For over 30 years, I have collected model canoes and kayaks - everything from rare Indigenous pieces around the World to antique, early North American factory samples. My purpose, here, is to share information, promote interest in this hobby and assist those who wish to know more.
Here you can find many photos of items I have gathered, share in my collecting adventures and learn about books, museums, canoe heritage groups which will add to your knowledge and hopefully provide deeper insight into these marvelous treasures.
I have also recently written and published a book - "Little things that matter" - which describes in detail my 33-year collecting journey putting together one of the finest gatherings of early factory 'display sample' (aka 'salesman's sample') canoes. The book expands greatly upon data found on this site. It is available by contacting me for an autographed and personalized copy, or through the Canadian or Wisconsin canoe museums, and through Amazon. CAD$39.95 or US$32.95 plus shipping/packaging/tax. An ebook version is also now available from Amazon Kindle at CAD$19.95 or US$ 16.95. Book is 142 pages with 300 color photos and 38,000 words of highly informative text. Well-reviewed by Maine Antique Digest and Canadian Antique & Vintage magazine; much-enjoyed by hundreds of readers to date. The only resource book of its kind; essential for collectors wishing authentic info.
Did you know there are museums dedicated to canoes and kayaks? Plan a visit to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, ON,
www.canoemuseum.ca where you can see the World's largest collection of paddled watercraft; or to Spooner, WI, and the Canoe Heritage Museum www.wisconsincanoeheritagemuseum.org . I support both and encourage you to do so, as well. On the west coast, check out Harvey Golden's museum of canoes and kayaks in Portland, OR. You'll be delighted you did.
If you love older canoes, join us in the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association www.wcha.org and check out 'Fans of WCHA' www.facebook.com/groups/219179608982/ . If you're into outdoor collectibles - vintage hunting decoys, antique fishing lures, powder tins - try clubs like Midwest Decoy Collectors Assoc. www.nadecoycollectors.org and Canadian Decoy & Outdoor Collectibles Association www.canadiandecoy.com
Ask away; there are never any foolish questions, just folks too shy to ask. Want help identifying something? Perhaps evaluating or appraising it? If I don't have the answer, I'll try to put you in touch with someone who does.
Email is best: email@example.com
Cell phone: voice or text messages anytime; or catch me by chance -
Snail mail: Roger Young
1070 Barnardo Ave.
Canada, K9H 5X2
This site, in past, primarily has been a medium for sharing information about antique model canoes, rather than a commercial sales venue. However, now that my large, 30-year, world-wide gathering of Indigenous models has moved on to other hands, and my broad collection of early N. American factory 'display samples' has been placed on long-term loan with the Canadian Canoe Museum for public viewing, I am left with a few pieces which I wish to make available to collectors.
One of these is a duplicate sample from the Old Town Canoe Co., of Maine, ca. 1926. It is truly a rare 'survivor', having had a few bumps and even small repairs over a lifetime of sales service. It retains almost all its original appearance; its logos, decals, brand name lettering, seats, caning, thwarts and decks are all untouched and totally original. 98% of its exterior paint is likewise original; it has some very modest 'touch-up' or in-painting to replace small areas of loss. Its interior was recently cleaned to remove flaking varnish and sealer, which had been applied very poorly sometime in mid-life, when it is also likely that a couple of small repairs were made to planking dented in a fall. All of this is described in explanatory captions added to photos below. Just click to enlarge and view in detail. Ask any questions you wish. The canoe is accompanied by two, period, 'sample' paddles; these may not be factory-issue, but suit the canoe perfectly for size and age.
This display model presents an opportunity to acquire a rare and authentic sample from the largest, best known canoe manufacturer ever. Old Town produced an estimated total of 120, or so, samples in either 48" or 96" lengths. It is likely that only 50 to 60 of this 48" style were ever made, according to a former company official. Such samples were awarded only to the Company's best retail sales outlets, not often sold to individual buyers. Included in the photos below is a copy of an original build sheet for a 48" model shipped to an outfitter store client in Hackensack, NJ, 1926; it is believed to relate to this exact piece, as that is where this sample was found more than a half-century ago. There are no known records of another sample being sent to that locale.
In recent years, the very finest 48" Old Town samples have sold at public auction for prices usually ranging from US$25,000 to US$30,000. It is rare that one of this quality becomes available for less than US$18,000. I am open to serious offers. Safe shipping can be arranged. Your satisfaction is fully guaranteed, money back; it may be returned within 14 days, at your cost for complete refund, without explanation or argument. More info and photos available at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If desired, a personal viewing, in-hand, can be arranged, by prior appointment (subject to Covid-19 restrictions).