JPYC Club History 1896 - 1971
Soon after the dismantling of the 1892 Columbian World's Fairgrounds in Jackson Park, the attention of a few yachtsmen was drawn to the potentialities of the south lagoon, which might easily be developed into and utilized as a yacht harbor. These few enthusiasts navigated their craft in and out of the harbor under trying conditions for some years, for the placid surface of the lagoon was a mere mask for a sea of trouble. Only a lucky sailor could guide his boat in and out of the harbor without coming in contact with some submerged relic of the Fair, a sunken pile or a sand bar.
Even in the face of these difficulties, the interest in yachting increased until the Jackson Park Yacht Club organized on May 16, 1896 and incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois on June 3, 1896.
The expectations of this organization failed to materialize, so the charter and rights of the Jackson Park Yacht Club were purchased from the original organization and the present club was reorganized on September 25, 1899 with W. L. Hazen as Commodore: W. W. Weightman, Vice Commodore;
G. S. Hannaford, Secretary; W. H. Reeves, Treasurer. Thirty_eight held membership in the new club, and the fleet consisted of some twenty sailboats, yachts and launches. A small houseboat 10 ft. by 14 ft., containing one room, was secured for the summer home of the Club, rules and by_laws were adopted, and committees met with the Park Commission to secure their aid in dredging the harbor. In order to reach the harbor it was necessary to follow a tortuous path through the ruins of the World's Fair conflagration. A burgee was adopted of the swallow_tail type with a broad white diagonal stripe on a blue field and monogram in red in the center of the stripe.
At the first regular monthly meeting, November 8, 1899, forty_two members were enrolled; fifteen applicants were admitted at this meeting and thirty_one were added in December, starting the new year with eighty_eight members. The Club dues were increased from one dollar to six dollars per year on January 1, 1900.
With W. W. Weightman as Commodore, the Club gave its first entertainment, a smoker, on January 24, 1900. Browning, King & Co. presented a silver cup to the new organization, its first trophy.
During the spring the boat owners adopted a set of racing rules, and fixed dates for the season's events.
By the opening of the sailing season the membership had increased to one hundred and twenty_two, and the United States government had established a light at the harbor entrance marking the end of the Casino pier.
On October 10, 1900, the regular meeting was held in the first permanent club room, 203 East Sixty_Third Street, at the entrance to Jackson Park.
During Commodore Weightman's second term in 1901, the Park was improved a great deal, and dredging in the harbor seriously interfered with the comforts of the boatsmen. Twenty_six members were added during the year, making a total of one hundred and forty_nine. The Park Commissioners issued permits for mooring one hundred and five boats.
The first annual reception was given on the evening of February 11, 1902, inaugurating an era of social advancement in the Club's winter life. The spring of 1902 opened with a membership of one hundred and fifty. Because the old house_boat was far too small, and was fast getting beyond repair, the Club purchased a 24 ft. by 60 ft. scow and the members constructed a new clubhouse out of rejected box_car lumber.
Needing a flagpole, permission was obtained to use the official pole of the World's Fair, which stood in front of the Administration Building in the days of the White City. At a special meeting, April 23, 1902, the club dues were increased to ten dollars per year.
On May 14, 1902, the burgee was changed to a triangular pennant with a white chevron on a blue field.
The Park improvements, although recognized by yachtsmen as tending toward their ultimate benefit, greatly interfered with the movement of boats, and, as a consequence, the Club suffered a serious loss of membership, chiefly among boat owners. But immediately following the annual election, the officers instituted a vigorous campaign of dinners, lunches and stags, which sufficed to maintain the enthusiasm of the Club members and also to arouse the keen interest of their friends and guests. So, by the opening of the yachting season, the roster showed one hundred and forty_three members, and a fleet of fifty_four yachts, some thirty launches, and numerous small sailboats.
In mid_season a serious loss was sustained by the sinking of the new club ship. The necessary expense of raising and making repairs entailed a heavy drain on the treasury.
In spite of ill luck, interest and enthusiasm has never flagged, and yachtsmen who read this history must not think it has been all hard times for our sailors __ far from it. During the season of 1903, Henry D. Hatch, Commodore, the Club received two handsome trophy cups: one the gift of the Indiana Harbor Improvement Association, for a cruising race, Jackson Park to Indiana Harbor; the other the gift of Tom Murray, to be competed for in a cruising race.
The Club joined the Lake Michigan Yachting Association in 1902. The first delegates were M. Shirlaw and J. R. Brunnick, and W. W. Weightman was elected Vice_President, the first J. P. Y. C. member to be elected as an officer in the Association.
Commodore J. R. Brunnick opened the year 1904 auspiciously, with a total membership of one hundred and seventy_seven enrolled. New clubrooms were secured at 207 East Sixty_Third Street and the new, larger quarters afforded greater comfort for the increased membership.
The new members that were admitted were of the most substantial kind, as they were nearly all boat owners. This brought a number of new yachts into the squadron and helped to make the racing season of 1904 one of the most successful in the history of the Club. The season opened May 30 with a race to Indiana Harbor in a storm so severe that other local yacht clubs postponed their events. On the Saturday preceding Labor Day the Club held its first annual cruising race to Michigan City, which was a great success.
The year 1905 saw substantial improvement in the Club. The membership increased and the Club's general condition was prosperous. Under the guiding hand of Commodore Charles L. Bliss many social functions were indulged in. The fleet showed a substantial increase, both numerically and in the size and quality of the individual boats. This year showed substantial betterment in conditions surrounding the yacht harbor and although the work was not completed during this year, many improvements were made and the increased size of the harbor was greatly enjoyed. Following the election of Commodore H. P. Simonton, the Club received much deserved recognition as an important factor in Lake Michigan yachting. The excellent performances of the new yachts in the fleet and their success as winners in many important open races gave the Club prestige as a racing organization. This year saw the inauguration of powerboat racing in the Club, the number of powerboats nearly equaling the number of sailing craft.
The beginning of the season of 1907 saw an almost phenomenal growth in the fleet and membership of the Club. A number of magnificent boats joined the fleet. The 21_foot cabin class Lipton Competitive Cup contestant, "Jackson Park," and the famous racing yacht, "Chloris," together with the 50_foot yawl, "Rambler," joined the fleet and in the power boats the sister ships, "Swastika" and 'Wanderer," two 42_foot cruising launches, also became members of the fleet.
Yacht "Swastika" represented the Club July 20, 1907, in the Chicago to Mackinac Power Boat Race, and was handled by its owner, Vice_Commodore F. H. Noble, assisted by Commodore H. P. Simonton. The distance, 342 miles, was covered in 36 hours, 30 minutes and 24 seconds, thereby winning the cup and race. "Swastika" was the first yacht to represent the Club in this great annual race.
Yacht "Jackson Park," sailed by its owners, Commodore H. P. Simonton, C. W. Kraft and Robert R. Greig, assisted by Durl P. Ruger and T.A. Mac Farland, represented the Club in the Sir Thomas Lipton Competitive Cup Races in August, 1907, winning the second highest percentage for the series, losing first honors only by a few seconds at the finish in the last race. The finish is said to be the closest ever seen in any of the Lipton races. Yacht "Jackson Park" was the second boat to represent the Club in the Lipton races; Yacht "Outlaw, " owned by F. D. Porter, represented the Club in the races of 1902.
On September 14, 1907, a well-attended open LMYA regatta was held jointly by this Club and the South Shore Country Club.
The South Park Commissioners installed free about 150 moorings for all yachts, and the close of the yachting season saw the harbor so crowded that the Park Commissioners decided to issue no more permits for boats to be moored in the yacht lagoon.
During the year the membership limit was reached and for the first time in the life of the Club a membership waiting list existed.
Under the commodoreship of F. H. Noble, during 1908, the Club prospered, a waiting list was always posted, and the first telephone was installed at the harbor after years of effort.
During the prosperous years of 1909 to 1910, A.A. Bennett and Ralph Ware were successive Commodores. In 1910 Bayard Holmes was elected President of the LMYA in recognition of the stand that the Club had taken on the question of what constituted a Corinthian sailor.
CHICAGO, IL 41.46.50 | 87.34.42
High-jinks Day while clubhouse was on floating barge.
Club being raised, first floor being added.
6400 South Promontory Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60649
41.46.50 | 87.34.42
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By almost constant attention to the progress of work, those responsible were able to keep things going to a successful conclusion, and the official dedication of the new Club House was held June 22, 1940.
The United States Coast Guard formed a reserve comprised of yachtsmen, and the Club House was provided as a meeting place.
This year after several months of consideration, the Triangular Race was reversed. The fleet started from Chicago Friday evening before Labor Day and raced to St. Joseph, Michigan; Sunday to Michigan City, Indiana; and Monday to Jackson Park. This event is now known as the Tri_State Race.
The National Defense Program was rapidly taking shape, and yachtsmen were being called upon to participate.
The Club's Star Boat Fleet was expanding principally because of the efforts of R. A. Hess, Dr. A. H. Davis, and J. E. Elworth.
In 1941 during W.O.Dice's second term as Commodore, the lower deck porch of the Club House was screened in and a new service shed was added.
In commemoration of Wm. J. Moore's twenty_fifth year as Sail Race Committee Chairman, the Club held a regatta that was probably the most successful event of its kind ever sponsored by the Club, with 74 boats participating. This was the banner year for the large sailing yachts, as all records for entries were broken. The Saugatuck Race saw 63 boats go across the line. Our one_gun start from Michigan City jammed the line with starters and 58 boats finished. The Lutz races drew 7 contestants for the Lake Michigan "Q" Boat championship.
War was declared December 7, 1941 as Commodore Manning W. Hodgdon took office, and the Club's first year of operation during World War II began.
During 1942 the Lake Michigan Yachting Association promulgated the Abbott Hall training program designed to give naval cadets some real experience with boat handling. The Great Lakes Cruising Club instituted a course in navigation, piloting, etc. to help prepare yachtsmen for a naval career during hostilities. Both of these activities were strongly supported by Jackson Park Yacht Club members.
Facilities of the Club House were offered to the Jackson Park Coast Guard station for the purpose of entertaining recruits stationed there.
All yachtsmen were required to carry Coast Guard identification cards and many of the members joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary to assist in operating stations, patrolling rivers and harbors, and standing watch at shipyards.
Because of war_time conditions, Commodore Hodgdon and Secretary Gaetjens were forced to resign their offices, and a special election was held to fill the vacancies. W. 0. Dice, R. H. Rusco, and Earl Thompson were elected to complete the terms of office for 1942.
The Board of Directors passed a resolution authorizing the waiver of dues of club members while they were serving in the armed forces.
E. G. Daniels offered the Four_Mile Crib Race Trophy for competition in an effort to stimulate interest in this race.
The Board of Directors authorized the retirement of all Jackson Park Yacht Club Building Bonds four years ahead of schedule, and Section 10, Article IV of the By_Laws was changed back to its original form.
During Commodore Fay Rickard's administration, in 1943, the steward's quarters were enlarged. Many hours of service were again given to the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Navy League by many of our members.
Late that year the mouth of the harbor was dredged to a twelve_foot depth. 1943 saw limited Club racing, but inter_club competition continued to draw large fleets. Gas rationing definitely kept the powerboats in the harbor or in the shipyard.
Commodore Rickard's second term of office during 1944 saw more and more members going into service. Consequent loss in revenue made club management difficult.
Our Star Fleet increased to fourteen boats, as this class became one of the most active and popular classes on the lake. The Star Invitational Regatta became one of the high spots on the yachting calendar. The increase in the number of women as crews and skippers was noticeable as the armed forces drew the men into service.
Dinghy sailing was re_authorized, and this fleet became active during the "off" season.
E. G. Daniels was elected to serve as Commodore in 1945. With more than sixty_five members in the various service branches, the Club was hard pressed to meet current operating expenses. Material costs and other items had increased while receipts from dues had decreased more than thirty percent. Revenue from the sale of gasoline was down about seventy_five percent due to rationing. These and other factors made the Club's financial position extremely serious.
After consideration by the membership, an assessment was authorized to help meet 1945 expenses. This was only the third time action of this kind had become necessary since the organization of the Club.
Despite such drastic action and the general outlook, the Club's Star Class had a banner year. J. P. Y. C. boats won the major portions of the regattas in the Chicago area and climaxed the season by finishing one_two in the Great Lakes Championship Series held at Vermillion, Ohio. The winner was Dick Stearns in “Glider” with Dr. Florus Black and his “Silver King” as runner up. The J.P.Y.C. Junior crew won the Great Lakes Junior Championship at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1946 the Club celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of its founding under the leadership of Commodore Weldon R. Smith. Many special events were scheduled. With the lifting of gas rationing the powerboats planned an active program and resumption of the Annual Cruise to Saugatuck. The Star boats planned a Star Invitational Regatta and the Great Lakes Championship races. The Star fleet also installed a hoist next to the Coast Guard station to lift the boats on and off trailers. An open Regatta for all classes of boats was very well attended.
Commodore Adrian A. Walker took command of the Club for 1947. In this year the By_Laws were changed to permit the daughters or wards of members to become Junior members.
To help pay the rising costs of club maintenance, the dues were increased to $35 per year.
1948 saw Commodore Walker in his second year at the Club's helm. Mooring fees were substantially increased in the harbor. A gin pole was installed at the gas slip to help in stepping or removing masts or pulling out engines.
The Saugatuck Douglas Lions Club donated their perpetual trophy to the winner of the Saugatuck Race.
Lauren J. Drake was elected Commodore in 1949. Under his active leadership the Club constructed a new south float for dinghys. The steward's quarters were enlarged and refurbished. The ice house was rebuilt and a new gas pump installed.
In his second year, 1950, the members authorized the construction of a new steel sheet dock. The contract was given to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company who drove the plates down. The members pitched in and finished the job.
Jackson Park's Annual Winners' Dinner, which had been traditionally a stag affair up to this time, was held for the first time with our ladies in attendance and has been a success ever since.
Ralph W. King was chosen to head the Club in 1951, and re_elected in 1952. During Commodore King's active and successful administration the members authorized placing a time limit on the Saugatuck Race. This was done to assist the Lions Club there in the presentation of their prizes awarded at the end of the race.
The Club completely revised their By_Laws that had seen no major changes since 1939.
Lester E. Rickard was elected Commodore in 1953, and under his capable guidance the Club enjoyed a most successful year. Many needed improvements were made. A new electric hoist was installed at the north end of the parking lot for the Star boats to get in and out from their trailers.
In 1954, Commodore John F. Rice began his term of office and led the Club in an active year of yachting and social events. Commodore Rice maintained a full schedule of improvements.
Re-elected in 1955, Commodore Rice worked diligently to make our Star boat fleet one of the largest and best in this area.
Powerboat members took an active interest in the several navigational races and enjoyed an interesting season.
To better protect the Club property, a 1,000-foot cyclone fence was installed around the grounds.
Otis B. Duncan was elected Commodore of the Club in 1956. The Club installed a public address system to call to the various boats and much needed improvements were made in the heating system and in the galley.
The Lutz Trophy races, formerly for "Q" Boats only, became an open regatta for all classes. The Stars also participated in a three_race series known as the Tom O'Connor Series. Following his re_election for 1957, Commodore Duncan was instrumental in having our parking lot enlarged and graded. The Club erected a new ice house. Past Commodore A. A. Bennett died.
In 1958 Howard C. Black was elected Commodore and guided the Club with success and accomplishment. The club grounds were improved by a retaining wall and a dock to the south and the lawns and grounds were landscaped to improve club property.
After the concrete dock and floor was laid to the south the club made arrangements there for the winter storage of spars. This has been used extensively since then.
Club costs as far as maintenance is concerned were rapidly reaching an all time high and the club members approved a $25 assessment to offset them.
Commodore Black continued to lead the Club in 1959 and again the members and our organization prospered under his guidance. Changes in ByLaws and House Rules were made so that the management of Club affairs could be handled with greater efficiency. The Club lost Past Commodore Otis B. Duncan.
Donald Rice, Commodore in 1960, saw many changes in Jackson Park's Outer Harbor. The new Illinois boating law became effective on March 1. The wooden public dinghy dock collapsed and eventually was replaced by a much more solid and less convenient concrete dock. The Park District placed a sheet metal interlocking sea wall around the entire harbor except the Southern end, dredged the harbor to 8_10 feet and added 35 moorings. The Club started a permanent Sail Race Protest Committee, and initiated competition with Southern Shore Y. C. for the Hornsby Power Yacht Trophy. Jackson Park won the first contest.
During his second term, in 1961, Commodore Donald Rice arranged a dinner dance at the South Side Swedish Club to celebrate the 65th Anniversary. The 165 persons who attended included most of the living past commodores and several old members. A special yearbook also commemorated the 65th Anniversary. The Club replaced the Nelson's as steward and in the galley, not too successfuly, installed a water meter and got a new furnace, refrigerator, freezer, several new dinghy floats, and a newly paved parking lot. Dick Kaup's "Blue Horizon" won the overall time prize in the Chicago _Mackinac race to mark the anniversary year more firmly. The newly purchased "Fore Guys" became the race committee boat. Bill Whalen died. Past Commodore Howard Black became the Commodore of Chicago Yachting Association. Audrey Kaup joined Dick Kaup as cochairman of the Trophy Committee. Bill Kaup became editor of the Fog Horn, succeeding Carl Julstrom. Close to 100, a capacity gathering for the Club House, attended the Annual Winners' Dinner at which closed_Club race winners received their trophies.
Memorial Day 1962 saw Commodore Harold E. Jennings officiating at the opening of the Club's boating season. The Club had 189 members and a fleet of 117 yachts. During the spring, remodeling of the Club House moved the dining room and galley to the second floor and the Ladies locker facilities to the first floor where the galley had been. Dick Lambert became steward and the Steward's quarters on the third floor were enlarged and new fire escape exit provided. The Club also renewed the ramps, docks and electric wiring. Both the Power and Sail squadrons had an active year. The Commodore's "Lady Luck" won the LMYA_JPYC Michigan City race in July. We lost the Hornsby Trophy to Southern Shores in August, unfortunately with the donor present, but George Hillstrom's "Venture" won the USPS Navigational Contest in September. The Chicago Yachting Association selected Past Commodore Dunlap to be its Yachtsman of the Year. The Ladies Auxilary, headed by Beverly Kaup, adopted new by_laws, and held a successful spring luncheon at the Dorchester Club, spending some of the profit later to decorate the newly relocated ladies locker room.
Commodore Jennings started his second term of office in 1963 by holding a directors' dinner in the late winter and an officers' reception early in the spring of 1962. Carl Samans became secretary of the Club. Guy Jones succeeded Bill Kaup as editor of the Fog Horn after several years of fine work. The Power Yacht Association elected Bill Ascroft President. Frank Knieps recaptured the Hornsby Trophy for the Club. On September 28, a bad storm on Lake Michigan damaged a number of boats in the harbor. Great work by Harbormaster Norbert Schwartz, who was elected to resident membership this year, and the Police boat kept the damage at a relatively low level. Adrian Walker celebrated his 20th year as Sail_Race_Committee chairman. The Ladies Auxiliary, headed by Lorry Hillstrom, held another well_attended and successful spring luncheon at the Dorchester Club. The ladies then decorated their locker room further.
Hans Hjermstad became commodore in 1964. The Park District replaced the sidewalks on the docks, which had started to collapse the previous summer. The ice house was reconditioned and the Club House was painted. Bruce and Marie Mitchell made the Entertainment Committee's activities highly successful. Fleet Captain Clarence Hubert made the Opening Day ceremonies impressive. Fleet Surgeon Dr. Jules Masserman and his wife, Christine, gave the Club a ping_pong table for the benefit of the junior members, along with a first aid kit. Past Commodore T. M. Dunlap died. In one of its biggest achievements, the Club sponsored and hosted the United States Star Class Olympic Final Eliminations, from August 1 through 7, under the chairmanship of John Rice and King Stutzman. A closing dinner dance at the South Shore Country Club honored the winners: Malin Burnham, Richard Stearns, and Gary Comer. George Quandee's "Talisman," the smallest yacht in the fleet, won the overall time prize for the Chicago_Mackinac race. In the Michigan City_Chicago leg of the Tri_State Race, Carson Hoover's "Eslyn Ill" won the Lippincott Division I and Dick Kaup's "Blue Horizon" won the Inclining Rule Division II trophies. "Blue Horizon" later received the Chicago American's Captain Bill Whalen trophy for scoring the greatest number of points in LMYA sponsored races, and missed becoming Boat_of_the_Year by only 0.009 point. Howard Black's "Loafer," Tom Munizzo's "Rene," and George Quandee's "Talisman" represented Jackson Park in the Venetian Night Parade. After taking a thorough inventory, the Ladies Auxiliary under Lorry Hillstrom's leadership, purchased needed items for the galley, using funds secured from their annual luncheon and box supper.
The Club had another constructive year under Commodore Hjermstad’s leadership in 1965. A new gas-fired furnace was installed. The galley was updated to increase efficiency, the Ladies Auxiliary presenting part of the funds. Aldor Holmstrom became Steward. Docks and porches were repaired and the lawn in front of the Club House was replaced. A plastic awning was installed and the Club House exterior was steam cleaned. Dues increased to $75 to keep a balanced budget and to continue to provide services and activities to members. The annual budget was estimated to be nearly $15,000. Past Commodore Jennings served as C. Y. A. Commodore and hosted a fine Ball. The Club By_Laws were revised to provide needed modifications. Lillian Bailey continued to keep Club informed of member's activities here and in vacation areas. International code flag "A" was adopted by LMYA as a signal for contestants in powerboat events. Opening Day contest won by "Jo_De Il " (power boat), "Talisman" (sail yacht), and "Boo_Boo" (Stars). Fred Rowley elected to membership in Cruising Club of America, joining other former J.P.Y.C. members: Benedict, Dunlap, and Larish. Al Sanowskis' "Cigonis," the Club's representative in Venetian Night contest, won first place in her class, portraying the different public park sports and activities. Jackson Park again lost the Hornsby Trophy Contest. The Club experienced its greatest tragedy on the night of August 27th when the sailboat "Lorelei," skippered by Murray Morrison, vanished while competing in the George Harvey Night Navigation Race. No trace of the ship, her skipper or crew has ever been found.
Charlotte Jones served as chairman of the ladies auxiliary with Gert Smith chairman of the luncheon. Audrey Kaup won the door prize, a sable boa, and the ladies were in better shape to suggest and help with remodeling of the galley.
George Quandee was elected Commodore in 1966 and appointed George Hillstrom as Fleet Captain. On Opening Day, the members and guests inspected a revamped galley. Bud Russell, J. P. Y. C. member and officer of U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary aided in a courtesy inspection of yachts in the harbor. J. Leonard Mills, treasurer, 1936_1963, passed away March 31st and Roy Berkenfield succeeded him. Magnetic _card_ operated locks were installed on exterior doors. Frank Knieps received an award from the United States Power Squadron for good and unusual services. Ecology came to the Club and harbor with the Park District's edict for chlorinators or holding tanks for all yachts. George Hillstrom received a trophy when "Venture" won the 1965 Chicago_to_Great Lakes Navigational Contest. John Jansma's "John G.," decorated with the aid of Bruce Mitchell and the Museum of Science & Industry to resemble the U_505 submarine, represented the Club in the Venetian Night parade. Ken Bedell, Carl Kall1gren, and John Ruzich were elected honorary members.
Ladies continued to be active under the leadership of Charlotte Jones and held a successful spring luncheon at the South Side Swedish Club arranged by a committee chaired by Lucile Rice. They donated part of the proceeds to the Club to purchase a juke_box for Junior members.
George Quandee was reelected Commodore in 1967 and celebrated the event by buying a new "Talisman." The year opened with the annual New Year's Eve Party. Spring was enlivened by an April Fool's Party, and a brunch on Palm Sunday, the first of what should become a traditional gathering. Bad weather dampened, but did not washout, the Opening Day enthusiasm. The new race_committee boat was christened and displayed at the dock. Fleet Captain George Hillstrom introduced and developed a program of rides aboard members' yachts for LaRabida children. Gene McCarthy won the 34th annual J. P. Y. C. Star Boat Invitationals for the third consecutive year competing against many of the Middle West's best sailors. The Emmet Parkers' "Navigo" celebrated 30 consecutive years in the harbor. Guy and Charlotte Jones revived Jackson Park's Children's Christmas party, ably assisted by Marie Mitchell and Antje and Lauretta Hackel. Bill Bright was Santa Claus; Carol and Jean Rice, puppeteers; Ed Godwin and Chris Quandee as Santa's helpers. The Commodore appointed Marge Quandee to take charge of trophies and awards taking over, after many years, the fine work of the Dick Kaups.
Dottie Godwin chaired the ladies spring luncheon, at Kilty's Restaurant. This year the ladies gave the Club $50 towards the purchase of a piano.
Fred Rowley, became the 1968 Commodore. The program and fleet review on Memorial Day was capably handled by Fleet Captain, Jerry Clair. The Sail Yacht Owners' Association became reactivated with Carl Julstrom as acting president and adopted a simple measurement rule for closed club races.
Power boaters held a dinner on March 23rd, at which Commodore John Owens and Fleet Captain Robert Haney of Southern Shores Yacht Club were guests. Southern Shores regained the Hornsby Trophy later in the year to show their appreciation. As a gesture of good will to non_members with boats in the Outer Harbor, the Membership Committee held a dinner on April 26th at which they introduced the Club officers and toured the Club House; Thomas Munizzo, Jr. , represented the Park District. Entrance fees of $2 for sail boats in LMYA sponsored triangular races, and $5 for others were levied for the first time to partially defray costs to sponsoring clubs. Guy Jones became Commodore of the Lake Michigan Yachting Association, and Secretary Carl Samans became President of American Society for Metals, so we did not see much of him during the year. Roy Berkenfield, Bob Fox, Len Horwich, Ed Keeley, and Dr. Shayken represented the Club in the Venetian Night Parade. Len Horwich's "Unketchable" won an award for its decoration theme entitled Afro_Mania. "Jo_De II " was named J. P. Y. C. Boat_of _the Year.
Yacht "Swastika" represented the Club July 20, 1907, in the Chicago to Mackinac Power Boat Race, and was handled by its owner, Vice-Commodore F. H. Noble
Submitted by Bruce and Jonathan Allen, great grandson and grandson.
1910 Old Coast Guard Station
Great Grandpa Noble founded the FH Noble co. 559 W. 59th St. Chicago, that became the second largest trophy manufacturing company in the world. Under the leadership of his daughter Lillian Noble Keene (center), made bomb fuses to help the WWII war effort. The last photo shows my dear grandmother GaGa, Lillian Keene taking a ride in the USNavy early model wCurtiss Seaplane in Lake Michigan. Italian pilot on loan to instruct our Navy pilots.
Dr. Bayard Holmes assumed the leadership for two terms, 1911_1912, with the sky bright and clear, but clouds and storms followed and threatened disaster. The Club House sank in April, 1911, and again in April, 1912, necessitating an assessment on the members. This caused many resignations and the membership dropped to 176. Miss Bessie Bennett, in April 1913, presented to the Club the cup, which has been raced for annually ever since. The following fall the first High Jinks Day was celebrated.
The Club experienced two healthy years, 1913_1914, under the administration of Commodore Robert Tarrant.
History was written rapidly from 1915 on, when on August 24 Commodore Wm. Lawton inaugurated plans for a new club house, resulting in a memorable meeting at the Boston Oyster House on August 31, at which funds were pledged and plans formulated. Twenty life memberships were secured, forming the nucleus of the building fund. Twenty_four years later 16 life memberships are still in existence and 6 life members are still active in the Club. Many members still living and active were among those whose signatures on bonds raised the additional capital to rebuild the Club House.
L. V. Teesdale's plans were approved. Eric Stockman was empowered to build a club house on a scow built to order by C. W. Kraft, in March, 1916, and on Memorial Day, ushered in by a northeaster ' Governor Edward F. Dunne dedicated the house near its present location, in the presence of many hundred people.
World War I found the members of the Jackson Park Yacht Club prepared and eager to do their part. Forty_three percent of the membership, young and old, enlisted, the greater part in the Navy. This was a wonderful example of the value of the yacht club membership and association to the Nation in time of need. The highest officers of the U. S. Navy commended the ability of the men enlisting from the Great Lakes.
However, hard years followed for the Club. The membership dropped to 114. Debts piled up so the successive Commodores, P. J. Slagel and John Corcoran, had a difficult time keeping the Club above water during 1917 and 1918.
During his administration, 1920_1922, Commodore Herman Thorby started to eliminate the indebtedness of the Club, which had accumulated to staggering proportions, and during the last year of his administration the last of the bonds was paid. Under his successor, Commodore Wm. Hewitt the Club continued to prosper.
During these years, 1918 to 1926, the bright spots were the establishment of the J. P. Y. C. News, later the Lake Michigan Yachting News, the giving up of shore quarters, the use of the Club Ship the entire year, and the gradual increase in membership to 210.
Through C. W. Kraft's influence, Mr. L. C. Lutz, in 1922, presented the valuable Lutz Trophy to the Club. This is sailed for annually.
In 1921 the "Q" boats "Virginia,” “Carlos Alling,” “Jackson Park II,” “Commodore C. W. Kraft,” "Intruder," “John O'Rourke,” "Chaperon,” and "Commodore Samuel King,” finished the Mackinac Race in the racing division in the order named.
The summer of 1923 will always be remembered by "Intruder" winning, in fact, first place in the Mackinac Race. Later, however, she was disqualified on a technicality.
Also, in 1923 during C. W. Kraft's presidency of the LMYA, the influence of our delegates in the Association became a determining factor in preserving the existence of that Association.
It was during this period that our influence prevented the Universal Rule from becoming the only racing rule. This continued the Seawanhaka Rule, and allowed racing in both classes.
In 1924 Jackson Park inaugurated in this country the assimilation of the Sea Scouts of America as Junior members. Their enthusiasm in being a part of the Club added to its prosperity, activity and renown. Commodore A. A. Bennett and Samuel King headed the Club during this period.
Commodore H. A. Redmon took command during the years of 1925 and 1926. In 1925 Fred Weston was active in promoting the first fleet of one design boats of the Club, the "Jacks."
The Club continued to prosper, kept free from debt, and accumulated a substantial fund in the treasury.
During Commodore J. P. Dowding's administration, the following two years, many improvements were made to the Club property, such as completely refurnishing the Club Ship, and the building of the dinghy floats.
"Shalamar" of J. P. Y. C. won the cruising division of the 1927 Mackinac Race, and "Bagheera" and "Blue Moon" won the cruising and racing divisions, respectively, in 1928.
Commodore T. M. Dunalp's administration had just started, when, during the night of January 27, 1930, the Club Ship sank, but the old adage about the "ill wind" held true _-the membership went to work with a will under Vice_Commodore Kraft and Past Commodore Bennett who jointly assumed charge of the rebuilding operations. The Club Ship was moved to its present beautiful location. Because of the generous cooperation and hard work of the members, this was accomplished without outside contractor's help or outside financial assistance, and at completion was practically paid for. The present site was filled in, graded, and landscaped; the docks and retaining walls were built entirely by the Club with its own funds. This necessitated an assessment on the members, the second in the history of the Club. The hearty cooperation of the officers of the South Park Commission was of material aid to the Club during this difficult time.
During Commodore Dunlap's second term, 1931, Secretary Mark Wade presented to the Club the steel flagpole now in use, and F. E. Kilbourn gave the beautiful brass saluting cannon since used by the Club. Dr. Bayard Holmes was elected Commodore of the Lake Michigan Yachting Association for the third time, and the Club was further honored by Commodore Holmes' election as President of the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes.
During Commodore C. W. Kraft's administration in 1932 many improvements were made to the Club House and grounds. The service building walk and dinghy floats south of the Club were also constructed during the same year. The Jedrzykowski_Kallgren yacht, "Princess," won the Mackinac Race. Through the efforts of John O'Rourke, F. H. Noble, Past Commodore (1908), presented the handsome Noble Trophy. "Bagheera" again won the cruising division of the Mackinac.
In 1933, Commodore Charles Roovaart headed a campaign that increased the membership and financial status of the Club very substantially. Jackson Park Yacht Club took a very active part in yachting activities during the Century of Progress Exposition. Commodore Durl Runger, 1936_1937, had the distinction of also heading the Lake Michigan Yachting Association during 1934. "Princess" won the Mackinac for the second and third times during 1934 and 1935.
The Star Boat Committee headed by Wm. Wood, assisted by John Timewell, held the first Star Boat Regatta.
Robert Williamson was elected Commodore in 1934 and 1935, and succeeded in furthering the popularity of the Club in the open races, particularly the Saugatuck Race and the Michigan City_St. Joseph_Chicago Autumn Race. The Club was completely refurnished.
Robert P. Benedict, representing the Club, was elected Commodore of the Lake Michigan Yachting Association. During Commodore Williamson's administration great hopes were raised for an outer harbor. A committee, headed by Treasurer D. E. Currier, prepared plans which are under consideration by the Federal Authorities. Commodore Durl P. Ruger had a successful two seasons during the years 1936 and 1937, and turned the reins over to his successor, with the financial affairs of the Club in the best condition it had enjoyed in many years.
Carl Kallgren was elected Commodore for 1938 and under his capable administration the Club enjoyed a very successful season.
Frostbite dinghy races were started in the spring, and by fall the fleet had increased to unexpected proportions. In November the Club sponsored the first official regatta for sailing dinghies on Lake Michigan, fifty boats participating.
In December a general revision of the By_Laws was undertaken by a special committee headed by D. E. Currier, and the membership approved the revised By_Laws unanimously on March 14, 1939.
During Commodore Kallgren's second successful term the Club adopted the Peterborough dinghy as its officially sponsored one _design class and held its second annual Invitational Dinghy Regatta.
The Hommel Trophy was accepted in April and designated as the Universal time prize for the Saugatuck Race.
During this season the storm-warning tower was placed in operation, and the parking lot and retaining wall were completed.
1940 saw Commodore W. O. Dice at the helm, and there was early consideration for Club House improvement. Manning Hodgdon submitted plans drawn by Stanley Fairclough for complete remodeling. Decaying foundations and other problems necessitated raising the building arid restoring the foundations, so it was decided to build a new lower deck. Plans were considered and changed many times, and finally approved at a meeting held March 12, 1940.
The initial financing was accomplished through generous donations by many of the members. At a meeting held May 2nd, the members authorized a bond issue, which was prepared and managed by D. E. Currier. The ByLaws were amended to provide that all initiation fees and transfer fees would go toward retirement of the Jackson Park Yacht Club Building Bonds.