Choose Adventure. Trust Tradition.
Old Town, Maine has for centuries been the ancestral home of the Penobscot tribe and, in fact, derives its name as an acknowledgement of this proud heritage. Nestled on the edge of the Great North Woods amid the rapids, waterfalls and unforgiving boulders of the Penobscot River, here the tribe hunted, fished and built their sturdy birch bark canoes. And here, over 100 years ago, the Old Town Canoe Company was born.
Inspired by the Penobscot’s watercraft, our first wood and canvas canoe was built by A.E. Wickett in 1898 behind the local entrepreneur George Gray’s hardware store. Made with an eye for detail and a passion for quality, it wasn’t long before Gray’s and Wickett’s canoes were selling like hotcakes. After brief periods as the Indian Old Town Canoe Company and Robertson Old Town Canoe Company, the firm was incorporated in 1903 as Old Town Canoe Co.
After a strong run as the largest canoe manufacturer in the world, Old Town made its first kayak in 1940. By 1970 Old Town had won national awards for material innovation with its fiberglass boats and was the exclusive manufacturer of canoes and kayaks to the US Team. Since then, Old Town has helped reshape the canoe and kayak industry by being the first to bring Royalex® and rotomolded plastic boats to market. Today Old Town continues to advance the canoe and kayak tradition through design and material innovation.
As much as we look ahead, we always keep one eye on the past, continuing to be inspired by the best of classic boat building traditions.