Detroit, MI (Detroit Boat Club, Belle Isle) (1901) - Contributed by Paul Petosky
The boat clubs of Detroit are a marked feature in the sporting life of the city. There are few finer sights in a
summer evening than the boating parties; the
boats are often manned in part by ladies, and the
gay uniforms and bright flags, the measured dip
of the oars, and merry laughter, make a pleasing
combination of sight and sound.
The oldest boat club is the Detroit. It was
organized February 18, 1839. and re-organized
August 23, 1856. It owns one of the finest boathouses in the country, erected in 1873, at a cost of
$5,000. It was originally located between Hastings
and Rivard Streets, and was moved to its present
location, between Joseph Campau and McDougall
Avenues, in 1877.
The Excelsior Boat Club was organized on May
14, 1867 and incorporated June 14, 1871. Amended
articles were filed January 8, 1878. The clubhouse, at the foot of Joseph Campau Avenue, was
erected in May, 1867, and has since been improved;
with the boats and other property of the club, it is
valued at $5,000.
The Zephyr Boat Club was organized in June,
1867, incorporated May 13, 1875. and disbanded in
The Centennial Boat Club was organized September 14, 1875, and incorporated March 2, 1876.
Its boat-house, between Chene Street and Joseph
Campau Avenue, cost $550, and was dedicated June
Other boat-clubs have been organized from time
to time, but most of them may be said to be lying
on their oars. For the purpose of general practice
and the management of regattas and races, several
of the clubs were united under the title of the
Detroit River Navy. It was organized in August
1867, and re-organized in June, 1868, and again on
June 8. 1874.
Among the occasions of special interest to boatclubs were: The annual regatta of the Northwestern Amateur Boating Association, July 14, 1870;
the opening day of the Northwestern Regatta, on
August 14, 1877; and the arrival of the Sho3-wae-eac-mette Boat Club, of Monroe, on August 3,
1878, on their return from England; August 6,
1878, was the opening day of Detroit River Navy
Regatta, and August 7 of the same year the opening day of Northwestern Regatta.
On June 28, 1879. the Detroit River Navy
Regatta took place. The Wyandotts won a two-oared race, the Allchigans won the four-oared, and
the barge race was won by the Detroit Club.
The National Rowing Regatta for 1882 was held
at Detroit, beginning on August 8.
Silas Farmer History of Detroit 1890