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Object Record

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Object Name Bateau
Date 1920-1940
Maker Gilson Melville Slater and ?
Material Wood
Used Ausable River
Description River Drive Bateau
L: 23'4"B: 5'5"

The Penobscot River bateau probably influenced the shape of this river drive boat, either through lumbermen who had worked in Maine, or through the tourist industry; in the 1870s the owners of Ausable Chasm built several Penobscot bateaux to carry tourists through the gorge. There is no indication of rowlocks on the boat, suggesting that the river drivers used poles or paddles.
This bateau is an elegant, well-made boat. The overhang fore and aft helps river drivers leap ashore or onto logjams dry-shod. The hull is not symmetrical, being wider and higher towards the bow, which keeps the bow from burying when going over a drop. The planks speak of an impressive forest on the Rogers land. They run the full-length of the boat, and four of the six are twenty inches wide.

The ironwork on this bateau, consisting of sheathing at the bow and stern, painter rings and an unusual system of metal splines between the planks, was manufactured by Gilson Melville Slater, a blacksmith in Ausable Forks who also made repairs to logging harness. In the spring he closed up shop and joined the river drive.
Dimensions W-5.417 L-23.333 feet
Collection BBB360
Catalog Number 1957.157.0001
Other number cat. 187
Imagefile 051\1957.157.0001.JPG
Species Bateau