Update on The Gamblins — Evan Gamblin

Update on The Gamblins — Evan Gamblin

On Friday I posted a story about Bill Gamblin and his famous skiff. Bill Gamblin and the Skiff I love when family updates me about the family history and I was thrilled to receive an email from their son Evan. Thank you!!

All Photos Evan Gamblin


Bill Gamblin is my Dad.

He and Mum are now both 97, now living in an apartment in Ottawa.

He bought Oreno from the estate of the MacGregor farm (across
Mississippi Lake from Loch End, where my parents used to live).

(This is funny Evan but I had a piece about Loch End to put up)

We had no idea of her age, but the makers label (Capital Boatworks,
Laurier Ave) showed a 4-digit phone number. A call to Bell revealed the
last year those were used was 1912. We also learned that before outboard
motors became popular on recreational boats, St Lawrence Rowing skiffs
like Oreno were a common sight on Ontario waterways. As were their
counterparts the St Lawrence Sailing skiffs.

All Photos Evan Gamblin

Oreno was structurally sound, but needed refinishing so we did that. As
mentioned, she was clinker-built in white cedar with a butternut rubbing
strake (the topmost plank, next to the gunwale), and with mahogany
seats. There were no oars, so Dad made new ones out of Sitka spruce.
Insetting a carbon fibre/epoxy stripe down front and back of the oars
allowed making them lighter without losing strength. The tips were
protected from splitting with copper sheet in the traditional manner.

All Photos Evan Gamblin

Besides rowing her in Ottawa Tulip Festival events on the Rideau canal,
we took Oreno to antique boat shows at Clayton NY, Manotick and Rideau
Ferry. She won an award or two at the Clayton show. These shows were a
family affair, with usually Dad and my brother or I on the oars and Mum

Here are some photos of Oreno, reduced in size to get through the mail



Read–The Man that Brought “Canada” Back to Carleton Place – Bill Bagg

Shipman & Acme Engines Clippings and Notations

Bill Gamblin and the Skiff

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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