Fonds MG H 109 - Chestnut Canoe Company

Title proper

Chestnut Canoe Company

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents.

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  • 1904-1908 (Creation)
    Chestnut Canoe Company

Physical description

4 cm of textual records

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Name of creator

(Production began in 1904 and ceased in 1978)

Administrative history

In 1904, the J.C. Risteen Company, a sash and door business owned by a group of local businessmen, began the building of canvas-covered canoes in Fredericton, NB. One year later, the canoe-making section moved to separate quarters where canoes were manufactured under the name of R. Chestnut and Sons. At this time, R. Chestnut and Sons was an established hardware store operated by Henry Chestnut and his sons Harry and Bill Chestnut, descendants of the original Robert Chestnut. In 1907, the Chestnut Canoe Co. was incorporated and a new brick factory was constructed on York St. In 1909, Henry Chestnut died, leaving control of the company in the hands of his son, Harry G. Chestnut. Maggie Jean Chestnut, the daughter of Harry G. Chestnut, was the last family member to run the business. After her father's death in 1941, she became much more involved in the company, becoming managing director (and later president) in 1943. She ran the business until her death in 1949.

In 1923, the Peterborough Canoe Company and the Chestnut Canoe Company entered into an agreement which brought both companies under the ownership of a single set of shareholders in a holding company called Canadian Watercraft Ltd. In 1928, Canadian Canoe Company also came under this umbrella.

The Peterborough Canoe Company and the Canadian Canoe Company closed down in 1961 but the Chestnut Canoe Company continued to operate with financial guarantees from the Province of New Brunswick. In 1974, the Chestnut Canoe Company moved to Oromocto where it remained until it ceased operations in 1978.

Chestnut Canoe Company

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of a single ledger from the R. Chestnut Canoe Company for the time period 1904 - 1908. It records in considerable detail the business transactions of the fledgling company. It reflects not only the volume of their business and the variety of products they produced but also the far-flung market they served, stretching from Newfoundland to British Columbia and extending into the United States.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The ledger was donated to the UNB Archives on 15 December 1972 by the Chestnut Canoe Company.


Language of material

  • English

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Location of originals

Availability of other formats

The ledger is available on microfilm at the Harriet Irving Library: HIL-MIC VM353 .C542.

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Finding aids

Associated materials

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick holds the R. Chestnut and Sons Collection (MC15) and the Chestnut Canoe Company fonds (MC656).

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General note

Written on the inside cover of the ledger is: "R. Chestnut and Sons - Canoe Business - 1904".

General note

The ledger was transferred to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick September 2011.

General note

Reported in the Union List of Manuscripts, 1977-1978 supplement, p. 41, entry number 14-149

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