By Jamie Rogers, Lake Champlain Chapter

As a young child spending my summers on Silver Lake with my family, water activities were always a part of the day. Three canvas canoes were used throughout the summer months, one solid red, another solid blue, and a bright yellow sail canoe. Over time these boats fell into disrepair, perhaps due the introduction of aluminum canoes, perhaps due to declining interest, or perhaps a combination of the two. It wasn’t long before these canoes required two people at all times, one to paddle, and the other to bail. Eventually, they were placed under the family camp with future dreams of reviving them some day.

17′ AA Otca. Shipped to Ausable Forks on 7/19/1921. #65592

Truth be told, if it were not for my good friend Steve Detwiler, that bright yellow sail canoe would still be lying upside down in the dry dirt under the Rogers camp. I told Steve, who knows his way around woodworking and boat restoration, about these canoes. We looked them over and decided to form a very informal partnership and restore the now dull yellow sail canoe. The canoe made the 32 mile trip from Silver Lake to its new home in Steve’s shop in Lake Placid, New York. Over the next two and half years the canoe was worked on during the fall and winter months in between ski days at Whiteface. Today, that bright yellow sail canoes lives on the shore of Mirror Lake in the heart of Lake Placid. We hope you are able to meet our canoe at the 2022 ACBS International Boat Show in Burlington, Vermont where she will be celebrating her 101st birthday.

Below is the write the up that Steve put together for her boat shows:

The canoe was shipped from Old Town by rail to the J&J Rogers Co. in AuSable Forks, NY, on July 19, 1921. The boat was one of three Old Town canoes that were used by the Rogers family’s camp located on Silver Lake, NY. Circa 1939 the canoe was set-up for sailing and it sailed on Silver Lake into the 60’s. The canoe was “rescued” from beneath the Rogers camp in 2014 and underwent preservation by the current owners in Lake Placid. Stems, planking and deck tips required repair. Thwarts and a new front seat were patterned from the originals. All ribs, the rear seat, gunwales, decks, the floor rack, mast and rudder are original. Seat caning was by co-owner J. Rogers. Sailing hardware is primarily from Classic Marine of the U.K. Leeboard angle braces were manufactured by Springfield Fan Centerboard Co. The custom “tanbark” sail is by sailmaker Douglas Fowler. Yellow paint by Kirby Paint Co. was selected to match the original.




  1. She’s a beauty! And well deserved recipient of an amazing restoration.

    Great color choices and finish, we are fans of tanbark. What are the spars made of?

    Thank you for sharing photos of your wonderful canoe.

    Kent and Audrey

  2. We spent many years on Silver Lake in the 60s and 70s when I would bring my family there for vacation. We always rented a camp from the Douglas family and I’m sure we saw the canoe many times on the lake.

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