Kennebec Canoe Company

The Kennebec Boat & Canoe Company built its first canoes in December of 1909 (per Company Ledgers). The company was founded by George F. Terry, who was formerly a railroad station agent, ice cutter, publisher and merchandiser. Terry’s son, George F. Terry, Jr. later joined the company and ran it until 1939. In 1939, the company was sold to Frank Terry and James Dean (Millis). A small number of canoes were built until the factory was closed for good in 1941.

Walter D. Grant was Supervisor of the Kennebec Boat & Canoe Company from its inception in 1909. Prior to that, Grant lived with his parents and was listed in the 1900 US Census as being a painter. Grant, described on his WWI draft card as of stocky build with blue eyes, brown hair and missing parts of some fingers, was married to wife Mary, and had two children, Clifford (b. 1906) and Marguerite (b. 1909). Walter had a twin brother, Wendell B. Grant, who worked for E.M. White’s canoe business most of his life. Walter’s sister Delia l. Grant was married to E.M. White.

In 1930, Grant left Kennebec to found the Skowhegan Boat & Canoe Company.

Identifying Features:

  • Heart-shaped decks.
  • Short rail caps on open gunwale canoes are usual.
  • Serial Number: 4 to 6 digit number + length stamped on stem or on brass builder’s plate. Format typically the same as Old Town. Records are available through WCHA.

Kennebec Canoe Models

Model
Dimensions (LxWxD)
Years Produced
Notes
Aristocrat16x35½x12¼
17x36x12¼
18x36½x12¼
19183-ply construction
Camp Chief17x35x12¾
18x35x12¾
1932-1941
1940-1941
 
Camp Special16x35½x12¼
17x36x12¼
18x36½x12¼
1918 
Charles River 191515x31x12
16x31½x12
17x32x12
18x32½x12
1910-1916 
Invisible Sponson16x39x12¾
17x40x12¾
18x41x12¾
1929-1941 
Junior
(One-Man)
12x32x121922-1928 
Katahdin17x34½x12¼1922-1928, 1940-1941 
K Special16x32x12
17x33x12
18x34x12
1915-1917Modified Kennebec model
Kennebec15x33x12½
16x33½x12½
17x34¼xx12½

18x35½x12½
1910-1941 
Kineo15x36x13
16x36x13
17x37x13
18x37x13
1910-1941 
Maine Guides Model18½x37½x13
20x39x13
1910-1941 
Open Gunwale Canoe16x33x12
17x33½x12
18x34x12
1911-1918 
Sponson Canoe16x42x12¼
17x43x12¼
18x44½x12¼
1911-1928 
Torpedo16x32x11½
17x33x11½
18x34x11½
1917-1927 
War Canoe25x44x16
30x46x16
35x48x16
1915-193325' offered 1940-1941
White Water Canoe15½x37½x12½1940-1941Original form by Dan Neal