early North American canoe factory 'display samples' 1870-1930. Exhibited @ CDOCA.

image84

What this site is all about ...

 For over 30 years, I have collected model canoes - 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. 

My collection about ten years along.....

What you'll find inside ...

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. 


image85

Great places to visit ...

 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.


image86

Friendly groups and sites ...

 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  or Canadian Decoy & Outdoor Collectibles Association
 www.canadiandecoy.com .

image87

Need help?? ...

 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. 

For Sale: 48" Old Town Canoe Co sample 1926

image88

Unique buying opportunity

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 much of 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, never sold to individual customers. 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, a number of 48" Old Town samples have sold at public auction for prices between $25,000 to $30,000. This piece can be yours for the modest cost of $16,000 - a bargain, indeed! Shipping is included. This item currently is in Florida, and will be shipped from there. 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: bushrat22@gmail.com. If desired, a personal viewing, in-hand, can be arranged, by prior appointment.

Contact Us

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Antique Model Canoes

direct email: bushrat22@gmail.com Phone: Keene, ON (705) 295-1563 (mid-Apr to mid-Nov) Leesburg, FL (352)-431-3873 (mid-Nov - mid-Apr) cell: (705) 457-7718 messages anytime or by chance