Long Lake American Legion Post 650 Re-Launches Restored 1911 War Canoe

The Adirondack Watershed Alliance will be sponsoring the Long Boat Regatta on Saturday, September 20th at the Long Lake Town Beach. Featured races include; the North American War Canoe Championships, a fifteen mile race on Long Lake. Other events include the ten mile New York C4 Co-Ed College Cup and the Adirondack Kayak Championships and the 10-mile “Anything goes” races for youth and adults. This event has been designated a NYMCRA Kayak Points race. Registration is 9:30am – 10:30am on the porch of the Adirondack Hotel.

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As part of the Long Boat Regatta race day join the Long Lake American Legion Post 650 for a special war canoe dedication ceremony at 10:45am also at the Long Lake Town Beach. The American Legion will be re-introducing their vintage 1911 Old Town War Canoe restored by Caleb Davis, the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association and many volunteers. Members of the public are invited to the dedication ceremony at 10:45am followed by inaugural paddle of the war canoe. The Long Boat Regatta races will start at 11am.

Follow up the paddle races with the American Legion Post #650 at the Veteran’s and Friends Fall Dinner at the Long Lake Diner. Social hour starts at 5:30pm. The featured buffet includes: BBQ ribs, chicken, beans, coleslaw, potato salad and surprise dessert. $20 a person includes tax and tip. Call 624-2606 for reservations with the American Legion Post #650.

The Old Town War Canoe restoration project started in 2011. While working for the Town of Long Lake, Caleb Davis discovered a war canoe stored in a pole shed owned by the town. After investigating the history of the boat and how it was acquired, Caleb was determined to bring it back to its former best self. Caleb worked with American Legion Post 650 as it was the last known group to paddle it before being stored.

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Caleb enlisted the assistance of the Wooden Heritage Canoe Association, Mac’s Canoes, the Town of Long Lake and Long Lake volunteers Robert Vris, Mason Smith, Brian Penrose, Bob Tice, Gail Epstein, Christine LaRocque, Paul Roalsvig, Alex Roalsvig, and Tim Ball to help transport, canvas, re-plank and refurbish the boat. Volunteers spent over 100-125 hours restoring the boat.

Restoration efforts included installing turn-buckles to hold the shape of the boat, re-canvassing the boat, re-planking and painting the new canvas. White–ash was used to trim the gunnels, stem band and keel. The interior of the boat was varnished to maintain the old-style feathered interior. Caleb estimates the boat to weigh approximately 225 pounds. Markings on the boat include a serial number 17816, Old Town Canoe and Hackett, Long Lake NY markings on both the stern and bow of the boat.

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Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department is working on plans to make the boat available in 2015 with the hope to re-ignite interest in vintage war canoes, racing or community paddle days.