September 30, 1889 - Yacht Club Begins to Organize
Six weeks before Washington became the 42nd state, a group of 26 sail and power boaters met under the leadership of Linus A. Post, the club's first Commodore, with the expressed desire of organizing a yachting club.
June 24, 1890 - Yacht Club Formally Established
Formal announcement of the Articles of Association and Bylaws was made. These provided for a Board of seven Managers to conduct club affairs. Seventy-five dollars was set as the initiation fee and annual dues were to be twenty-five dollars.
August 23, 1890 - Maury Island Clubhouse Dedicated
With grand ceremony the new clubhouse at Manzanita Beach, off Maury Island, was dedicated. $500 was spent on the celebration which culminated with fireworks, on which one member had spent $150. The membership of 54 had invested $3,500 in the clubhouse, grounds and pier. At a later date $1,700 was spent on a launch for the use of members as they went back and forth to Tacoma.
1893 - Economic Disaster
Disaster struck with the economic panic and the new club was almost wiped out. At the October 16th Annual Meeting, eight resignations were submitted. Because of the liability of each member for the club debts, the resignations were not accepted.
September 6, 1894 - Under Receivership
Theodore Hosmer, Commodore from 1893 through 1899, acting under instruction of the Superior Court, purchased all of the Clubs real estate from a receiver for $700. It was agreed to give Commodore Hosmer, "a quit claim deed conveying to him all of the rights, title, interest and claim of the Tacoma Yacht Club and its' real estate."
1895 - 1899 - Dormant
No change was shown in the roster of Club Officers. Actually, at this point in time an interest in such a luxury as yachting might have been frowned upon.
1900 - Renewal
From time to time renewed interest in a boating club surfaced. An account of the second yacht club race for the 1900 season revealed that yachts would sail a triangular course off the clubhouse on the Old Town Wharf at the foot of McCarver Street. This new course would benefit spectators who could view the entire race from the waterfront and the bluffs above.
1908 - Reorganization
A group of yachtsmen, all of whom were cognizant of the unhappy days of individual liability, met in the offices of Tacoma architects, Lundberg & Potter, in order to discuss reorganization.
December 17, 1908 - Incorporation
Incorporation was completed with the signatures of: C.R. Claghorn, C.A. Foss, S.S. Auss, C.F.W. Lundberg, H.T. Engoe, C.E. Hogberb (who had been active in yachting circles in Chicago), M.P. Potter, F.A. Smith and Roy Freeland.
1909 - New Clubhouse
Sites from Brown's Point to Day Island were researched in the pursuit of a new setting for the organization's activities. Labor Day brought the grand opening of the new clubhouse on filled land opposite the Commercial Dock. The building was designed by Captain Lundberg. Nearby, about 30 sail and power boats were anchored.
World War I Period - Clubhouse moved to Pt. Defiance
Search for a new location was undertaken as a result of the end of the lease on the club's land. Finding nothing available nearer to downtown, an agreement was made with the Metropolitan Park District, and the clubhouse was moved by scow to Pt. Defiance where the ferry landing is now located. During the stormy Winter that followed a number of boats were lost. Boat owners then moved their watercraft to spots which provided better shelter.
The first commodore of the newly incorporated TYC with their new clubhouse was Benjamin Jacobs, who served in 1910. A newcomer to the yachting scene in Tacoma was Sidney A. Perkins, known as Sam Perkins, who had come to Tacoma as a New England transplant, Ivy League graduate, the son of a prominent Congregational Minister and a mother who was niece of Pres. Grover Cleveland. Sam acquired the El Primero, the largest luxury motor yacht on the west coast, from Chester Thorne, a prominent Tacoma banker and founder of the Port of Tacoma, in a game of chance in 1909. In 1912 through 1914 Sam Perkins served as Commodore of Tacoma Yacht Club and this historic 130 foot vessel was the TYC flagship. During these years TYC grew in prominence as the home of El Primero, on which four U.S. Presidents visited on several occasions to discuss public issues of the day, such as the development of Mt. Rainier Natl. Park. Probably most significant to Tacoma was the swapping of 700 acres, now Point Defiance Park, for larger acreage south of Tacoma by American Lake, now known as Ft. Lewis – McCord AFB.
1919 - Growing Club Publishes First Yearbook
Listing 112 members and a fleet of 53 boats, the first Tacoma Yacht Club Yearbook was published this year. A site which offered greater protection and which was also under the supervision of the Metropolitan Park District, was next chosen. This was located under the high bank near the Smelter. The former office of the Seaborn shipyard was purchased and moved to this spot. This building, which was remodeled and constantly improved, provided a home that Tacoma Yacht Club members enjoyed for many years. At the outset the boaters were forced to park their cars in Ruston and negotiate the path from the top of the hill to the clubhouse and then to the slag pile, carrying their boating gear and food supplies.
1920s - Junior Yacht Club Active and Dancing
The junior Yacht Club was very active during this period and contributed to several club projects. They spent $100 of their funds for the sanding and refinishing of the dance floor. Another $100 was contributed to the Senior Club's fund for a new road. For many, a lifelong devotion to yachting resulted from the interest kindled through participation in the Junior Club.
1922 - Automobiles Draw Attention Away
Automobiles were coming into their own and drawing Tacomans away from water recreation as they followed the roads to the many scenic spots offered by the Northwest. The number of boats moored in the basin dropped drastically.
March 20, 1933 - Yacht Explodes at Club
$25,000 Pleasure Craft Argosy Destroyed at Slip When 1,000 Gallons of Gasoline Ignites. The owner, Dr. E. A. Rich, was fatally injured.
1934 - Remodeling
A new road was built along the bulkhead under the ferry landing. Remodeling of the clubhouse under the supervision of Silas Nelson was undertaken. The first area completed was the lounge and game room followed by the dance floor and galley remodeling in 1936.
1937 - Women Organize
A group of wives asked the Board of Directors for permission to form a women's organization. After approval was granted by the Board, the entire membership of the men's club voted upon the request and granted its approval.
September, 1937 - Shipmates Forms
SHIPMATES were organized, bringing together the wives, sisters and daughters of TYC Members. This was the first auxiliary of this type on the Pacific Coast and it immediately went to work unselfishly and enthusiastically in the interests of its parent organization. Mrs. Henrietta Mairs was the first president followed by Mrs. Blanche Worthington, whose support and counsel proved to be a continuing asset and inspiration to the women's group. During the second year of its existence it furnished eighteen card tables and 72 folding chairs for the clubhouse.
1937 - 1940s - Officer Installations
Officers of the Tacoma Yacht Club and of Shipmates were installed at joint affairs and trophy awards were made on the same night. Activities of a social nature as well as hard work, painting, carpentry, electrical and dock work, all combined in building close friendships among the skippers and their families. P/C Bert Bradley owned an apartment house on Broadway and on occasion, when special parties were to be held, he would load furniture from his business place on a truck for loan to the Yacht Club.
1938 - Power Boat Races
Tacoma provided the largest representation for the International Power Boat Races between Bremerton and Nanaimo. Crews from more than twenty boats bearing the TYC burgee were among those entertained in Nanaimo. This same year TYC hosted an Interclub Regatta with twelve boating clubs sharing the gala activities. The entire waterfront of Dockton was illuminated with thousands of electric light bulbs in combination with several high-powered spotlights.
1941 - Wollochet Bay Outstation Acquired
Dwight Rowland donated property for an outstation on Wollochet Bay and the Club purchased an additional one-hundred-twenty-five feet. This acquisition made the Club the first in the Northwest to own such a rendezvous. Picnic grounds were cleared, floats and docks built. Rudy Dehler presented a large brick fireplace for the pleasure of the members.
1945 - Members Serve Their Country
Names of fifty members who were serving in the armed forces were posted. Many members who remained at home served in the Coast Guard.
1947 - Anniversary Dinners
Shipmates observed a new tradition with the inauguration of Anniversary Dinners. Through these years parents as well as children anticipated with great pleasure the annual Christmas parties where Santa Claus (P/C Frank Walters) appeared, appropriately crawling out of the fireplace for his annual visit. Another eagerly awaited event was the appearance each your of the Children's Christmas Choir in its red robes.
Friday, January 13, 1950 - Blizzard
A blizzard which lasted for the entire weekend struck. Members worked day and night in shifts battling winds and high tides in order to save their boats. Despite their efforts, several boats and some boathouses sank.
1951 - Shipmates Race
A Shipmates race was added to the racing schedule in the form of the Commodore's Race with the Commodore setting the course and determining the winner.
1952 - Basin Dredged and First Daffodil Marine Regatta Held
As a result of dredging, the basin could now handle seventy additional boats, making a total of two-hundred-twenty. The roster of members listed four-hundred-thirty-six. A blizzard during a sailboat race made the finding of Toliva Shoals Buoy seem like a scavenger hunt. A new major event was added this year in the form of a Daffodil Marine Regatta.
1953 - Commodore Pictures Hung
Carlyle Muehler was the first recipient of the new "Man of the Year Award" for unselfish service to the Tacoma Yacht Club. One of his projects during this year was that of gathering together all of the Past Commodores pictures and organizing them in sequence in one continuous frame. He also served as Chairman of Daffodil Weekend.
April 15-17, 1955 - Sea Cadets Assist Daffodil Festival
Sea Cadets met and assisted in berthing the cruisers as they arrived for the fourth annual Marine Daffodil Festival.
1958 - Incorporated TYC turns 50
The Tacoma Yacht club celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary and the burning of the mortgage on the Clubhouse. Govnor Teats on Stormy weather won five races in over forty-five mph winds.
1961 - Power Boaters Name Skipper of the Year
Power Boaters desirous of emphasizing the skipper's skill, decided that the individual who, through his racing competition, amassed the greatest number of points during a season, would be named "Skipper of the Year". An additional purpose of granting this award was to increase member participation in Predicted Log Racing.
1963 - Basin Improved
Club improvements continued with a membership of 400 and 300 boats moored in the basin. Des Sessinghaus and Marc Anderson planned and supervised the construction of a retaining wall to stop erosion of land near the water. As a result of the combined efforts of Ken Dulac, Leon Kleiner, William Ostruske and Bud Mecklenberg, the flagpole was constructed and erected. Annual Steak Frys at Wollochet concluded with dancing on the plywood covered dock to organ melodies emanating from the deck of the Evert Landon yacht.
1965 - Wollochet Improved
There was talk of changing the location of the clubhouse. Work parties at Wollochet improved moorage space and facilities.
February 6, 1967 - Moorage Facilities More Important than Clubhouse
Tabling of a resolution which would have provided funds with which the new clubhouse project could have gone forward dimmed the hopes of those who favored such a project. The opinion was voiced that the Tacoma Yacht Club had an obligation to increase its moorage facilities to the fullest possible extent in order to accommodate the greatest number of boaters.
June, 1968 - Clubhouse Proposal Defeated
A proposal to build a new clubhouse on the slag pile was defeated.
November 11, 1968 - Clubhouse Proposal Approved
Commodore David Ludwig appointed a committee of fifteen under the chairmanship of P/C Arnold Doersam to look into the club's future and determine whether the old building should be remodeled or whether means should be found to finance a new facility. Following the report of this committee, the club members voted to build a new clubhouse on the breakwater.
January 25, 1971 - Ground Breaking
The first shovelful of dirt was turned on the site of the new clubhouse with completion expected in September. One-hundred-eighty Bond Purchasers helped make this project possible.
October 1971 - Clubhouse Occupied
Moving day had arrived and the new $350,000 quarters on the end of the breakwater was ready for occupancy. This large tack came into its final phases during the two terms of P/C David Ludwig. It was financed, bid and contracted during the term of P/C Dave Nielsen and inaugurated during the term of P/C Jim Lundberg. Continuing growth and the loyal support of the membership played a great role in the ultimate success of the project.
1972 - Measurer Honored
Two-hundred-five sailboaters and guests attended the Annual Awards Banquet at which Des Sessinghaur was honored for his outstanding service as Measurer.
1973-1978 - Jib Crane, Docks, and Parking Lot Added
Growth and change continued. The Jib Crane was completed. Old wooden docks were replaced by concrete walkways supported by Styrofoam. Guest moorage has been provided near the clubhouse. A raffle provided funds to blacktop the parking lot. The expertise of P/C Ken Warter has been of great value in these improvements to our basin and our grounds.
1979-1980 - Wollochet Docks Improved
Major improvements in the moorage floats and dock at our Wollochet Bay outstation were accomplished as the result of generous donations from Andrew Nelson, Archie Matthew, Joe Martinac and P/C Francis Shearer.
On November 17, 1980 one of the more noteworthy events in our club’s history was recorded. With pomp and circumstance the mortgage on our beautiful clubhouse was ceremoniously burned. Representing Tacoma Yacht Club in the North American Predicted Log Championships in California, Captain David Pease prevailed as the top skipper in the competition. No small feat in totally unfamiliar waters.
The club celebrated its Seventy-Fifth year with a Diamond Jubilee celebration. Plans were developed for an outstation at Oro Bay on Anderson Island.
The prestigious “Tugboat Annie” award for the outstanding yachtswoman on Puget Sound was presented to our own Marge Frey. A ladies crew was also established to participate in the Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day Crew Races, the Windermere Cup.
An ambitious membership drive, the “Centennial Membership”, resulted in 150 new members for the club. The drive was extended into 1991 and resulted in 115 more bringing our total membership to 700.
The Tacoma Yacht Club Junior Program Association was established with the purpose of educating children between the ages of eight and eighteen years. Each summer the program graduates over 200 young boaters and the auxiliary Racing Team has developed many of the best competitors in the Northwest.
Witnessed by the largest armada to ever assemble on Commencement Bay the spectacle of implosion of the ASARCO Smelter stack was awesome but left many of our members without a way to find the club basin when approaching from afar.
The inaugural TYC Summer Cruise was dedicated to the memory of P/C Murray Anderson and was a roaring success. Our first Oro Bay Pig Roast was held and the outstation at Eagle Harbor was established.
Our outstation at Deer Harbor in the San Juans was initiated and the Wollochet Bay outstation was enhanced with the purchase of an adjacent lot and a major facelift of the entire shoreside facility. A club cruise to Alaska aboard the cruise ship “Westardam” was well attended and enjoyed by all.
Major improvements in the basin were begun and will continue until major environmental cleanup and moorage reorganization has been accomplished. Emphasis is also being given to boathouse upgrades and improvements as well a dock replacements and new piling throughout the basin.
This short time frame has seen the replacement of all of the old concrete docks with new wooden ones floating on Styrofoam-filled tubs. The Board is working on a new power grid, and replacement of the breakwater in the near term. Oro Bay outstation improvements continue to make it an enjoyable facility, and the Clubhouse is in excellent condition inside and out.
Membership reached an all-time high and due to the tireless efforts of the Long Range Planning Committee, the membership accepted a financial plan that will sustain the club well into the forseeable future. Boathouse standards were refined with the basin “facelift” nearing completion.
Formation of the Outreach Committee has significantly improved community involvement. TYC became the official sponsor of the Sea Explorer Ship “Odyssey”. The sailing program is enjoying a revitalization. Brian Duchin’s “Voodoo Child” took first overall and John Leitzinger’s “Kahuna” took first in class in the 2006 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race. Residents used the Oro Bay outstation to get on and off Anderson Island after the ferry landing sustained major winter wind damage. Basin and outstation improvements continue.
This was a good year for improvements in the basin, the outstations and the club. House and Grounds built a new guard shack. Oro Bay had significant changes with the addition of a Gazebo and new landscaping. Wollochet Bay’s docks were replaced. A new Sailing Committee was formed to enhance club sailing and racing programs. Last, but not least, a Web Site Committee was formed to bring the yacht club into the 21st century.
This year brought with it the grand opening and dedication of the Gazebo at Oro Bay outstation. That brought with it all new landscaping. The docks were all replaced at Wollochet Bay and there is a movement to refurbish the outstation clubhouse in the coming year. The Breakwater Improvement Committee began working with Metro Parks and Breakwater Marina to improve that facility and the entry road and adjacent hillside into the club. The Long Range Planning Committee has worked to bring together a vision of the Tacoma Yacht Club in the future through the development of a Master Site Plan. The Year began with Tall Ships Tacoma 2008 arriving in July of 2008. The Tacoma Yacht Club took the lead in providing significant on water support with boats and personnel. The Tall Ships 2008 leadership team had several club members serving in executive board leadership positions.
The club house has seen new remodeling with the installation of a new roof and larger and cleaner guest restrooms in the basement. Outstations continue to see improvements. The Wollochet outstation building has been remodeled with new cabinets, appliances, windows and door. New outstations have been added at Swantown and Bremerton, our educational series has expanded, we have seen the development of a small boat storage area, and instituted a new sailing program with Cal 20’s. With the collaborative help of Metropolitan Parks and Breakwater Marina, we manned a booth at the Seattle Boat Show to showcase not only our club but the activities and services which Metro and Breakwater can offer as well. We are directly and actively involved in the Point Defiance Waterfront Operations Team, working together with our waterfront neighbors to meet our common goals. Our master plan continues to be refined. Our Outreach committee is increasing its involvement in our community at large. We have generously supported the Resource Distribution Council which serves families in need. The Membership committee is exploring new and innovative ways to attract, keep and involve members. Our new Marketing committee has asked for members’ involvement in the future of our club, and for constructive suggestions as well. Shipmates, our women’s auxiliary, continues to fund and support many of our club activities.
2010 - 2011
This year marked the beginning for the realization of TYC’s Master Plan. In collaboration with Metro Parks and through the hard work of many club members, our architectural partners, and membership input, our vision for a remodeled clubhouse and a new lease, is the foundation for a bright future. The Outreach Committee continues to lead our efforts to build our community involvement through various community and environmental initiatives. This year we received a five star award for environmental excellence. The Marketing Committee demonstrated a leadership role by enhancing member communication of club activities with the creation of our in house TV monitor. Shipmates continues to be a vibrant arm of the club and again hosted this year’s club auction .The sailing initiative, Focus on Sailing is building momentum and proving to be a benefit for potential new members. The Seattle Boat Show with the collaborative help of Metro Parks and Breakwater Marina showcased the many benefits of our club and our marine community. Also this year the Jack Hyde Memorial contest was reestablished with enthusiasm and support. Outstation upgrades continue to better serve our membership. Finally membership participation and enthusiasm in our Cruises and Events continues to grow and be a source of fun and fellowship. Our many volunteers, and committees have made this year vibrant and exciting.
The year’s Events and Cruises continued to generate increased member enthusiasm and participation, with record attendance achieved for many. Thanks to the many volunteers who made this possible. The Outstation committee secured two new outstations for our club: Delin Docks and Cornet Bay. Both are showing strong member use. New this year was the formation of the By-Law committee, who is tackling the challenge of updating and clarifying this important club document. This year the club is moving into the final stages of our clubs lease negotiations and remodel. The master site plan for the clubhouse remodel is ready to begin as soon as the lease details are finalized. Thanks to our Planning committee and Metro Parks for bring us to this point. Hopefully during the coming year actual construction can begin. TYC continues to be a great club to be a member of with strong leadership and member support for the future.
TYC’s recognition of the sacrifices of our young men and women of our armed forces continued with the addition of a Patriots Cruise and a Wounded Warrior Float at Daffodil. Tacoma Yacht Club hosted the Director of the America’s Cup and members of the AC design team, for a presentation that was one of the largest on the West Coast with over 400 people attending. A new Members Services Manager position was created, adding computer and multimedia support for our members. The AV system continued to be improved and Wi-Fi was added to the guest docks. The Commodore’s Summer Cruise attracted 42 boats for a sojourn through the Gulf Islands, highlighted by a wagon wheel in Montague Harbor and a finale at the Victoria Splash. TYC is now represented at both the Gig Harbor Blessing of the Fleet and the Sea Scouts Honor Bridge. We
patiently await the signing of our new lease and our planned remodel.
A blissfully happy and quiet year with no major controversies to get in the way of having fun. The winter rains caused a couple of mudslides that blocked access to the club and prompted the Board to put pressure on Metro Parks Tacoma to get our “interim” entrance completed. It was finally finished just before Daffodil Weekend, which was a good thing as Daffodil set several records for number of guests, number of boats, and number of meals served! Negotiations also continued in an effort to secure the renewal of our lease with Parks. Participation in club events continued to increase and club membership continued to grow.