Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Knickerbocker Canoe Club - where art thou?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by Ken Cupery, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Ken Cupery

    Ken Cupery Fan of the 19th Century

    I'm on the trail of yet another defunct or inactive canoe club.

    I'm searching for someone who might have historical information or records of the Knickerbockers from about 1920-1930. Their file in the archives at Mystic Seaport is disappointingly thin, covering mostly parties, banquets, and balls from a later period... and not that many.

    The last reference I have for them is from 1995 when they were kicked off of a barge on the NJ side of the Hudson for some waterfront redevelopment (i.e. gentrification). They had dwindled to 25 members and were apparently using the barge simply as a location to moor small boats.

    My hope is that someone might be around who had some records or recollections of this club.

    This is admittedly a pure fishing expedition, as I've run out of leads. Any ideas or suggested contacts are welcomed. I can provide more details of my quest.

    Thanks for reading this far!

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    There are two old photographs of the club listed at if you have not seen these already. The seller might be able to direct you to more information. Good luck,

  3. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

  4. OP
    Ken Cupery

    Ken Cupery Fan of the 19th Century

    Thanks for the note.

    I've given up on them. The historical trail is thin and spotty. I checked the ACA archives at Mystic and there is precious little there and nothing from the 19th century. I have relied mostly on NY Times archives and other periodicals.

    I was interested in them as a part of a " What ever happened to Nathaniel Bishop's boats" quest. They were custodians of at least his paper canoe for a while. The exact fates of the boats is still unresolved. The canoe - probably destroyed in a fire around the 1920's. The sneakbox - last seen on Sugar island under care of the ACA in 1908.

    If anyone is interested in details......

  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This quest sounds like it could be a great article for Wooden Canoe. (I have spent a fair amount of time chasing down similarly obscure topics.)

  6. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    So there are two areas of interest here. The paper canoes and the Knickerbocker club. About paper boats I know little and learned from your blog what I do know. The history of paper making is of interest to me since I am a timber grower and have sold a lot of pulp wood.
    The canoe I got came incomplete and I'll try to track down the missing parts, mast, leeboard etc. The story told by the fellow I got the canoe from was interesting but he got it strictly as a wall decoration he never paddled or sailed.
    A google search came up with a video downloaded just a year ago showing the clubhouse before it was removed (demolished?) and obviously there are people still around who were there when they tried to save the barge as historic. As I said, I'm sort of thrilled to have a part of this historic club.
  7. Chet Vincentz

    Chet Vincentz New Member

    I was a member in the 1950's. The Knickerbocker Canoe club was originally located on the NYC side of the Hudson River right where they wanted to build the George Washington Bridge. It was moved in 1936 to the northern end of Edgewater New Jersey. It was said the be the 2nd oldest canoe club in the United States, the first being in Georgetown DC. When I was a member it had a tremendous amount of memorabilia include plaques, trophies and photographs of canoe races, I believe some Olympic items. There were 5 of us who joined with motorboats because the club needed members. We were high school/college age guys. The entrance was right along side of the restaurant named the Buena Vista. I dropped out in the late 1950' as I was graduating college. The clubhouse was still complete with many old canoes and items at that time. I heard the club burned down in a fire several years later.
  8. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    There you are Ken, the trail just warmed up a bit.
  9. Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    Someone might wat to try getting a hold of Jules Weibel's son... Jules was a member of the Knickerbocker CC. They might have some info.
  10. Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    IF it moved to Edgewater NJ, there was already a club on the river there; The Red Dragon was ther from 1906and is still in Edgewater Park, Right next door Sam And Diane Allen's p[lace.
  11. Chet Vincentz

    Chet Vincentz New Member

    I never heard of the Red Dragon in Edgewater NJ. Edgewater NJ is just below the George Washington Bridge, directly across from NYC. Red Dragon is in Egewater Park Beverly NJ opposite end of NJ. Down Philadelphia way. It also is very old. I really don't know the history of canoe clubs in the USA. My interest was in faster boats back in that time frame.
  12. Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    Yeah I thought afterwards you wrote Edgewater...There is however a nice collection of the boats from The Red dragon in their clubhouse in Edgewater Park on the Jersey side of the Burlington Bristol Bridge (roughly). I am doing a talk there Wednesday night.

    Attached Files:

  13. Wanda CC

    Wanda CC Wanda Canoe Club

    Hi, I'm a new member here. I am the secretary of the Wanda Canoe Club located on the Hackensack River in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.

    From what we know of our club and have heard from the older members Wanda moved to Ridgefield Park sometime in the 1960s. Prior to that they had been on a barge in Edgewater on the Hudson, where I am told we were founded in 1910. Supposedly an electric power company possibly PSE&G wanted the barge and we had to leave. There are some older member still in New Jersey and I've located two in Florida who I will be reaching out to in person.

    We have found numerous trophies and awards dating from the 1920s onward from ACA Nationals and various regattas. I cleaned and photographed them.

    To my knowledge the Yonkers Canoe Club, founded 1886, is the oldest Club in the country that is still active, followed by Inwood Canoe Club (1902). Others still active include the Washington Canoe Club 1903, Philadelphia Canoe Club 1904, Wanda 1910. Sebego CC in Brooklyn NY, founded 1933, is very active. I looked at the ACA archives online dating back to the beginning. I was told that the Washington Club from the 1880s is not the same, vibrant club that still exists today. ACA could not give me any information about Wanda.

    My racing partner grew up in the Wanda Canoe Club and the Washington Canoe Club. He competed against many of these clubs, some of which no longer survive. He believes his mother may have some information about the Knickerbocker Club. The defunct Pendleton Canoe Club was another club on the New York side of the Hudson. She has some photos and memorabilia, especially from Lake Sebago.

    If anyone has any information about the history of the Wanda Canoe Club please let me know. We are active and growing. We hosted our 2nd Annual HACK Race a few weeks ago with over 40 competitive boats hailing from New England to Virginia. We have a Wanda Canoe Club page and a HACK Race page on Facebook.

  14. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Greeting Linda,
    Welcome to the fold. You have a lot more information than most of us. I posted above because I seem to have bought one of your vice-commodores boats. Fellow is long deceased now but I find this all so interesting. The guy I got the boat from says the barge was taken over about 20 years ago. Is your's the sea horse emblem?
  15. Wanda CC

    Wanda CC Wanda Canoe Club

    We are the Loons. My avatar is our logo.

    Other mascots: Washington Owls. Inwood Turtles. Yonkers Dolphins.

    Defunct: Pendleton Ducks

    Still hunting for others.
  16. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Then this is a Knickerbocker club. But I believe the membership number is Wanda. Or it's an ACA number
  17. Wanda CC

    Wanda CC Wanda Canoe Club

    Pendleton Canoe Club, Yonkers NY 1949 National Champions (flatwater canoe & kayak) and their mascot, The Pendleton Duck.

    Attached Files:

    Bill Cocran likes this.
  18. Wanda CC

    Wanda CC Wanda Canoe Club


    Attached Files:

    Bill Cocran likes this.
  19. Wanda CC

    Wanda CC Wanda Canoe Club

    From on old ACA yearbook.

    Attached Files:

  20. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    The red seahorse is most definitely the totem of the Knickerbocker Canoe Club.

    ACA member # 9067 was Robert S. Pino, whose address was 33-36 206th St. Bayside, L.I. NY (Flushing). With this you might be able to learn more about him on Ancestry.

    In 1928, he is listed as a member of the North Jersey Canoe Club, and in 1931 he was a member of the Wanda Canoe Club. (There is another Robert S. Pino listed in later ACA Yearbooks, also a member of WCC, who has a higher ACA number - I would presume this is a son). My yearbook collection is weak through the late 1920s and early 1930s.

    You'll just have to start collecting ACA yearbooks to find out the KCC connection. My guess is simply changing allegiances.
    Wanda CC likes this.

Share This Page