Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Chestnut Indian Maiden canoe

Recently a lady called me asking if I had or knew of a Chestnut Indian/Maiden canoe for sale. She had seen the photos I had posted on Facebook of the latest Indian/Maiden I had restored for a customer  just last summer and wanted one. She had received one in birthday present in 1961. Unfortunately, that canoe had been destroyed in a storm some years later.

Chestnut Maiden restored summer 2013

Chestnut Maiden - new clothes 

I have restored several of this model, but no, I didn't have one for sale. So this blog posting is a short write-up about that canoe model and if you know of one give me a call, I know of a motivated buyer.

From its humble beginnings in the early 1900’s and an offering of only three models, the Chestnut Canoe Co had grown quickly. With the end of WWI and a renewed strong demand for their canoes the company added many more versions to their line-up of canoe models.

1934 catalogue page

The Chestnut Indian Maiden was one of those; it was introduced in 1922 in two versions, the Indian and the Maiden both 16 ft. in length. The difference was the finishes; the Indian with gunwales, thwarts, seats and decks trimmed in mahogany and the Maiden with spruce and ash gunwales, cedar decks and seats and thwarts in maple or ash.

The model was advertised as the craft for use at summer camps, resorts etc. and designed specifically for those wishing a jaunty looking distinctive model. It sure is distinctive, with its high and strongly curved ends. The hull-shape is very similar to the company's cruiser model with a narrow beam, an arched bottom and a very fine entry. In my mind, more a canoe for experienced paddlers not resort and camp paddlers. 

The Indian/Maiden model was offered for sale until the mid-1950’s. In 1960 and 1961 it showed up again in the company’s catalog. The model was also sold by the sister company Peterborough Canoe Co under the name “Iroquois”in 1960 and 1961.

Chestnut catalogue1961

In 1978 the Chestnut Canoe Co "dusted off" the old form with the intention to produce a Special Edition of three hundred canoes of the Indian Maiden model. The model was proudly displayed at the“show circuit” of 1978. 

Show circuit 1978

However, the Special Edition Indian Maiden was meet by very little interest – and apparently only three were built. Later the same year the company closed its doors for good. The Special Edition Indian Maiden has the distinction of being the last model built by the company.

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