GBYC 1930s - Historical Events and Happenings








January 18, 1934
G.B.Y.C. is Established
The organizational meeting and beginnings of the Green Bay Yachting Club starts here.  A yacht harbor is sought by local boatmen.  26 people convene for their first meeting in the library of the Green Bay Press-Gazette calling themselves the Green Bay Harbor Advancement Association.  Milton Smith consented to act as the temporary chairman (later to become the first Commodore 1934-1935).  Click here to see all the Commodores  Their desire was to use & develop the Whitney Slip (slough) out near the Murphy Mill into an adequate inner harbor for small yachts and sailboats, etc.  At this meeting the following motions were made, carried, and appointments made.

                      President - Milton Smith                  Board Member - Arnold Pamperin
                      Vice President - Harvey Lhost          Board Member - Ira Smith
                      Secretary/Treasurer - Ted Dost        Board Member - Walter Masse
                                                                           Board Member - William Clark

                      C.W.A. Findings Committee       - Captain Ralph Drum (Chairman)
                                   - Benoit Wittig
                                   - Walter Masse
                                   - Arthur H. Jacobson
                      Municipal Findings Committee    - R. E. Sager (Chairman)
                                   - Elmer Denessen
                                   - John A. Ebeling
                                   - Dan Nicholson
                      Federal Findings Committee       - William Clark (Chairman)
                                   - Ira Smith
                                   - F. O. Walker
                      Easements Findings Committee  - Arnold Pamperin (Chairman)
                                   - Milton Smith
                                   - Loyal Clabots

...and the club is officially born.


January 25, 1934
Committee chairpersons met to report on plans to gain support for acquisition of land and funding for harbor development.  Captain Ralph H. Drum reported on getting assurance that he would receive aid under C.W.A. funds.  Arnold Pamperin reported gaining assurance for easement rights on property of Northern Paper Mills.  William Clark provided a hand sketch illustrated below and costs estimates for dredging and removal of pilings at the slough.  The harbor would be 165 feet in width, 2400 feet in length, and an average depth of 9 feet with a development cost being approximately $32,800.



                          [Editor note: The original hand sketch may have 
                           private claim numbers 44 and 45 inadvertantly 
                           mis-labeled - typed changes are suggested  
                           on the scanned image.]


Green Bay Yachting Club, Inc.

February 1, 1934
Arnold Pamperin reported that easement rights on private claim 44 (for the yacht basin) are now in question.  Consequently, a motion was made and carried that the club now petition the Green Bay City Council for a piece of property on private claim 45 and to be developed as a C.W.A. project.  The piece of property would be 150 feet wide and 1,000 feet in length.  At the same time it was agreed to abandon an appeal for federal help.

February 15, 1934
Milton Smith, Harvey Lhost, Ira Smith, and Walter Masse attend a hearing with the City Council committee regarding proposals for a yacht harbor.  The new information is presented and discussed at the regular business meeting in which the city council committee offered another proposal for a piece of land just north of Murphy's Light.  Mayor Diener believed that about 35 men would be available for work on the harbor project.  Continuing discussion led to a motion and was carried to request a yacht basin wherever the the city should decide on placing it.

March 6, 1934
C.W.A. project funding for a yacht basin is disapproved by the C.W.A. as the C.W.A. is about to go out of existence in one more month.  New discussion began on the possible connection between the Metropolitan Sewer Disposal Plan, the nearby marsh, and a yacht basin.

April 19, 1934
At the regular business meeting held in the Green Bay Press-Gazette library a motion was made and carried to change the name of the Green Bay Harbor Advancement Assn. to the Green Bay Yachting Club.  This was just three months after the founding of the organization.  This change establishes the name that continues to live on today.

April 26, 1934
The Metropolitan Sewer Commission agreed verbally to take the ground from the proposed yacht harbor which they need for filling.  Contractor Jake Basten agreed to move his crane in the location and start digging as soon as the city engineer marked it off.  It was believed that this would result in a harbor that is 150 feet wide, 400 feet long, and 10 feet deep.  A committee is appointed to get any materials available from the old yacht club that might assist in the formation of a constitution and by-laws of the newly organized Green Bay Yachting Club.  In addition to being the regular business meeting, this meeting was Charter Membership Night and 26 members were placed on the list.  The new members were assessed a $1 initiation fee and a committee was appointed to present a design for a new yacht club flag.

May 3, 1934
Regular business meetings move to the Beaumont Hotel.  31 new charter members are added to the list making a total membership of 59.  Discussion followed about forming a snype class.  Currently there are four snypes in Green Bay and a fleet requires a minimum of five boats.  A fifth boat may be available when the Bell Lumber Company finishes the one they are manufacturing now.

June 7, 1934
Captain Johnson, Commander of the Eleventh District U.S. Coast Guard, gave a presentation on Coast Guard rescuing, classes of boats, and setting boat speeds on the river to control wakes from boats.  The club had received correspondence from seven other yacht clubs who plan to send visiting yachts to Green Bay during the summer.  Club membership continues to grow with the acceptance of four more new members.

September 13, 1934
With the harbor development doing so well, the next matter of great interest is the establishment of some sort of shelter namely a club house.  At the regular business meeting a motion was made and carried for forming a club house committee consisting of Bennoit Wittig, Harvey Lhost, and Bill Hawley for the purpose of looking into the possibilities of getting a Club House.

October 11, 1934
The Yacht Club slip dredging is near completion.  Discussion on the possibilities of securing a Club House continued from the previous meeting.  Captain Hubbard stated that some government ships would be abandoned.  Several members expressed that one of these boats, especially a side-wheeler, would make an attractive club house.  Another committee was appointed to investigate the possibility of getting a road to the Yacht Club harbor.  Some members suggested having a dancing party for purpose to swell the club treasury.  Two new members were accepted into the club.

November 8, 1934
The club moves to contact the Coast Guard, the City, and State officials in an effort to keep the Coast Guard boat "Perry" in Green Bay while at the same time Two Rivers is asking that the Perry be stationed there instead so that it can navigate on Lake Michigan all winter.

January 10, 1935
Green Bay Mayor Diener was contacted regarding a road from Quincy Street to the yacht basin.  He referred the club to the city engineer, Mr. Steeno, who drew up a petition for the club.  Next there was some discussion about pilings at the entrance of the yacht basin and a motion was made and carried to have Ira Smith try removing the pilings with dynamite and if successful, then complete the task by this method.  Five new members were accepted into the club.

February 14, 1935
Seven new members were accepted into the club.

April 11, 1935
Earlier talks and efforts that began in September and October of the previous year have paid off finally. (Refer to Sept. 13 and Oct. 11, 1934.)
The Board of Directors makes plans to inspect the quarter boat "Fox" and if desirable, to place a bid for this boat to be used as a club house.
Below left is the best photo of the "Fox" that was found at the club. Below right is a much better photo that was found in a book by George Nau Burridge.



                                       Incidentally, the "Fox" that was bid on was actually the 'Fox II'.  There was also a - 'Fox I' - which was
                                                  an older boat.   And, check out these later pictures of the Fox serving as the Clubhouse.

May 4, 1935
The Board met to determine what they wanted to bid on the "Fox" and settled on $370.33. The bid was placed with the required 30 percent ($111.01) that was included with the bid.

May 9, 1935
The Yacht Club had the highest bid for the Fox and asked the Coast Guard if they would tow the Fox from Keewaunee to Green Bay without costs.

May 17, 1935
A decision is made to pay $50.00 to have the Fox towed from Keewaunee to Sturgeon Bay - and from Sturgeon Bay to Green Bay.

May 22, 1935
A special meeting is held to report on the costs for towing the Fox to Green Bay. Other business - the City is contacted to secure 30 men for 30 days under the F.E.P.A. Boat owners are instructed to build their own docks. Dues are increased to $5.00 and initiation fee is raised to $5.00.

June 5, 1935
It was decided to begin inside work on the lower deck of the Fox starting on June 8. The possibility of phone service will be investigated. However, electric lights will not be installed at the present time due to high costs.

June 13, 1935
The first actual meeting is held in the club house while the work progresses.
Pictured at the right is a view of what the harbor looked like in the early years.
The picture was taken in 1941.
The 'Fox' Clubhouse (hiding in the trees) is well established by now and
being thoroughly enjoyed by members - even the work part of it.
The City said they intend to gravel the road to the clubhouse within the next week.
A motion is made and carried to accept Henry Rahr's proposition of furnishing
a bar and that the caretaker be instructed to purchase Rahrs beer.


July 1935
Club members are waiting for a road to the club promised by the city. Membership is now at about 70. The club's attorney, Carl Hagemeister, is in meetings and completing incorporation papers for filing with the State of Wisconsin.
July 16, 1935 the club is incorporated as Green Bay Yachting Club, Inc. & had one employee, the club stewart. The G.B.Y.C. was formed to have a governing body. The purpose is to provide suitable mooring and docking facilities, to provide a meeting place for boating activities, to instruct and encourage safe use and care of boats, navigation, and marine law. In the early days, the club sponsered the boy sea scouts and the girl sea scouts. Before 1939 members stood ready to help our local coast guard. The club has also cooperated with the Harbor Commission, city officials, Conservation Department, and other public officials in making surveys, conserving wildlife, and aiding in the carrying on of other public programs.

November 21, 1935
The regular business meeting is held at the Beaumont Hotel (keep in mind that the club house renovation is still in progress and it does not have heating either). More new members were accepted. By-laws changed to allow the addition of a Rear Commodore. Captain Nels H. Sjodt was appointed to the position. The balance of the evening was enjoyed, it being Monte Carlo night. I'm sure a few dollars changed hands.

January 9, 1936
The regular business meeting is held at the Beaumont Hotel. 12 members of the Marinette-Menominee Yacht Club attended as guests. Ceil Baum showed moving pictures of his Mediterranean cruise. Everyone had a good time.

March 12, 1936
The Past Commodore is added as a member of the Board of Directors and it is decided the initiation fee for new members is still $5.00.

April 3, 1936
A letter is sent to members explaining the desire to completely remodel the clubhouse to include the interior, paint, electric lights, telephone, furniture, a well for water, and other necessary improvements. It explains that this can be accomplished by each current member bringing in a new member which would provide the needed funds.

So... continuous improvement is already routine lifestyle around the club and helps it to live-on.

Spring 1938 is the next old record found during the research.
It is a year of big improvements. The harbor is widened 20 feet, the entrance also widened, and the basin dredged to remove the high spots. Grounds improvement was getting a lot of attention, new heating was installed for the clubhouse, the galley modernized, and a well pump and fresh water system installed. Previously in 1937 drinking water had to be brought from Bay Beach. That sounds like a whole lot of work.
There were interesting references to "stink-boats" - I guess that meant powerboats but I'm not sure.
 Membership was at 186 and it was decided to set dues at $10.00 for 1939.


 --- This  Ends the 30s ---


Click on pictures for enlarged view.