Maine Maritime Museum, in the shipbuilding city of Bath, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In an exhibit of "favorite" items from its 50 years of collecting is this fine old 20-foot Old Town Guide model canoe. Here's what the exhibit card says:
This canoe comes with an unusual story. It was purchased at the Old Town factory by Charles H. Cahill, Jr., in August, 1941. He brought it home to Bath, and never used it. Always intending to use it "soon," he kept it first in a cellar, and then for 42 years in a storage bay of the gas station he owned, under blankets. Still attached are the leather straps which held it to a rack on Cahill's pickup truck, and the red flag for the overhanging end on that trip from Old Town to Bath. This is a 1941 canoe in factory-finish condition (with a few dings).
Old Town designed this model for stability and steadiness, for carrying inexperienced sportsmen and sportswomen. It was popular with guides and with directors of summer camps. Dark green was the stock color; this one has the mahogany gunwale upgrade.
His children inherited the canoe about 2004, and decided it belonged here at the Museum.Wow. The notion of a valuable old canoe stored (usually in a barn) and forgotten is a popular collector's dream. But that the canoe might be pristine and unused goes beyond the common fantasy.
|Foredeck with original decal in fine condition. (Click any image to enlarge.)|
|Serial number on stem: 127036-20. Also shown is the forward end of the removable floorboards, held in place with a turnbutton made from a section of the same brass half-round that's used for the stembands.|
|Red flag used during transport.|
|Leather straps used during transport.|
|Mahogany gunwales, original seat caning, Old Town's trademark diamond-head seat hanger bolts -- nice all around.|