Posted 9 years ago
I was recently invited by an elderly couple in their late 70's to visit their farm and appraise a fabulous 13' wooden cedar strip canoe built by the late Walter Walker, in 1974. This couple both had suffered from health issues which had greatly restricted their use of this fine canoe, and made further paddling pleasure unlikely. In fact, it had not seen water in over 20 years, but had been carefully stored, dry and out of the weather in a barn. I found it covered in dust, a bit of bird dirt and some muddy wasp nests, but sound as the day it was made.
Walter Walker, a legendary Canadian canoe builder, died 4 years ago nearing the age of 102; he built his last canoe at 99. Watercraft made by him are highly prized 'collector items' today. The owners were well aware of this; they personally bought the canoe from Walter in the mid-1970's for use on their small farm pond and needed an estimate of its current worth. One or two other parties had looked at it before I got there, but passed. I did not go with any intention of buying, but simply to offer a fair opinion of its value, after first consulting with a couple of other dealer contacts on recent sales info. Its value had increased ten-fold in the time they had owned it. I simply enjoyed the chance to see it, and did not even ask to be compensated for my appraisal time or the 3-hour round trip.
However, once there, I did think it might just suit my desire to find a smaller, lighter canoe for my own purposes, so was thrilled when I was told they would be happy to have me buy it, if I wished. It came home with me two days later, after a second visit and due consideration by both them and me. It then had a bath and went for its first paddle in over two decades.
Cleaned up rather well I would say!!!
Thank you Donna and Ian for taking such great care of it over the years.