Faber & Company
FABER canoes were canvas-covered and built at Loretteville, Quebec – just northwest of Quebec City – part of a long line of canoes built in this part of Quebec. Well-known among other canoes from this area were Big Chief canoes built by Bastien Bros. of Village Huron. A 1955 advertisement for Big Chief canoes claims a lineage going back to 1878. “Village–Huron” incidentally is French for “Huron Village,” i.e. a settlement of Huron Indians or aboriginal people of Huron descent, now also known by the ancestral name Wendake. This village is itself just north of Loretteville. G & C Groslouis is another of the names associated with the stylish canvas-covered canoes from Village-Huron, Quebec.
[Faber & Company]
The introduction to the 1953 catalogue from FABER & Co. gives an insight into the specifics of the company’s canoe-building operation:
The shells [the hull of planking] are made of selected Eastern white cedar, the toughest lightweight wood obtainable. Brass fastenings are used throughout. Gunnels [gunwales] are red spruce. Decks, bars and the babiche- strung seats are white ash or oak. The shell is treated against rot, then the canvas is applied and our special process gives it a smooth, glass-hard surface that will withstand wear. The outside of the canoe is enamel-finished in colors. All woodwork is finished with best spar varnish.
An advertisement for FABER & Co. in Rod and Gun in March, 1952 gave the following general sketch of the company:
FABER & CO. at Loretteville, Que. is offering a wide range of boats and canoes in seventeen models and twenty-five different sizes. These include the pram and regular round-bottom touring dinghys as well as decked and semi-decked outboard boats.
In 1953, FABER & Co. featured seven main canoe models as follows:
the Trapper - 12 ft. x 32 in;
the Hunter - 12 ft. x 35 in;
the Sporter - 15 ft. x 35 in, 16 ft. x 36 in, and 17 ft. x 37 in;
the Ranger, in lengths from 14 ft. to 18 ft.;
the Ranger Special (“an exceedingly rugged all-around canoe”) also from 14 ft. to 18 ft.;
the Prospector (“a strong & seaworthy canoe of large carrying capacity”) from 14 ft. to 18 ft. and the
FABER Freighter (a V-stern canoe of heavier construction) in four lengths of 17, 18, 20 and 22 feet.
At this time, FABER & Co. also supplied accessories like paddles and oars, and related sporting items often associated with Quebec in the form of lacrosse sticks and snowshoes.
Since other canoe builders from this area sometimes sold their production in volume to the big department stores like Eaton’s and Sears, it may be that FABER did likewise.
Freight charges for a single canoe at the time (1953) from Loretteville were as follows to:
Saint John, N.B. $ 2.60
Halifax, N.S. $ 2.68
Ottawa, Ontario $ 2.25
Toronto, Ontario $ 2.79
North Bay, Ontario $ 3.17 London, Ontario $ 2.86
Kenora, Ontario $ 6.75
Winnipeg, Manitoba $ 7.30
Edmonton, Alberta $ 12.08
Vancouver, B.C. $ 14.64
FABER & Co. is thought to have stopped selling canoes in the late 1970’s.