1896 – 1971 by Fred C. Rowley
Jackson Park and its lagoons were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also created, with his partner Calvert Vaux, New York City’s Central Park, the main park ground for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the south portion of Chicago’s emerald necklace boulevard ring, and the University of Chicago campus.
Soon after the dismantling of the 1893 Columbian Exposition’s fairgrounds in Jackson Park, the south lagoon drew the attention of a few yachtsmen who thought the lagoon could be made into a yacht harbor. They navigated their crafts in and out of the harbor under trying conditions for years. The placid surface of the lagoon hid many a dangerous 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.
Three years later, the expectations of this organization’s members had 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 the following officers: W. L. Hazen, 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.
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 By-Laws were amended to provide that all initiation fees and transfer fees would go toward retirement of the Jackson Park Yacht Club Building Bonds.
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.
The ladies auxiliary, with Dorothy Godwin as Chairman, enjoyed another good year. In addition to their spring luncheon at the Beverly House, they held a White Elephant Sale at the Club House, with Gert Smith as Chairman.
The Hayes Trophy was refinished and renamed the Hayes-Directors Trophy, presentation to be made each year to the Jackson Park member contributing most to yachting and to the Club during that year. Past Commodore Adrian Walker was the first member honored, at the Annual Winners’ Dinner in December.
The year 1969 opened with Commodore Rowley requesting, and the members voting, a dues increase to $100 after receiving a factual, comprehensive report of operating expenses from George Hillstrom and his committee. A budget of $20,400 was approved. The boating season opened on a bright, warm Memorial Day with a good turnout of members participating in sailing and shore activities. Carol Rice, blowing the trumpet during the flag raising ceremony, particularly, reminded club members of the recent loss of her father, Past Commodore Jack Rice, as well as several others who had contributed much to the Club. The remainder of the debt on the committee boat was retired, and the budget was kept in balance. A powerboat cruise to Great Lakes Naval Training Station was a great success, and the club was honored by a return courtesy visit by Navy Captain and Mrs. Dartin. John McInnis and Emory Soderberg were made honorary members. Bob Godwin was selected to be Jackson Park’s power boater of the year. Spring and fall harbor sailing was active and the old charter for the Penguin Fleet was reactivated. Barney Davis’ activities resulted in the use of credit cards for members’ fuel purchases. Ed Keeley and Bob Fox participated in Venetian Night. Jerry Clair won the Hayes-Directors Trophy as Yachtsman of the Year for his activities as Fleet Captain, and particularly, for promoting and executing the program of boat rides for LaRabida children. The Ladies Auxiliary elected Mary Tengblad chairman. Their major project was to redecorate the second floor and the newly completed game area.
Bernard T. Davis was elected Commodore for 1970. A Valentine Party started the social season. Mary Tengblad was again chosen chairman of the Ladies Auxiliary, which held their annual luncheon at the Club House in order to see the Club’s new decorations, executed by Lorrie Lennon and her committee. Aldor Holmstrom resigned as Steward. Carl Julstrom succeeded Guy Jones as editor of the Fog Horn. Memorial Day ceremonies were capably managed by Fleet Captain Bill Kaup. The Commodore recommissioned the Committee boat as “John F. Rice” and Lucile Rice christened it. The Sail Yacht Owner’s Association elected Bob Shogren president, and prepared a schedule of closed-club races. Emil DeHaan was elected president of the Power-Yacht Owner Is Association. A new and updated membership application form was adopted. A new member, Dr. I. M. Demovsky, returned the Hornsby Trophy to the Club, with Past Commodore Les Rickard finishing second. Dr. Shayken’s “Della Sue II” decorated in an Hawaiian motif, and Tom Dempsey’s Chinese Junk represented the Club in the Mayor’s Venetian Night parade. Guy Jones received the Hayes-Directors Trophy as J. P. Y. C. Yachtsman of the Year, for his services to the Club and the honor he brought them as Commodore of LMYA. The Bennett Bowl Trophy is still in competition after 66 years. A review of the Ladies Auxiliary’s financial activity revealed that, over the last 10 year period, they have contributed more than $1,850 to physical improvements in the Club House.
Bernard T. Davis served a second term as Commodore during the Club’s 75th Year, 1971. This anniversary was given considerable publicity, culminating in an October dinner. The membership numbered 151, with 29 power yachts, 46 sail yachts, and 17 Star boats. The lake water level continued high and caused considerable damage to the dock and floats. In the absence of a chef, Marie Mitchell again kept the galley in operation for the entire summer, helping the Club over a difficult period. The Club revised its ByLaws and brought them into accord with Federal laws, so ladies finally became eligible to be members, other than Flag. For the first time, race results were sent ashore by radio and put through a computer so corrected times were ready at dockside. Southern Shore regained the Hornsby Trophy with a zero error contest. Jones-DeHaan’s “Jo-De III,” and Ted Lealm’s “Windsong,” which won a third, represented us in the Venetian Night Parade. The Club installed an automatic fire and people penetration system, because there was no Steward living in the Club House during the winter. Nita Neumeister led the Ladies Auxiliary in a highly successful year, and Fred Rowley received the Hayes-Directors Trophy at the Winners’ Dinner.
Club membership ceased being a male bastion in 1971 when women became eligible to be full members.
Until 1965 women’s involvement in the club was as a ‘Ladies Committee’. A ‘Ladies Auxiliary’ was established in 1965 and functioned as such until 1983 when the ‘Ladies Auxiliary’ was disbanded to once again, become the ‘Ladie’s Committee’. In 1970 women were finally invited to attend regular meetings and have memberships. Until then, the Women’s (Ladies Auxiliary/Committee) meetings were held separately by in concurrently in the clubhouse.
As both a committee and an auxiliary the industrious women of the Club raised money via various sales, sponsored pot-luck dinners, and contributed generously to the purchase of equipment and furnishings for the Club. In 1976 the Auxiliary began a collection of burgees from yacht clubs worldwide for display on the dining room walls. A new color TV and VCR were purchased in 1988 with funds donated from the balance of the disbanded Auxiliary checking account and from proceeds from aluminum can recycling, a project begun by Gloria Fallon.
The social activities of the Club have been the catalyst for the ever increasing camaraderie of the membership Thanks to the enthusiasm, creativity, and hard work of the entertainment committees and all the willing workers the social program has been fun-filled and calorie-loaded.
Some events of past years such as the Children’s Christmas Party, the Palm Sunday Brunch, and the New Year’s Eve Party were discontinued in the early 1970s.
The JPYC Star Fleet hosted a cocktail party and buffet at the Shedd Aquarium for the participants in the World Star Championship Races in 1975.
Fred C. Rowley
1972 – 1996 by Sylvia F. Griem, Charlotte Jones-Kopence, and Pamela C. Rice
Membership of the Club in 1972 was 168. This number gradually increased to the current 221, which includes members in seven categories. Annual dues, which were $1.00 at the Club’s inception, were $35 at 50 years, $100 at 75 years, and $100 at Centennial year.
The most dramatic change in membership during this period was the decline in the numbers of power boaters from a high of 31 in 1974 to 2 or 3 in 1996. A national crisis in the fuel supply in the 1970s may have been the reason for this decline. In contrast, the number of sail boaters has increased to 158 from 60 in 1972. And our once highly acclaimed Star Fleet, which counted 17 members in 1977, was by 1988 nonexistent.
What has remained constant is the enthusiasm of the members and their willingness to contribute time and effort to the various activities of the Club allowing Club dues to remain relatively modest and promoting camaraderie, which is a hallmark of this small Club.
In 1976, membership dues were reduced for members older than 65 who had paid regular dues for 30 years and were waived for those who had paid dues for 40 consecutive years. Seventeen senior members who had been active members for 30 or more years were honored at the Otto Kopence Day dinner in 1992. Those honored were Oscar Eskonen, Adair Hess, Lester Rickard, Fred Rowley, Paul Sloger, Jim Irwin, Bill Hackel, Otto Kopence, Jules Massersman, Carl Julstrom, Marvin Glen, Robert Jones, Gene McCarthy, Bob Godwin, John Duncan, Bruce Hillstrom, and Scott Hillstrom. Fred Rowley was presented an award for his many years of devoted service to the Club.
The Clubhouse and docking and storage facilities have undergone regular maintenance and improvements, costs having been kept to a minimum by the efforts of many hard-working members who turn out for the spring and fall workdays each year.
Dues were increased in 1974 to $150 to cover expenditures on Clubhouse maintenance including a new roof and plumbing. In 1977 the external stairs to the second floor porch were removed and solid outside doors installed a security measures. The dining room was extensively refurbished in 1979. The front porch was rebuilt in 1980 and security was further upgraded that year with the installation of better lighting and a steel door. In 1990 substantial galley modernization was done, and in 1993 in anticipation of the Centennial celebration a $25,000 budget was approved to renovate the Clubhouse exterior including redwood siding and replacement windows for the second and third floors.
High water was a problem in 1973 and again in 1987 when sandbagging of the grounds was needed to prevent damage to the Clubhouse. In 1973 the high water limited the size of boats, which could pass under the bridge to the Inner Harbor and under the 59th street bridge. Low water became problematic in 1988 when water was 3 1/2 feet lower than 2 1/2 years previously. Many boats ran aground at the Outer Harbor entrance until extensive dredging was done. Dredging had been done in 1982 and was repeated in 1990, 1991, and 1995.
The Chicago Park District installed a south floating dock in 1978 when the need for additional docking space became evident and in 1979 began to install star docks at its various harbors. Two additional star docks and eleven finger piers were added to the Outer Harbor in 1983.
In 1982 the south end of the Club property was converted to an extensive dinghy storage and launch facility. By 1984 new storage racks for spars were planned and a year later new dinghy docks were built.
1988 was the year a computer system was obtained, which greatly simplified bookkeeping, billing, etc. It was also the year a fire severely damaged the Coast Guard Station across the Outer Harbor. Extensive restoration was planned but did not progress as rapidly as hoped. The Coast Guard fuel docks reopened in 1991, but it was only in 1992 that an Open House was held to celebrate the reopening of this beautifully restored facility. Harbor Master headquarters located next to the Clubhouse for many years were transferred to the Coast Guard Station.
In 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency promulgated new regulations about underground gasoline storage tanks. Inspection and registration of the Club’s underground facility were to be done, and pending that sales were discontinued at the dock. The expense of rebuilding the gasoline storage tank to EPA standards and annual inspection fees being deemed too costly for the Club, the storage tank was removed in 1992. Between 1989 and 1991 when the Coast Guard fuel station became operative, fuel for boats was carried in by boat owners or purchased at fueling facilities at other harbors.
Ice House restoration was done in 1993 and a member workshop was installed in it. The barbecue pit was demolished. The Harbor Master’s former headquarters became a storage building for youth sailing equipment.
The Army Corps of Engineers began extensive repair of Casino Pier in 1995 with completion scheduled for 1996.
Through the years the galley has been operated by a number of fine managers. To ensure adequate income for these proprietors, a minimum galley fee of $10 for each of June, July, and August was instituted in 1987. In 1991 the fee was increased to $20 for those months and $10 for September. In 1994 a proposed member surcharge of $75 for support of the galley was defeated. However, it was agreed that galley charges were to be paid by credit card, cash, or check rather than being billed to member Club accounts to facilitate cash flow to galley operators.
The Foghorn continued to be published as the Club newsletter. The editors who ably collected information and edited the house publication were: John Duncan 1972-75; Bob Reed 1976-78; Bob Fouts 1979-84; Bert Andresen 1985-87; Charlotte Jones 1988-90; Kathleen Jurkek 1990-95.
Interest in boating programs for young people remained high. In 1976 Junior Skipper races for youths under age of 15 were begun, and in 1981 a Junior Sailing Fleet for ages 12-21 was announced. In 1985 this junior Fleet became allied with the Sea Scouts’ ship “Neptune” belonging to the Explorer Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America. Another craft “Flying Cloud” was added in 1987. 1993 saw the return of junior sailing classes under the direction of Gloria Fallon, the Club manager. The affiliation with the Sea Scouts ended in 1994. The program for taking children hospitalized at LaRabida hospital for sailing excursions on members’ boats in 1967 continued.
Otto Kopence Day began in 1987, the afternoon of that day being devoted to various games and activities members’ children. Annual Commodore’s Day activities included the design, building, and racing of cardboard dinghies by young folks in the Outer Harbor.The story of racing in the JPYC since 1971 reflects the heightening interest in sailboat racing and the decline of the Star boat class and powerboat navigational contests.
The Star fleet in 1973 followed its tradition of sponsoring top Star regattas and added a new twist by staging three regattas all in one weekend. Forty-one Star boats from eighteen Star fleets were represented.
The Hornsby Navigational Trophy was established in 1958 by Edna Hornsby in honor of her husband, Bill, to promote good relations between the power boaters of JPYC and the Southern Shore Yacht Club. This contest was discontinued after 1973. Roy Berkenfeld’s “Roy’s Toy” and Isadore Demovsky’s “Bee Dee IV” being the last winners for JPYC in 1972.
The Cruising Sail Yacht Owners Association (CSYOA) has promoted a very full schedule of Club races including Wednesday evening races, weekend races and later in the season the frostbite series.
For a few years in the 1970s turnabout races were held in which Star boaters and cruising boaters swapped their vessels.
1977 was the year the CSYOA Commodore’s Day and Cup Race began. This has continued as the last gala sailing event of the season. A zany racecourse is laid out and various nautical activities are to be completed en route. This is followed by the cardboard dinghy race in the harbor.
In 1978 it was decided to have two classes of Club racing, one based on rating and the other a handicap class for cruising boats, the choice to be made prior to the race. This was to encourage more cruising sailors to participate.
The Raske Memorial Trophy was dedicated in 1979 to be awarded to the Club winner of the Michigan City to Chicago leg of the Tri-State race and in 1990 the Otto Kopence One Design Trophy was created. Fred Rowley donated a perpetual racing trophy in 1993 for an annual race bearing his name. In 1993 the Andresen Regatta became a benefit race with half of the entry fees supporting the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program for disabled sailors, which was begun in 1990 by the Chicago Park District. In 1994 JPYC hosted the first Area III Race for the Judd Goldman Program during the Andresen Memorial Weekend at which the Freedom Cup was awarded.
In 1981 the first of several annual smelt fries was put on by Bill and Antje Hackel, and the following year saw the beginning of an annual Halloween Party. A fish boil was held in 1983. 1986 was the year of a gala 90th birthday party for the Club at the Clubhouse.
Frank and Tess Garner (below) were the first African American couple to join JPYC. Frank was invited to join by a concerned member who wanted Frank’s Sea Scouts to be able to use the washrooms at the club. Frank later became the club’s first African American Commodore.
TwoJacksonPark sailors set sail in the Fifth Annual Single-handed Race sponsored by the Muskegon Yacht club on August 17th. Board member of the Single Handed Society, Ed Dybala in his 30 foot Pearson, Gamelan and restauranteur Allan Mallory in his J30 Pronto joined some 40 other sailboats on the 153 mile round trip from Muskegon to Racine.
The historic US Guard Station burnedown. Immediateiate plans rebuit were on the table.
In 1987 JPYC Committee Report on harbor options because of the trending high water over the previous years. The Chicago Park District had proposed a dam to protect the Outer Harbor. The estimated cost, $700,000. Member Bart Hogland was Chairman of thus committee.
Gloria and Tom Fallon were named Club Managers
Yatchsman of the Year Award went to Steve King.
The Nautical Heritage Museum at Dana Point, California is the home of the “Q” boat “Virginia” which used to sail out of Jackson Park around 1920….38 to 45 feet, Q boats were racing machines with beams no more than 9 feet (more in the January issue of Waterfront, a California boating magazine.)
Jac Callahans Brien Claire is beached upon the rocks at Jackson Park habor entrance.
Ed Palenik…Yachtsman of the Year
Charlotte Kones Kopence is Yachtsman of the Year
Commodore Hank Gattone in 1987 initiated a late Saturday afternoon get-together on the porch. Dubbed the “Popcorn Party” because of the purchase of a popcorn machine to provide snacks, this party with libations of assorted types and live music has proven to be a continuing success.
Among the regularly scheduled activities are hearty luncheons for workday workers in the spring and fall, a CSYOA Spring Bash pot-luck dinner, a Champagne Brunch on Opening Day, a MORF Round-Up Party, Otto Kopence Day Dinner, Commodore’s Cup Day Dinner, and the Andresen Regatta celebration in conjunction with the Judd Goldman races.
Various theme parties have been held, none more notable than the Hawaiian Luau of 1988.
Robert Nelson of “Daybreak” was JPYC’s first African American treasurer.
Burt Waters, a Chicago Policeman and skipper of “H2O”, was the first African American to be Head of Security. Waters also played TAPS on his horn for Opening Day Cereonies for many years.
The Annual Awards Dinner in early December outgrew the Clubhouse capacity of 100 in 1973 and since has been held at such places at the Willowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs, the Quadrangle Club on the University of Chicago campus, and the South Shore Cultural Center, formerly the South Shore Country Club. It remains the premiere social event of the year where members often have to reintroduce themselves because they are unrecognizable “all dressed up”.
1998…The seiche of 1998 hit South shore raising the waters levels to as much as 8 feet, around 8 a.m. The water came in so fast, it was running like a river. The trash dump and porta-potty were swirling around the parking lot. Cars were floating around like boats. If it were not for the pilings, many cars, would have been in the lake and boats that had gotten loose would have been stranded on the parking lot. The level, however, receded as quick as it rose.
A new racecourse was established in 1992. It was based on Olympic Star boat racing with a radius of one mile. Consistent windward starts were instituted. Wind and weather reports on NOAA’s weather channel from the 68th street crib were discontinued.
Also in 1992 organized cruising activities were instituted. Two such activities planned for that year were a cruise to Kenosha and another to Michigan City.
Beginning in 1994, spinnakers were allowed for one section of every Wednesday evening race. Thereafter the CSYOA awarded two Boat of the Year awards, one Jib and Main (JAM) and one with spinnakers. Also in 1994 JPYC and the Hammond and Indiana Harbor at East Chicago Yacht Clubs jointly developed a new regatta series consisting of three regattas (nine races) called the South Lake Series at the southern tip of Lake Michigan.
In 1994, JPYC saw its first all African-American crew of men and women compete in the 1994 Chicago-Mackinac Island Yacht Race. Upanayana, owned by Dr. David Blackwell, was captained by honorary club member and solo-circumnavigator, Captain William “Bill” Pinkney. Upanayana’s crew (all skippers) consisted of club members: Dr. David Blackwell, Wesley Smith, Ted Graves, Dr. Nate Morgan, Yvonne Nelson, Pamela Rice, as well as Robert Bassett and Lance Lovely.
In March 1995 the University of Chicago Sailing Club joined forces with JPYC to host its first annual Spring Thaw Regatta for the Midwestern Collegiate Sailing Association. Ten teams from eight Midwestern colleges raced Flying Juniors. A similar regatta was held in October.
Club members continued to participate successfully in the Chicago to Mackinac Races. The Hillstroms “Vigilant” placed second in their section in 1975 and 1979 and third in 1980. Tom Chambers captained “Blue Horizon” to third place in his section in 1980 and 1982, first place in 1983 and 1984 and second place in 1986 and 1987. Townsends’ “Virago” placed third in section in 1987 and Dave Morrow in “Latest Trick” was second in 1991. Tom and Marilyn Edman sailed “Pronto” to first in section in 1993 and 1995.
Chicago Yachting Association Boat of the Year Awards were awarded in their respective sections to: “Vigilant” – Hillstrom – #1, 1978 and 1982; “Silver King” – Hackel – #3, 1978 and 1980; “Blue Horizon” – Chambers – #3, 1979, 1980, and 1981 and #2 1986; “Virago” – Townsend – #3, 1983 and 1984 and #1 1986; “Airwaves” – Smirl – #1 1992 and 1993; “Punch” – Chernick – #1, 1994.
Edmund Jedrzykowski, holder of the #1 membership card and a member since 1926 died in 1985. He together with Carl Kallgren (Commodore in 1938 and 1939) had sailed “Princess” to first place victories in the Chicago to Mackinac Races in 1932,1934, and 1935. George Quandee (Commodore in 1966 and 1967) died in 1991. He won the overall time prize in the 1964 “Mac” with “Talisman” the smallest yacht in the fleet that year.
Awards continued to be presented at the Awards Dinner in December to winners of Club races and area races. The highlight of the evening is the awarding of the “Yachtsman of the Year” trophy, an award that prior to 1968 was known as the Hughes Trophy. It honors those members who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and service to the Club. Those who have been so honored since 1968 are:
1968 Adrian A. Walker
1982 John and Rose Borvansky
1969 Jerry Clair
1983 David M. Truitt
1970 Guy E. Jones
1984 Stanley H. Gratt
1971 Fred C. Rowley
1985 Edward Dybala
1972 Carl Samans
1986 Stephen D. King
1973 Marie Mitchell —-The first woman honored as the “Yachtsman of The Year”
1987 Raymond H. Andresen
1974 George A. Quandee
1988 Lu Orrell and Eunice Jackson-Lyle
1975 Gene T. McCarthy
1989 Henry J. Gattone
1976 John 0. Duncan
1990 Edwin Palenik
1977 Lael W. Mathis
1991 Charlotte Jones-Kopence
1978 Robert E. Fouts
1992 S. James Bown
1979 Robert G. McDonald
1993 Ray Hermanowicz
1980 Bruce G. Hillstrom
1994 Kathleen Jurek
1981 Gerald W. Miarecki
1995 Richard Schaefer
A less coveted award was established in 1984. Known as the “Grate Sailor Award” it is bestowed upon that boatman who has been discovered to have committed the worst misadventure (blooper) of the year. Except for when no worthy candidate was identified it has not been easy to decide on a winner from many potential front runners. Mistakes have run the gamut from being grounded on submerged pilings near the South Shore Country Club to accidental discharging of flares below deck. The following is a list of winners sans their embarrassing bloopers:
1984 Ray Andresen
1990 Harlan Dellsy
1985 Larry Meyer
1991 Bob Manning
1986 Dave Morrow
1992 Not earned by anyone
1987 Albert Waters
1993 Jack Callahan
1988 Jack Callahan
1994 Jim Webb*
1989 Cruz Family
1995 Cynnie Wittosch
*Award temporarily renamed “Great Sailor Award” and given to Jim Webb for a rescue mission during the Chicago to Mackinac Race.
Participation in the Venetian Night decorated boat events was enthusiastic until 1986 after which JPYC was no longer represented. In 1972 third place awards were won by James Valenta’s “Halcyon” and Robert Clark’s “Mariachi”. Dave Truitt’s powerboat “Intrigue” was a consistent entry and frequent winner having won a first place in 1975 and a second place in 1979, the latter with the Chicago Lighthouse as a theme and with the Chicago Children’s Choir aboard. In 1977 “Intrigue” was featured on TV Channel 7 (ABC) with its theme “Chicago Sings” and the Chicago Children’s Choir participating. A first place award was won in 1985 by the brigantine “Pinnafore” with a theme “We Are The World”.
In 1989 the JPYC Independence Day Regatta was part of the 100th anniversary celebration of Hyde Park’s incorporation into the City of Chicago.
John Duncan, Gerald Miarecki, and Raymond Andresen served as Commodores of the Chicago Yachting Association in 1978, 1982, and 1987, respectively.
A legal battle between boaters and the City of Chicago began in 1984 when the city imposed a 50% surcharge on mooring fees. A decision favor favoring boaters in a suit to block this surcharge was appealed by the city to the Illinois Supreme Court. In 1989 the mooring fee surcharge was repealed. However, mooring fees were increased by 20-25% that year, and an additional 10% increase was levied in 1991. These increases were to be earmarked for harbor improvements.
Members remember with some amusement 1978 the year when a sailboat remained icebound in the harbor all winter. It resumed sailing in the spring apparently none the worse for wear.
The Club and its members fortunately experienced few sailing disasters. One exception occurred in 1973 when Paul Gordon drowned while crewing for Fred Hendler on “Circe” when a severe squall hit during a Star race. Carson Hoover’s boat “Eslyn III” during a squall the same day on a race from Chicago to Michigan City was struck by lightning and two crewmembers were severely stunned and shaken.
Dave Truitt on “Intrigue”, a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel, was first to locate the crash site of a downed two engine plane on June 8, 1979 after an intense 2 1/2 hour search in dense fog.
As the JPYC begins its Centennial celebration in 1996 the major change anticipated is the privatization of the city harbors. The Chicago Park District has contracted Westrec Marinas to run the harbor system.
A Centennial Regatta is planned for the July 6-7th weekend, and the biggest social event of the summer is to be held on the Club grounds at that time.
The membership looks forward to another one hundred years.
1997 – Present by Pamela C. Rice
The 100th Birthday Celebration of JPYC
JPYC began its 2nd Century Opening Day with dignitaries, Warrant Officer Ginsburg, Commander of the Wilmette and Calumet Harbor Coast Guard stations. Marine Unit M-3, Chicago Police Department; C. Scott Stevenson, Vice President of Westrec, John Willy, Jackson Park Harbor Manager. Past JPYC Commodores Stan Gratt, Dave Morrow, Steven King, Raymond Andresen, Fred Rowley, Robert Fouts, S. James Bown, Berry Miarecki, and Robert Shogren. In addition, famed around-the-world solo-circumnavigator, Bill Pinkney, the Commodore of Burnham Harbor Yacht club, Tom Petkus and Jerry Metzger, Commodore of the Chicago Yachting Association.
In the JPYC Centennial Regatta, Pronto, Latest Trick, Punch, Peregrine, and Virago All posted First Places in the series of races with Perfect Lady and Annie in Seconds.
James G. Webb was elevated to “Old Goat” status in the Chicago-Mackinac Race. This was his 25th time participating.
Ted Graves worked with Scott Stevenson to try and improve the security of JPYC. Graves performed close and detailed monitoring, establishing a dialogue with the Chicago Police District Commander which aided invoicing our concerns over general park security and clearing the parks at the 11:00 p.m. closing hour. This went a long way in improving the late night safety of the grounds.
Paul Waltz joined JPYC in May 1999 and became our new Steward.
Honorary Member Captain Bill Pinkney was named to be the Captain of “The Amistad”, a reproduction of the 129-foot freedom schooner that was involved in the Amistad incident of 1839.
Water depth became an issue that season. Boats with less than 5’ draft can get into JPOH; boats drawing more, would get their masts stepped for free.
While April 15 is traditionally the day most boaters mark on their calendar as the day they will launch their yachts, Jackson Parkers in 2000 had to wait for the annual dredging. That year, many of our larger boats stayed in local boat yards awaiting the harbor’s dredging. Since this was the third year in a row that dredging was not completed in time for the opening of the harbor, JPYC lost upwards of 18 boats from its racing fleet over the last three years as they have migrated to other harbors that can accommodate boats drawing greater than 5 feet. In 2000 we ﬁnally had a channel with depths of 10 feet, good for another few years, even if water levels don’t begin to rise.
The late start notwithstanding, JPYC’s opening day ceremonies went off as scheduled, followed by a sumptuous brunch, and the annual Fleet Review with the appropriate martial music under the command of new Commodore, Cedric Chernick.
In February of 2000, renovations headed by Pam Rice for the lower levels began. Among these were new floors, lockers in the washrooms, toilets, partitions, sinks and showers. Involved were Bobby Mitchell, Bob Walsh, Eunice Lyle, Edith Hill, Jim Lett and Jerry Hutchinson. Dave Cox donated new furniture for the lounge area. Of course by the time the opening day rolled around, runny major improvements had already taken place. Dave Cox donated for the new wicker furniture for the downstairs lounge. Thanks to Dave Dobbs and his House Committee, the stereo system was completely reworked with new wiring and electronics and speakers, plus a CD player donated by Bill Christ. This was one of those “simple weekend projects“ that turned in to “just one more day and we’ll be done” jobs that lasted almost a week and many trips to the local hardware store. Fortunately, all of these projects were completed and ready for the club to host the Police Breakfast following the annual St. Jude Day parade. The club again provided facilities and served 150 Ofﬁcers from the local Third Police District.
During the winter doldrums, the club house remained active. Seminars on racing included speakers from local sail lofts imparting their trim secrets to novices and old salts. Mike Considine from UK sails and Perry Lewis from North Sails gave demonstrations. Additionally, seminars were also conducted by our own members on subjects ranging from navigation with a G.P.S. to diesel engine maintenance.
On the racing scene, despite the loss of 18 of our regular racers, JPYC was still well represented by its members in area venues. Annie, (skippered by Gerry Lesak), Boat of The Year in 2000, took first honors in that year’s South Lake Series, a nine-race regatta with the lndiana Harbor and Hammond Yacht Clubs. Annie scored four bullets and two thirds and won the individual trophy despite not being able to participate in the Hammond Regatta because of the low water levels. The South Lake Team Trophy was won by Hammond. In Area Ill, Pronto II, (Tom & Marilyn Edman) scored a first in their section in the Mac, and Providence (Gerry Miarecki) scored two Firsts in the TriState, as did Annie. The JPYC Wednesday evening race ﬂeet also returned to using a nine mark Olympic race course this season. Nine new marks, including one which was lighted, were set on a one mile radius with new ground tackle designed to stand up to the Lake’s many moods. By season’s end all but one were still on station. The Area Ill Race Committee headed by Bart Hoglund, managed two of the best races of the year with the LUTZ.
It was the year 2000. There was much controversy with the depth of Jackson Park harbor. Vice Commodore Cedrick Chernick, and Board member Ted Graves would take an official stance with Westrec. Westrec was overwhelmed with boaters wanted to transfer to escape the “shallows”. JPYC was threatened with losing boating members, especially racers.
April 2000 —
Jackson Park Harbor water level was 14” lower.
Jackson Park Yacht Club and LaRabida Children’s Hospital teamed up. LaRabida will use JPYC for small meetings and other public relations events, while their $14 million renovation takes place.
Membership Chair Stan Hill was commended for his outstanding recruitment of many new members.
Commodore Dale Smirl sponsors the JPYC Frostbite Races this year and was touted as ‘One of the Best Ever!’ by David Dobbs. Participating clubs: Chicago Corinthian, Belmont, Columbia, Burnham Park and JPYC. The Frostbite this year was organized by Rear Commodore David Dobbs, volunteers Harlan Dellsy, Vice Commodore Cedrick Chernick and club steward Paul Waltz
In May of 2001 a new By-Law Amendment came into play. The proposed change was to formally establish the JPYC Racing Fleet as a standing committee under the By-Laws of the club and enumerated the purpose and scope of the committee activities.
June 2001 —
Westrec dredges JP Outer Harbor. JPYC invite all of the sailors who left during the low water, to return.
JPYC celebrated our 105th Opening Day Ceremony!
July 2001 — JPYC hosted LaRabida Children’s Hospital reception with special guest baseball player, Minnie Minos.
JPYC enjoyed taking an annual overnight cruises to the Hammond Marina to have dinner at Phil Schmidths. Members who did not sail, drove.
Eight JPYC ships raced in the 2001 Mac Race this year, Golden Dream, Mischief, Witchcraft, Providence, Latest Trick, Pronto, Tall Dog and Airwaves.
This was the year of the First Annual Halloween Party
The Ladies Skipper Race, the South Lake Series, a new Cruiser Class and very popular off-season seminars returned to JPYC for 2001 after a low-water Lake Michigan problem. Frank Wittosch (Pepperke 2.0) was CSYOA Chair and John Dybas,(Jack-A-Roe) and Keith Taylor (Tall Dog)
October 2001 —
Tom Edmond and crew of Pronto participates in the Lloyd Phoenix Offshore Championship Regatta in Annapolis, MD
Schooner “Fame” visits Jackson Park Yacht Club. The Ridge Historical Society presented a special evening with boat owner, Mike Mulcahy. Mulcahy owned the last real gaff rigged schooner in Chicago (hailing for many year from JPYC). The program featured video excerpts of film taken by former owner Ted Dunlap from1926 through 1958.
A summer cruise to Racine, WI. Flotilla included Alpha Rays, Purple Reigns, Sea Horse, H2O, Simple Justice and Freelance.
Thanks to Commodore Frank Garner, the club was able to afford the roof that overhangs the club porch. Members and skilled craftsmen Johann Hudson, head of the House Committee and Matt Clifford built the wonderful structure— In fact, the entire porch was rebuilt. There were many members to assisted in the building as well.
Johann Hudson selected a beautiful carpet for the galley area which would last the club for many years. Hudson was also responsible for contracting a roofer for the club house and the Ice House with beautiful shingles and copper flashing that will last the club for years to come. We also must recognize our master electrician, Yassin Namdar. Mike Rummery for lending his skills in internet and our telephone systems.
In June, David Dobbs put out a call for a club steward. Members together were maintaining the club. Members who have never been on the scene, came out to become involved.
“Quinn Mary” Kurt and Mary Olsen, took First Place in Venetian Night this year.
Westrec supplied all Chicago Harbors with security.
For Opening Day, Past Commodore Bob Shogren and his wife, Carol returned from Florida to help us celebrate, and assisted in the placing of the memorable wreath.
MaryII scored again this year with a third place , with a “Lion King” theme and Ray Paul and his crew and Sea Scouts took first place with a theme of “Oklahoma!” with the grandly deco-rated St. BB. Last but not least was Tony Deters’ Blow Me Away, decorat-ed with a jazz theme and nicely done.
The club is going to have to replace the porch deck this fall, so keep your tools ready. We also need to paint the building siding, and windows, hopefully this fall. Two big jobs,but necessary for everyone’s enjoyment of our club.
The commodore of Columbia is offering to let JPYC members use their dining room, now that our galley is closed. I’ve eaten there and can tell you the food is better than great. Prices are reasonable, they will take credit cards, just let them know you’re from JPYC.
Jackson Park Yacht Club enjoys close ties with La Rabida Children’s Hospital, our neighbor to the East. Club, members serve as volunteers, contribute financial support, fly the La Rabida burgee from their shrouds, provide meeting space for hospital staff, share their parking lot, and occasionally make use of the La Rabida cafeteria for well-cooked meals.
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac: Providence (Jerry Miareck) finishes first in its division.
Under Commodore Stanley Hill, Alpha Thompson was awarded the “Yachtsman of the Year.”
Jackson Park Yacht Club announced it will run Match Championship Races for J-105 boats from Chicago Area Fleet 5 in effort to attract new racers and members to the club.
The club purchases a new Boston Whaler from Saugatuck, MI. — “Dolores” named after the “Rentners brothers’ mother.
The club has been re-vamped with new ceiling, lighting and ceiling fans (selected by Mary Avellone; a new furnace was purchased. All was supervised by Johann Hudson.
The EPA cracked down of boat sanitary systems. Every boat had just ten days to get certified upon arrival.
Westrec and JJR presented a study of the Habor/Expansion at South Shore Cultural Center. This was calling or a development that would be east of LaRabida, with the extension of the existing breakwall. This would house 700-1100 boats with transient slips, parking and other amenities. This fell through.
David Ward served as Commodore of MORF
Jackson Park has also taken a bold step by announcing it will run a Match Championship for J-105 boats from the Chicago Area Fleet 5 in an effort to attract new racers and members to the Club. Since the dredging issues over the past years, the club has lost 30 or more racers to other harbors. Now that the water levels are up and the dredging is being done in a timely manner, its time to attract the racers back to Jackson Park. The Match Race event is novel enough to attract these racers to participate. There has never been a Match Race event for J-105 size boats in Chicago and it has been well received by the J-105 fleet.
During the club’s rennovation, the entire club, basically had to be re-wired. Electrician, Yassin Namdar and Johann are responsible for this extra-ordinary commitment. They have save the club thousands of dollars.
The club also had to have a new furnace this winter, which Johann was responsible for supervising. All of us who have been by the club all winter have seen the welcomed transformation. Our phone system is up and running now as well, thanks to Mike Rummery.
The I-T Committee is beginning its expansion of the club’s broadband internet access to be available to all members. We will have in place a wireless network that will operate on the .11B and .11G transmission schemes. What this means is that if you have a laptop with a wireless access interface card you can access the internet at broadband speed while sitting on your boat
The Leutholds have donated two historic photos to be displayed in the club. Both of them depict the Santa Maria in the harbor.
Four boats from JPYC finished, three boats placed in 2005 Mac Race
Providence finished 3rd in section, 7th in fleet; Latest Trick finished 7th in section; Witchcraft finished 15th in section.
Eunice Lyle receives “Yachtman of the Year” Award
Wanda Robertson becomes JPYC’s first female commodore. Mary Avellone became Vice Commodore.
New card readers on both club exterior doors and the ice house were installed. The new key cards will be permanent and work for as long as you are a member.
Promotions began to increase the number of boaters to visit JPYC for the brunch and to take advantage of the best mast-stepping deal in Chicagoland.
A special feature at the 111th Opening Day Ceremony this year was the presentation of certificates of recognition to members of the Club for 30 or more years. The certificates were a project of Director Pam Rice. Nine senior members attended the ceremony to receive their certificates, including the newest senior member, Dennis Raske.
JPYC held its first annual Nautical Flea Market.
Diane Jaderberg voted the “Yachtsman of the Year”
Janet Hansen voted “Yachtsperson of the Year”
Brenda Murzyn, “Yachtsman of the Year”
Scott Stevenson of Westrec announced that the channel will be dredged in the spring unless the lake rises unexpectedly. There are plans in the future for a suite of about four washrooms each consisting of commode, basin, and shower, one of which would be wheelchair accessible, and a Harbor Master office upon a 22 by 40 foot barge in east-most slip, the first north slip of B dock. There are also plans for an E dock with a long ramp before the slips begin at the south end of the harbor, eliminating the star dock. The Bridge met with Scott in January regarding safety, fishermen, underwater obstruction removal, the floating bathrooms, and much more. The meeting was fruitful and encouraging.
Thanks to Past Commodore Frank Garner and Popcorn Party Organizer Tess Garner for contributing a new popcorn popper to the club. Since our old popper broke a year ago, we have been without popcorn for our Saturday night Popcorn Parties. We even went so far as to rename the parties “Saturday Socials,” a name evoking the parties of our grandparents’ day. Now, thanks to Frank and Tess, we can once again call our Saturday night gatherings by their rightful name and enjoy munching on fresh, hot, fragrant popcorn. Thank you Frank and Tess.
The Tri-State of 2010 was different. It was one of the years when Lake Michigan threw a “Perfect Storm” at the race committees, but the leadership, ingenuity, and tenacity of Janet Hansen and the rest of the JPYC race committee salvaged the weekend for 80 crews who sailed in what could be called the Bi State with a Twist. Weather forecasts were so intimidating for Friday night’s crossing that the Coast Guard offered to send out helicopters to follow the boats if they raced. Columbia and St. Joe Yacht Clubs decided to cancel the first leg of the Tri State, not because the sailors couldn’t sail, but because there was no safe place to raft up the boats on the St. Joe side of the lake. Janet Hansen, in rapid consultation with the Michigan City Yacht Club, decided to sponsor a race over to Michigan City that would leave Chicago on Sunday so that racers could return on the scheduled Monday leg of the Regatta. For the JPYC race committee, that decision meant an unprecedented amount of work: skippers in three states had to receive notification of the new races in time to get crew assembled, race committee boats with full crews had to be on site to start and finish Sunday’s extra race, and Monday’s race committees had to be available and on site in two different states.
There was a surge by Mary Avellone to make a true effort to collect yacht club burgees from around the world since the ‘Ladies Auxiliary’ of 1976 initiated the effort. The burgee exchange tradition honors our communication and experiences with sailors worldwide.
The Chicago Yachting Association in cooperation with US Sailing “Yachting celebrate on Saturday, December 10th at the Chicago Yacht Club – Monroe Station, Chicago Yacht Club. Jack Lyle, Nightwatch, was recognized as Yachtsman of the Year.
JPYC instituted a ‘Community Sail’ for folks and friends in the community to come out and experience sailing.
The Lutz Regatta & BluesFest 2012 was sponsored in part by Nissan and the WeatherMark
JPYC sponsors its first U.S. Sailing sanctioned “Safety @ Seas” Seminar.
Jackson Park Harbor dredging was completed on May 14th. At the May member’s meeting Scott Stevenson made a presentation of the progress of the dredging. The project left little to be desired, boaters will had to be satisfied with the results. Most understood the high and low cycles of Lake Michigan, but concerns were how boaters were going to be accommodated based on the rising costs to moor year after year.
Blues Fest-Lutz JPYC was held at Westrec’s 31st Street Harbor, Saturday July 6th. Although, a logistic challenge, the event was executed well. Close to fifteen boats from JPYC sailed down. With the help of members who contributed their time and vessels, guests were entertained and impressed with the outcome. Members made it an overnight affair on the ‘house’.
The Chicago Yacht Club BLINKER – Summer 2013 featured a great article by Commodore Paul Thompson III
JPYC’s Race Committee held a Race Committee Seminar 101 on May 3.
The club had an electrical fire that damaged the northeast corner of the building. The building was closed for a period of time. Jim Webb and Russell Fouts patched the fire-damaged floor in preparation for our new carpet. Special thanks to Members Johann Hudson, Yasir Namdar, Al Stanc, Mike Rummery, Dick Bauman, and Jim Lett who helped rebuild the fire damage. Hudson was responsible for the configuration of the new office and the new bar!
Long-time coming, our new exterior JPYC sign. Thanks to Johann for the installation.
A fleet of kayaks come to JPYC as a part of our offerings to members.
David Ward became a big time winner, Midwestern Open Racing Fleet.
Awards and Recognition:
Boat of The Year – 5th Place Unknown Lady 2 David Ward
Performance Series – Section S4 – 8th Place – Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
Competition Series – Section S4 – 5th Place – Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
Long Distance Series – Section S4 – 5th Place – Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
Dominic Marano Regatta – Section S4 – 9th Place – Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
UK Hasley Sprint Regatta – Section S4 – 4th Place – Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
Weathermark Tavern Sprint Regatta – Section S4 – 6th Place – Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
Skyway Yacht Works Sprint Regatta – Section S4 – 5th Place — Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
MORF Open Series Fleet – Section S5 – 8th Place – Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
MORF Open Series Section – Section S5 – 2nd Place – Unknown Lady 2 – David Ward
Captain David Ward of ‘Unknown Lady2’
Places 5th Place in Section on the 2015 Chicago to Mackinaw Race
A Chicago Park District youth sailing program came to Jackson Park Yacht Club.
Three-time America’s Cup winner Dennis Conner had told Sailing magazine in 2013 or so that FAME had been found along a highway lying in a ditch. This was a tall tale. Pam Rice wrote to Sailing magazine to correct the tale.
Stan Hill, Jim Lett, and past owner, Mike, Jack Lyle and Carl Botts took FAME on one of her last sails. Some club members made an offer to jointly buy FAME.
JPYC LOAN PROGRAM We have all sorts of fun options for you at the Club. If you’re interested in borrowing the kayaks, Flying J’s, bikes or Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), come by the office to speak with the Steward or Coordinator. Everyone (including guests) must fill out a new 2015 Liability Form and get on the equipment schedule. Remember safety comes first. Wear a life vest whenever you’re on or around the water or a bicycle helmet when riding a bike.
JPYC Members Sign Up to Sail to Cuba!
Club Tries a New Venue — OBYSS ENTERTAINS EVERY SUNDAY Afternoon.
New Lockers for the Club—
Member Kathy King and her ‘green- thumb’ committee has been working tirelessly throughout the spring to bring life to the JPYC grounds.
Captain David Ward of ‘Unknown Lady2’ — Places 5th Place in Section on the 2015 Chicago to Mackinaw Race
The club honors past Commodore Stanley Gratt and Commodore Frank Garner at Opening Day Ceremony
‘Safety at Sea Seminar’ touted as The Best The ‘Safety at Sea Seminar’ hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club was by declaration by Commodore Webb and Dennis Hansen as the best seminar they have ever taken. The seminar was moderated by Brian Adams, an experienced Mac racer from Milwaukee. This daylong seminar was intended for racers or offshore cruisers and focuses on topics of offshore safety including emergency communications; man overboard prevention and recovery; personal safety gear; offshore weather and conditions; and other topics of offshore safety.
Dolores (the Whaler) gets a make-over to participate in the America’s Cup hosted by Chicago.
Chill Out Fund — Commodore Jim Webb collected for our Club to have central air. Already donated: Sea Scouts, Dick Baumann, Jim Lett, Chad King, Matthieu Caffrey, Dave Ward, Dave C, Ted Graves, Pam Rice, Anne Marie Miles, Marlon Harvey, Don Allen, Dave Dobbs, Dennis Hansen and Anonymous.
JPYC purchases twelve(12) BUGS for the new Junior Saiing Program
NOTE: ADDITION OF JPYC HISTORY IS ONGOING
JPYC’s Opening season had a very unfortunate start. Past Commodore James ‘Jimmy’ Webb fell to his death from the roof of the club while members were preparing the club for our Opening Day ceremonies. It was a great lost to JPYC and a blanket of sorrow covered the season. Jimmy was the third generation of his family involved in JPYC.
The Jimmy Webb Sailing Scholarship Fund was formed to assist young sailors in the community to learn to sail.
Jimmy Webb was also credited in proposing the Jackson Park Outer and Inner Habor configuration that coincided with the Obama Library and the proposed PGA Golf Course to replace both Jackson Park Golf Course and the South Shore Golf Course.
The only Black captains in the Chicago-Mackinac Race of 2017 finished and placed.
Commodore Karen Harris insitituted a re-vamp of the JPYC website and called for an update of JPYC online history.
The Bridge, the Board and members have been actively meeting with officials from the Obama Foundation and other groups involved in the development of the Obama Presidential Center and the re-development of the Jackson Park golf course.
Harris starts a campaign to recruit sponsorships for the new Junior Sailing Program.
The Gold Star Regatta is a fundraiser sailing race created by JPYC member, Marlon Harvey, founder of the Chicago Police Sailing Association. The organization is to support surviving family members of Chicago Police Officers killed in the line of duty. 2017 was the first year for the Gold Star Regatta. The race benefits the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, the Brotherhood for the Fallen and the 100 Club of Chicago. JPYC is proud to sponsor the Gold Star Regatta. This is a way Chicago’s sailing community honors and supports fallen police officers and their families that have suffered the ultimate sacrifice.
Commodore Karen Harris presents New “JPYC Crew U” Sailing Program for 2018
In the spring of 2018, JPYC will launch JPYC Crew U — a series of 4 weeks of classroom-based sailing lessons for beginning adults sailors. These classes will introduce beginner adult sailors to the world of sailing including terminology, anatomy of a boat, points of sail, knots, tacking and jibing, navigational aids and safety.
Inaugural Chicago Junior Race Week
2017 was the inaugural year for the Chicago Junior Race Week (CJRW). JPYC, in collaboration with Chicago Yacht Club, Burnham Park Yacht Club, Columbia Yacht Club and Corinthian Yacht Club, organized CJRW which was also sponsored by Harken. 125 boats, from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, Maryland and St. Thomas, entered the 3-day regatta which included a distance race, called the “Mini Mac” and buoy races for all levels. JPYC hosted the Green/Beginner fleet in its harbor. This annual event is expected to grow and become one of the premium junior racing events in the Midwest
Open Horizons Sailing Program Launches Summer 2018
Located in South Shore, one of Chicago’s neighborhoods hardest hit by gun and youth violence, the Jackson Park Yacht Club (“JPYC”) and its foundation, the Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation (“JPYC Foundation) sees on a daily basis the devastation that such violence has had on our community and its youth.
In order to combat the dramatic increase in youth and gun violence in Chicago, and in particular in its neighborhood, South Shore, and the surrouding neighborhoods in the summer of 2018, the JPYC Foundation is launching the Open Horizons Youth Sailing Program.
This program, which will target low-income, minority, at-risk children and youth ages 8-18, will teach leadership, teamwork and conflict resolution skills through sailing. The program will run from June to August and will consist of five sessions of two weeks each. Classes will be held Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. Instruction will take place in Jackson Park Outer Harbor in Lake Michigan and will include both classroom and hands-on on-the-water activities. The program will be overseen by our Sailing Program Director Classes and a staff of instructors all of whom will be US Sailing Certified instructors (Level 1 and Reach/STEM certification).
JPYC Foundation Receives 501(C) (3) Approval
As you may know in addition to Jackson Park Yacht Club (“JPYC”) we have a separate entity – the Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation (“JPYC Foundation”). Formed in 2012, the JPYC Foundation was created to serve as the charitable branch of JPYC to promote boating education. Specifically the JPYC Foundation’s mission is to is to provide outreach, education, training, support and resources necessary to engage young people and adults in boating and other activities on and around the water, including non-traditional participants in boating activities.
I am pleased to announce that on March 1, 2018 the Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation (“JPYC Foundation”) received its IRS 501(c)(3) approval effective January 27, 2018.
This means that the JPYC Foundation is tax-exempt entity and donations to it are tax deductible for donors. We hope that you will consider the JPYC Foundation as part of your future giving and encourage others to do so as well.
In the coming weeks we will share more about the JPYC Foundation and the charitable activities and programs that it will be sponsoring during the 2018 season, including how you can become involved.
We are excited about this wonderful opportunity to be of service in our community and hope that you are too.
Thank you to everyone who helped in this process and congratulations to the JPYC Foundation on its 501(C)(3) status!
Wishing you fair winds and following seas.
JPYC Meets With Jackson Park Re-Development of Local Golf Course / Proposed Jackson Park Inner & Outer Harbor
JPYC’s Bridge, Board and members have been actively meeting with officials from the Obama Foundation and other groups involved in the development of the Obama Presidential Center and the re-development of the Jackson Park golf course. In particular, JPYC presented a proposal to redesign Jackson Park Inner and Outer harbors as part of the redevelopment in order to provide boaters with greater access to these harbors. The proposal, which was conceived of by former Commodore Jimmy Webb, was well-received by community groups.
JPYC Participate in a the Military Outreach USA — Sail for Veterans. – July 1, 2018
Jackson Park Yacht Club had six boats participating. Thirty verterans showed up for a sail with members. It was truly an all-out success. Boats that participated, i b @ sea.calm (Pam Rice); Dave Cox (Electra); Mischeif (Dave Travis); Maggie Marie (Marlon Harvey); Golden Dream ( Luke and Laura Wolbrink); Nightwatch (Jim Lett); Dick Baumann (Andale); Kristopher Reichert ( Angry Sloth); Bob Craven (Ahab)
August 17, 2019 Joe Harris was Inducted into The Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation (LMSRF)
Few of the inductees to the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall Of Fame have had the opportunities to expose so many young people to sailing as Joey Harris. He was Director of Sailing for Columbia Yacht Club from 1993 to 2001, Head Sailing Coach at California Maritime Academy in 2001, Director of Sailing at St. Francis Yacht Club in 2002 and 2003, Director of Sailing at Grosse Point Yacht Club from 2003 to 2005, Director of Sailing for the City of Lake Forest from 2005 to 2009 and became the Manager of Sailing for the Chicago Park District from 2009 continuing thru this date.
These opportunities had an inauspicious beginning. Joey’s mother, a Chicago school teacher, decided to teach summer school when Joey has about 10 years of age. To keep him on the good road she enrolled him in the Columbia Yacht Club’s junior sailing program. Although trying hard, in the final race of the season he placed last. Beginning that fall he read every book about sailing he could find. In the following season’s championship he beat all other students, this action beginning his sailing career.
In grammar and high school Joey won many regattas. In 1988 he was selected to compete in the US Sailing Youth Championship held in Mission Bay, CA. He has been awarded Columbia Yacht Club’s Junior Sailor of The Year more times than anyone else. He graduated from Rhode Island University in 1992 where he was on the university sailing team and was Freshman Team Captain.
After beginning his professional career he also gave his free time to serve the sport of sailing. He has served the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Board of Directors/ Youth Council Chair (2007-2013), US Sailing Board of Directors as Member at Large (2002-2004), US Sailing General Services Committee (2002-2005), US Sailing Junior Championship Committee (2004-2005) and US Sailing Instructors Coaches Council (2005-2007).
Joey has won the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy – National Sportsman of the Year Award from US Sailing (1998) and US Sailing Community Sailing Award for Outstanding Adaptive Sailing Program (2014). This latter award was granted because of his success in merging two programs, the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program and the Chicago Park District Rainbow Fleet, into one all encompassing sailing program, The Judd Goldman Community Sailing Program. This program requires his supervision over participants, volunteers and staff for all sail training and racing programs including 16 seasonal positions, over 50 volunteers and more than 1,300 program participants each year and a fleet of over 50 boats.
While engaged in all these professional activities, Joey found time to enjoy sail racing. He was a member of the Olympic Sailing Campaign in the Soling Class where his team placed 8th in the pre-trails. He placed 15th out of 73 in the Buzzards Bay Vanguard Regatta. In 2016, Joey and teammates raced in the Conch Republic Cup going from Key West Florida to Varadero, Cuba, winning 2nd place. In 2017, his team won the Chicago NOOD Regatta overall in the yacht Mutiny.
Joey has a Coast Guard Master Inland NMT 50 Ton License with the Sailing Endorsement , Great Lakes and Near Coastal Endorsements. He is a US Sailing Certified Club Race Officer, a First Aid and CPR Instructor, a US Sailing Certified Power Boating Instructor, a Level 3 Coach Trainer, a Level 2 Small Boat Instructor Trainer and a Level 1 Small Boat Instructor trainer.
Joey has been instrumental in expanding opportunities for all children and adults to enjoy sailing. For example, through Joe’s leadership the Chicago Park District and After School Matters, in partnership with Navy Pier, created a sailing apprenticeship program for high school students. The free 10 week program is designed to get students interested in various aspects of the marine industry. Students earn stipends of up to $100 at the conclusion of the apprenticeship as “completion awards”. Additionally, students who complete the course are eligible to apply for an internship with the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation through the Sports 37 program.
Joey was also instrumental in implementing the America’s Cup’s Endeavor Program in Chicago. The Endeavor Program introduces students to sailing as a way to learn about science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). In particular, the AC Endeavor Program partnered with the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Parks Foundation and the Chicago Match Race Center to launch the program in Chicago thereby allowing hundreds of Chicago students to use sailing as a way to apply their STEAM education curriculum on AC Endeavor boats. And it would be to literally change their perspective of both their lives and city life by actually getting them offshore and allowing them to look back to the city that they just left.
Joey’s career has provided so many people the opportunity to experience the value of the sport of sailing that the Board of Directors of Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation takes great pleasure in inducting Joey Harris into the Lake Michigan Sailing Hall Of Fame.
The Siebel Sailors Program Comes To Jackson Park Yacht Club
The smiling has been contagious out here in Chicago! We have launched our 24 RS Feva XL Boats into Lake Michigan at three locations: Columbia Sailing School, Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation, and Sheridan Shores Sailing School.
As the kids flooded into each of the locations for demo days you could see the excitement on their faces. Some of the kids at all three locations had been sailing before; however, for many it was their first time ever being on Lake Michigan or in a boat. Despite some nerves they all jumped right in and never looked back! The smiles could be seen all over Lake Michigan on demo days.
At the Jackson Park demo day, I met one of their instructors, Myles, who really left an impression. He grew up in Chicago and learned how to sail at Jackson Park Yacht Club. He was able to graduate high school early so that he could attend college and he was one of the first in his family to do so. That alone was quite impressive, but what is even cooler is how sailing made such an impact on his life that he wants to go into the Coast Guard. This winter he will begin his Coast Guard training and bootcamp. At JPYC’s demo day, Myles shared his passion with over 25 sailors and their families. He took kids for a ride out in the Feva and the kids always came in with a huge grin on their faces and wanting more!
January 2020 W.O.W — Women on Water
This organization celebrates the contributions of women in the maritime industry and empowered the next generation of female mariners.
This program is designed to give women of all ages and from all walks of life the opportunity to experience sailing in both a racing and non-racing capacity.
There are opportunities designed to get women behind the helm and to enjoy the boating lifestyle with a series of workshops, mock interviews, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and speeches from the maritime industry’s top female professionals.
The first meeting was held Saturday, January 25, 2020 — Dehia Urgesi-Gray, Organizer
PHOTOS: Arliss Ball
COVID-19 interrupted the operations of JPYC and no open house was held.
CHICAGO’S VERY OWN
Current sailor, former teacher uses her unique skill set to make masks
by: Micah Materre, Kelly Barnicle
Posted: Jun 12, 2020 / 09:59 PM CDT / Updated: Jun 12, 2020 / 09:59 PM CDT
CHICAGO — During the coronavirus pandemic many Chicagoans stepped up to help supply personal protection equipment to frontline workers. But one Hyde Park woman used her unique skill set as a retired teacher and sailor to help get thousands of mask to those in need.
Leslie Travis is an avid sailor. But she never thought her sailing skills would come into play during this COVID-19 pandemic. She was already adept at sewing to mend tears in the sails on her boat. She says every good sailor knows how to sew.
So when the virus hit Chicago last March her friends in the medical field turned to the mariner for help.
Travis began making, on average, 10 to 15 masks a day. But quickly the demand outweighed the supply.
“And I thought, ‘Okay, maybe if we’re going to need a whole lot of these things, I should figure out what is the most efficient way for me to use my time to get a lot of masks into circulation.’”
So the retired grade school teacher drew on her teaching skills and created a do-it-yourself mask kit with precut fabric, instructions and even a thank you card.
Travis called in reinforcements, including her sail maker.
“They have been cutting five hours a day, five days a week for free, cutting fabric that my neighbors donated,” Travis said.
In just six weeks she was able to distribute enough kits to sew over 4000 masks. She keeps a list of those still in need. She’s donated her kits to numerous agencies including hospitals and food pantries.
She keeps the supply chain moving by posting daily on Facebook and other social platforms asking for donations.
JPYC Foundation – Diversity Call to Action to Chicago Boaters
By Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation | July 27, 2020 | Chicago, IL
Over 2 million people live in Chicago, yet over 800,000 Chicagoans, many of them low income children of color, have never even seen Lake Michigan, let alone been on a boat.
The Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation (JPYC Foundation) sees maritime activities as one way to address Chicago boating, and especially the sport of sailing’s racial and economic disparities.
Honorary Club Member, Captain William ‘Bill’ Pinkney is Inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame
JPYC celebrates upon his return.
JPYC Safety Course for Human-Powered Craft:
We require people to take a kayak certification course before using JPYC kayaks. Because of COVID-19, the Kayak Committee created an online version people can take. We charge $10 for this course.
Ship 5212 turns up to clean up 63rd Street Beach! Special thanks to The Great Lakes Alliance and the Shedd Aquarium for organizing this event!
In December, of 2022, JPYC members voted on an all new bridge commanded by Marlon Harvey. Commodore Harvey instituted an ‘Oath of Office’ for the installation of all JYPC’s officers. Prior to this, there was never an oath of commitment
Marlon Harvey – Commodore
Chiaka Patterson – Vice Commodore
Kim Webb – Rear Commodore
Eric Small – Treasurer
Talayah Stovall – Membership Secretary
Luke Wolbrink – Recording Secretary
Janet Hansen – Immediate Past Commodore
It was time for a club overhaul. Under the command of Harvey and Patterson, the club’s business and financials were immediately put in order.
Commodore Harvey positioned the club for growth. Relationships between the Chicago Park District, Westrec, and community organizations were forged.
After years of neglect, the dredging situation in Jackson Park Outer harbor was addressed with an understanding that it continue as annual maintenance.
U.S Coast Guard recommended 10 foot minimum.
The JPYC fleet, which had been neglected for years was also addressed with the local boat yards. With negotiations, we eliminated unnecessary costs as well as part of the fleet at a tremendous savings to the club.
New grounds, and house committees; our website and IT committees were also revived.
Presently, there are talks with Westrec of putting an outpost of JPYC at 31st Street. There are a dozen boaters who have signed up. This arrangement will promote membership at JPYC as well as weekly races.
Also, after a decade, a club assessment was imposed due to the rise in operational costs. Selling advance tickets and encouraging the membership to purchase additional tickets promoting events was necessary.
Overall in 2023, JPYC is on course and sailing in a positive direction.
1900 – 1971
1900 W. L. Hazen 1936 D. P. Ruger
1901 W. W. Weightman 1937 D. P. Ruger
1902 W. W. Weightman 1938 Carl Kallgren
1903 Henry D. Hatch 1939 Carl Kallgren
1904 J. R. Brunnick 1940 Manning Hodgdon
1905 Charles L. Bliss 1941 W. 0. Dice
1906 H. P. Simonton 1942 W. 0. Dice
1907 H. P. Simonton 1943 Fay Rickard
1908 F. H. Noble 1944 Fay Rickard
1909 A. A. Bennett 1945 E. G. Daniels
1910 Ralph Ware 1946 Welden Smith
1911 Bayard Holmes 1947 A. A. Walker
1912 Bayard Holmes 1948 A. A. Walker
1913 Robert Tarrant 1949 L. J. Drake
1914 Robert Tarrant 1950 L. J. Drake
1915 Wm. M. Lawton 1951 Ralph King
1916 Wm. M. Lawton 1952 Ralph King
1917 P. J. Slagle 1953 L. E. Rickard
1918 P. J. Slagle 1954 J. F. Rice
1919 J. F. Corcoran 1955 J. F. Rice
1920 J. F. Corcoran 1956 Otis B. Duncan
1921 C. H. J. Thorby 1957 Otis B. Duncan
1922 C. H. J. Thorby 1958 Howard C. Black
1923 Wm. F. Hewitt 1959 Howard C. Black
1924 A. A. Bennett 1960 Donald R. Rice
1925 Samuel B. King 1961 Donald R. Rice
1926 H. A. Redmon 1962 H. E. Jennings
1927 H. A. Redmon 1963 H. E. Jennings
1928 J. P. Dowding 1964 H. U. Hjermstad
1929 J. P. Dowding 1965 H. U. Hjermstad
1930 T. M. Dunlap 1966 George A. Quandee
1931 T. M. Dunlap 1967 George A. Quandee
1932 C. W. Kraft 1968 Fred C. Rowley
1933 Chas. Roovaart 1969 Fred C. Rowley
1934 Robt. Williamson 1970 Bernard T. Davis
1935 Robt. Williamson 1971 Bernard T. Davis
1972 – Present
Roy K. Berkenfield 1972-73
John 0. Duncan 1974-75
Robert G. McDonald 1976
Robert A. Shogren 1977-78
Robert B. Reed 1979
Gerald Miarecki 1979-80
Robert E. Fouts 1981-82
Raymond H. Andresen 1983-84
S. James Bown 1985-86
Henry J. Gattone 1987
Douglas K. Mensing 1988
Steve King 1989
David Morrow 1990-91
David M. Truitt 1992-93
Stanley H. Gratt 1994
Harlen Dellsey 1995-96
Frank A. Garner 1997-98
Dale L. Smirl 1999-00
Cedric L. Chernick 2001
David L. Dobbs 2002-03
Stanley L. Hill 2004-05
Wanda J. Robertson 2007-08
Mary Avellone 2009-10
Dennis Hansen 2011-12
Paul Thompson III 2013-2014
James Webb 2015-2016
Karen K. Harris 2016-2018
Janet K. Hansen 2018- 2020
R Delacey Peters 2020-2022
Marlon Harvey 2022 – Present