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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND YACHTING CLUB, INC.

CLEVELAND YACHTING CLUB, INC.

The CLEVELAND YACHTING CLUB, INC., originally organized in 1878 as the Cleveland Yachting Assn., was founded by GEO. W. GARDNER, a pioneer in yacht racing who also served as mayor of Cleveland. The original headquarters of the club were in the old Case Block at Superior and E. 3rd streets. T. H. Smead was elected the first commodore in 1878, followed by Gardner from 1879-94. On 3 Oct. 1888 the club was incorporated as the Cleveland Yacht Club and obtained lease of the lakefront at the rear of the U.S. MARINE HOSPITAL, just east of "Suicide" Pier at the foot of Erie (E. 9th) St., for a new clubhouse, dedicated 15 Sept. 1895. GEO. WORTHINGTON became commodore in 1895 and held that office until 1914. The CYC directed the Cleveland centennial regatta in 1896, the largest ever held on fresh water up to that time. In Apr. 1913 the Lakewood Yacht Club, which had selected Indian Island in the Rocky River lagoon as its clubhouse site (1901), merged with the Cleveland Yacht Club. On 29 Nov. 1914 the club moved its E. 9th St. clubhouse by barge to the Rocky River location, and the old Lakewood Yacht Club building was attached and used as a dining room. Although the CYC had become one of the nation's finest, with more than 1,100 members by 1918, within a few years it went into bankruptcy, possibly linked to the business failures of Commodore JOSIAH KIRBY. It lost its headquarters through foreclosure. A new Cleveland Yacht Club was subsequently formed and weathered the Depression without any employees, its commodore doubling as club manager. Under the leadership of Commodore Milton N. Gallup, it paid its debts and became solvent again. By 1949 it was able to buy Rocky River (formerly Indian) Island, where it eventually built a new clubhouse in 1963. A new bridge to the island was constructed in 1987. Enhancements since that time have focused on the Clubs computer system, docks and playground, as well as the rebulkheading of its north basin. In 2002, CYCs Commodore was Gordon D. Geiger, a member of the Club since 1987.