1953 Lakefield Seminole
By Prior Smith
This is a 1953 Lakefield Seminole that was built shortly after the fire that destroyed the Lakefield plant in the winter of 1953. They were in such a hurry to get back into production they didn’t take time to carefully examine the new “Indian head” deck decals ordered from Alpine Decalomania, a firm in Toronto. The word Lakefield was spelled incorrectly...Lakfield. It’s not known how many boats were shipped with the defective decal...but this was one of them.
The boat was found in a badly decayed state in a field north of Apsley, Ontario with a small tree growing up through the middle of it. I managed to save both the boat and the tree. Over a one year period the boat was restored from stem to stern. It was powered by a very rare 25HP Goodyear SeaBee....one of two I managed to purchase from a collector in Eastern Ontario after many years of trying. This motor and its mate are the only 25 HP Sea Bees known to exist and both are in operating condition. SeaBees were a product of the Gale Division of OMC...the third division of the company (after Johnson and Evinrude) that produced “house brand” motors for department, tire and hardware stores. These motors (Sea Bee, Sea King, Viking, Elto, Western Flyer, etc.) were previous year Johnson and Evinrude models sold as new and dressed up with fancy shrouds. It made for a perfect fit and a perfect ride!