Veazie Canoe Company

Years in Business: 
circa 1905 - circa 1919
Company History: 

The Veazie Canoe Company was a spin-off of the B.N. Morris Canoe Company, established in approximately 1905 to offer a less-expensive, factory-direct canoe. Until this time, Morris had offered the canoe models “Special Indian” and “Special Indian Extra Beam” in two grades, but around 1905 the company began advertising the Morris as an all-one-grade mahogany-trimmed canoe in models A-D (see B.N. Morris Canoe Company).

A single example of the Veazie Canoe Company catalog can be found on the canoe catalog CD available through the WCHA. This catalog appears to date from the same time-period as Morris “undated” catalogs.

Identifying Features: 

See B.N. Morris Canoe Company for identification features, as the Veazie is simply a less-expensive Morris with the following differences:

Wood Species - The Veazie canoe hull is identical to any Morris hull and the primary difference between the two canoes may lie in the species of wood used for trim. A standard Veazie was offered with maple or birch decks, thwarts and seat frames; however, the Veazie could be upgraded to an all-mahogany-trimmed, long-decked canoe that would be fancier than the standard B.N. Morris; however, because it was sold straight from the factory instead of through a dealership, it would have been less expensive.

Some Veazie canoes have a mix of species in their trim. The deck might be mahogany, the thwarts and seat frames maple, and all would be stained to appear to be mahogany. One known-Veazie is trimmed in unstained tiger maple. Another has decks with a small amount of bird’s-eye. 

Deck - The standard short deck on the Veazie Canoe is of two types. Earlier canoes (beginning c.1905 until the early 19-teens) have the “keyhole” deck: an ogee-type with a large circular cutout in the center. In the early 19-teens, the circle was no longer cut out, leaving a deck with a simple concave curve. Morris began using this deck-type on the B.N. Morris, presumably because the heart-shape deck was inclined to crack up the center.
 

Decals and Deckplates: 

The Veazie Canoe Company canoe had a fancy, Art Nouveau type decal on the bow deck. Unfortunately, only one example has been found and it wasn’t clear enough to provide an image that could be copied. The decal consisted of a shield-shape positioned atop crossed canoe paddles, with the image of a canoe and paddlers on the shield. The shadow of this image is seen on one of the existing Veazie canoes, in addition to the other canoe which has actual flaking portions of the decal.

Serial Numbering: 

Veazie serial numbers appear on brass tags identical to those used on B.N. Morris canoes. An oval tag may be found on the left inwale, over the first full rib, on earlier Veazies and a rectangular tag with rounded corners may be found on the stem of later Veazies. Because Veazie canoes were numbered separately from the B.N. Morris, and because far fewer were made, Veazie Canoe Company canoes have low serial numbers. The highest Veazie-number is 1050, and the canoe appears to be post-1915. A similar B. N. Morris would be numbered13XXX or higher.

Determining the age of a Veazie canoe is even less precise than the dating of a B.N. Morris; however, the Morris canoes can be used to determine an age-range for Veazies. If the serial number plate is on the inwale, the canoe is likely 1905-1909; if the serial number plate is on the stem, the canoe is c.1909-1920. If the plate on the stem is oriented with the shorter end parallel to the splay of the stem, it is likely c.1912-1916.

Models Offered: 

The existing catalog for the Veazie Canoe Company lists only a “Model A” but it could be assumed any Morris hull was used, depending on the desire of the buyer.