c.1899 Mortimer Threehouse Wapoose Canoe

c. 1899 Mortimer Threehouse “Wapoose” wood canoe

I thought some of you would be interested in this. A beautiful hand made antique boat sold today at an auction on my street. It sold for $4,350 plus tax and 10% buyer’s premium (approx. $5,168).

“Mortimer Threehouse (1860-1918 +/-) All-wood antique canoe meticulously restored, ‘Wapoose’ One of 30 built by this reclusive Rochester maker. 15’8” long. Documentation available."

I rarely see these old canoes in this condition outside museums.

Link to the auction site with pictures:



New York State…
… seems to be the original home of most of the really old, finely crafted canoes I’ve ever seen or heard about. That one is quite a find.

That canoe looks right at home next to the antique hard wood side board. I wonder if Threehouse is Nick Schade’s great grand daddy?

Looks very much like a Peterborough
no doubt the original builder was influenced by them. Peterborough Ontario is not far from Rochester NY.

I wonder what WCHA members would think about the astronomical price it sold for… Its not that old a boat and most pristine wood canoes sell for far less.

It is however one of the costliest constructions one can do.

Wapoose Canoe
Auction was right here in town and missed it by a mile.

Wonder if the canoe included the sail rig. There is a ring attached to the front deck and and step on the keel to hold the mast. Brass insert in rear deck to position a rudder. Could not see any hardware to position lee boards, but they might have been clam-on.

Unique boat, well made.

No sailing rig
No sailing rig was included, just a paddle and a fishing net. Both looked old, but I can’t say for sure if they were the same vintage as the canoe.

It sold for a lot more than I thought it would, it was a bidding war at the end. In the heat of it they probably didn’t factor in the additional $800 for the buyer’s premium and sales tax! I talked to the guy who bought it, he may have had a little buyer’s remorse after he got the final bill.

No buyer’s remorse at all ! Price was fair and consistent with the recent sale of two others in less pristine condition and 15 thousand plus below the outrageous asking/buy it now price of its sister ship, OWANA, now in the collection of the Antique Boat Museum. Offers for her exceeded the Wapoose price by 5 - 7 thousand dollars. About six are known to exist out of a total production by this artisan of a dozen or so. I doubt that WAPOOSE was used in paddling/sailing races; most likely the sailing hardware on her was an option for leisurely reaching or downwind legs on the Genessee for which she was built. You bought a Capt. Ruggles for racing.

were you the winner bidder?