Concluding my 2001 article in "Wooden Canoe" (after Phil reported that the canoe didn't look like any of the canoes pictured in the article I sent him):
This temporarily stumped me, but I remembered that I had a copy of the 1982 WCHA reprint of the 1908 Morris Canoes catalog. The pictures and text in this reprint resulted in a positive identification of the canoe. It turns out that it is a Model A, Type 1 Morris canoe with heart shaped decks, open gunwales, and five-inch "braces" (thwarts) all of mahogany. The center brace is removable to provide a space of 70 inches for a passenger in a canoe chair. A folding canoe chair in like-new condition exactly like one shown in th the catalog (Style No. 1) is stored with the canoe. Also, there are two original Style 2 Morris spruce wood paddles. The canoe still has the original floor grate.
According to the price list in the catalog the canoe was priced at $42. The mahogany open wales added $5 and braces of mahogany $1.50 more. The paddles were $1.50 each (second quality for $1.25), and the folding mahogany and cane seat was only $2.25. The grand total then was $53.75. Sometime prior to 1915 my grandfather bought it second hand so he probably got it for less. Using the modified "Dean-Brinker" formula for dating Morris canoes I calculate that the canoe was built around 1906 or 1907.
That the honeymoon canoe has been proven a Morris rather than an Old Town in no way diminishes its aura of bygone romance for me. If anything, it has been enhanced. For now in my mind's eye I can see my mother as a newlywed relaxing in that Morris folding chair while my proud father in the stern wields a Morris Style 2 spruce paddle.
Next: What has happened to the old Pratt family canoe since I wrote the article?
The Wisconsin River flows 430 miles across the state from Lac Vieux Desert in northern Wisconsin to its junction with the Mississippi River ar Wyalusing State Park in southwestern Wisconsin. Known as "the nation's hardest working river," it has many power dams and resevoirs, mainly on its upper and middle portions along the lower stretch with beautiful scenery and numerous islands.