Chestnut Canoe Company

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Chestnut Canoe Company

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Dates of existence

Production began in 1904 and ceased in 1978


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


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