

    The canoe is 17'6", with a beam of around 33" (or around 35" at the outsides of the gunwhales, not sure the right way to measure beam?) and a depth of 14.5".

    Assuming the "7" might be a model number, the closest we can come given our reading and researching is based on the measurements and the fact that we've seen old catalogs for both Peterborough and the Ontario Canoe Company that show a model 7 canoe at 17'6" and fairly similar beam/depth measurements (though not exact). The thing that trips me up is in the catalogs I've seen, that number is for their cedar rib canoes? Though it also seemed like Ontario (at least from an early catalog I saw, 1883 I believe?) was using the same model numbers for their cedar rib and longitudinal strip canoes? I know there aren't records to track with the serial, but does the placement of them, size, etc suggest a certain builder by chance? (I did *just* buy the digital collection of Canadian catalogs here in case that offers more clues).

    Ok, this is where I stop and admit my complete newness to this all here, and grin embarrassingly at all the faulty leaps I've likely made above. We love this new canoe, and being historians in lots of ways, we're just so curious. Plus we want to ensure we redo the thwarts, etc properly. Any advice or setting us right is so appreciated. Very happy to have joined the association; the journal that came with the welcome packet was just wonderful.
    erik, marine on st. croix, mn
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  2. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Eric, welcome to the WCHA and congrats on finding a great canoe.
    I'm no help ID'ing it, as we don't see many old strip canoes here in MN, though I suspect you aren't far off.
    ( the last one I saw was at Ketter's and it went to Chicago.)

    Erik Anderson likes this.
  3. OP
    Erik Anderson

    Erik Anderson New Member

    Dan, thanks for the kind welcome! Very happy to be here and with a beautiful canoe to work on and research. Interesting to think on the whys of not seeing many old strips here in MN...
    Appreciate the thought we may at least be aiming the right general direction!
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, see for more information about how tariffs impacted the distribution of canoes between the United States and Canada. Good luck with your research about this canoe,

    Erik Anderson likes this.
  5. OP
    Erik Anderson

    Erik Anderson New Member

    Benson, thank you for that -- fascinating. I hadn't even thought of tariffs! What an impact for sure. And thanks for the good research wishes; grateful for any and all leads and course corrections —and the best part, unexpected reading and knowledge along the way!

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