The Monroe Boat Club was founded November 8, 1945 by a merger of the Monroe Yacht Club and the Bolles Harbor Boat Club. The Monroe Yacht Club traces it roots back to 1886 as member of the Inter-Lake Yachting Association (I-LYA). Click on the photo to learn more about Monroe Yacht Club.
P/C Edward Knabausch "1946-1947" was elected the first Commodore of Monroe Boat Club. Monthly meetings were held in "Bus" Miller's barn, and the annex on the club property.
It was in 1948 that P/C J. M. Nicholson donated lumber from an old barn to start us on our building projects: clubhouse and docks. P/C William McKenzie drew up plans in 1949 and the clubhouse was about to become a reality. A two story structure was built by the club's members.
The bar which is the center of many social events, was setup in 1951 & 1952 by P/C Ted Hoffman, and in 1953, P/C Vaughan Smith started the first permanent docks. In the following years, the Club continued to expand. P/C Carl Gruber obtained materials from a demolished bridge to construct our present sea wall. Members added a back room, which is still in use today for parties, dining, dancing, and rentals, was constructed in 1979 by P/C Bill Rea. An additional 380 feet of water front property, including a home for a caretaker, was purchased under the engineering of P/C Mark Latray in 1973.
Competitive sailing and power yacht cruises are two of our major activities. We have social members who at one time may have been boat owners but still have an interest in Monroe Boat Club. Over the years, major improvements have been made to the club facilities through the efforts of its members. Club members have volunteered many hours to help make it the club it is today.
The 1980's and 1990's have brought many changes and improvements to Monroe Boat Club as our membership has increased to 335 paying Members and 70 plus Life Members.
In 1980, under the direction of Commodore Bill "Friar" Tuck, an improved seawall was completed, giving the club more protection from flooding. In 1984, Commodore Dick Matteson started the project of putting up lights on the back lot and the main parking lot. This was completed by Commodore Ray Morrow in 1987. With these lights, members felt safer when coming and going after dark. About this time, around 1986, Commodore Lee Randall started the back room remodeling, giving us a nice dining room for our Commodores Balls and many dinners and social activities. This has been an ongoing project with many improvements to the present.
In the 1990's many larger projects were started and completed. Under the direction of Commodores Chet Bragg and Jim Kozlowski, the Clubhouse was enlarged by the addition of the new roof covering. And in 1998, the bar was enlarged to include half of the recreation room to accommodate the increased use of the club. This project was under the direction of Commodore Dave Weinberg and once again, built by our club members.
Smaller projects, sponsored by the Blue Gavel, such as construction of an outside shelter and erection of a large flagpole, have been undertaken. The Auxiliary, an organization for the spouses of members, has always been instrumental in the success of the Club from the beginning in 1953 to the present. Their work and contributions have made many improvements to the Club and have made MBC one of the best Clubs on Lake Erie.
Docks are an important part of Monroe Boat Club, as they are to other yacht clubs. From the first permanent docks built in 1953, many dock additions and improvements have taken place. In 1994, the largest project, "Phase 1", increased our docks from the original 88 docks to 125 docks. The dock project was started under the direction of Commodore Ken Beach. In 1995, Monroe Boat Clubs 50th year, Commodore Ron Stokes completed "Phase 1" and "Phase 2" was started, which raised the number of docks to 135. With the increase of docks, many more members now enjoy the club with their boat just a short walk from the clubhouse.
During the first Board Meeting of 2015, a special 70th anniversity commemorative logo was approved. MBC's first club by-law establishes the club's name, and the very next one states "The object of this club shall be the promotion, protection and encouragement of boating for pleasure and sport, with emphasis on good fellowship among its members". The logo, shown below, embraces the name of the club arching across these principals, along with our burgee over a background of calm Lake Erie water.
Also part of the Monroe Boat Club's history is the tradition of having a well attended Muskrat Dinner in January of each year. Click on the following link to learn how the Muskrat was considered a fish during the Lenten season for the French Catholics in the area.
Historical Photos are courtsey of the Monroe County Historical Commission Archives.
Monroe Yacht Club
Monroe Boat Club
February 29, 1949
Early Sail Fleet
Monroe Boat Club