Ossining Yacht Club in the Gay Nineties
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The Ossining Yacht Club formed in 1893.  It grew quickly, and numbered over ninety members within three years.  The club attracted many active sailors from the Sing Sing Yacht Club and acquired all of the fast sandbaggers of their fleet.  The Ossining Yacht Club flourished for eight years and became well known on the River during that period.  At the end of 1902 they closed their clubhouse and many re-join the SSYC.  With their passing, the era of sandbagger racing ended  at Ossining.

Yacht Club Notes.  A New Yacht Club, to be know as the Ossining Yacht Club, was on Monday evening last organized by the election of the following officers:  Commodore, Ralph Stray; Vice-Commodore, Augustus R Osborne; Secretary, Alfred I Riker; Treasurer, Fred A Griffin; Measurer, Irving S Haff; House Committee Irving S Haff, Herbert Cornell and Hon. Edgar L Ryder.

  -- Nearly all the members are veteran yachtsmen in this vicinity, and they have fitted up the little brown building near the Upper Dock for a clubhouse.  They own almost all of the best yachts that used to belong to the Sing Sing Yacht Club. --The Democratic Register 03.11.1893

Yachting Notes.--Contractor John Haff is building the addition to the quarters of the Ossining Yacht Club. --The Democratic Register 04.15.1893

For the Ossining Yacht Club.  A grand athletic entertainment will be held in Olive Opera House next Friday evening at 8 o’clock, for the benefit of the Ossining Yacht Club.  Among the many other scientific exhibitions of the manly arts, the star events will be Jerry Barnett of New York, who recently boxed Dixon, the colored champion of the world, to a draw, in New York, against Charlie Barnett, who is another good man; Jack Grace, of New York against the well known Jack Dorsey, the “Baltimore Spider” and last, but by no means least of the stars, will appear the far-famed “Billy” Vernon, of Haverstraw, who in time is destined to become the light-weight champion of the world, against “Jim” Coughlin, of Brooklyn.  -- The Democratic Register 10.18.1893

An historic Sanborn Map locates Ossining Yacht Club south of the Upper Dock and Sellazo Pier

The club was just one year old on that evening and the members present indulged in a mild celebration.  Boxing was indulged in, and Messrs. Frank Fagan and Walter


Stray sang all the popular ditties of the day and were warmly applauded.  “G--” sang “The Girl I Left Behind Me” in a truthful manner and he received an ovation. The club intends to start the second year of its existence by building a handsome two-story addition to their club and they expect to have some lively yachting times in this season. -- Republican 03.10.1894  

Yacht Club Games.  The Thanksgiving Day outing and games of the Ossining Yacht Club, held on Andrew Rohr’s farm, was a huge success in every way.

  The day was perfect, the attendance large, and the games and sports so closely contested as to call forth great applause in each event.

  The entries in the one hundred yards’ dash were Messrs. Storms, Bunyea, Griffin, and Rice of this village and Serrell of Ludlow.  The first heat was won by Serrell, but so closely followed by Bunyea that at first it looked like a dead heat.  The second heat resulted in a tie between Storms and Bunyea, and in the final heat Storms won easily, and took first prize.  Serrell came in second and Bunyea third.  The time for the final heat was eleven seconds, which was excellent time considering the track, which was about as bad as could be; in fact, dangerous to run upon.

The broad jump was won by Walter V Stray and the jump with dumb bells by Ralph R Stray.  After several laughable trials by different persons, Ben.  Haines climbed the greased pole.


Charles Rohr caught the greased pig after a long and exciting chase.  Commodore Andrew Rohr beat Rear-Commodore C S Raymond in the live bird shoot; and also won in the clay-bird shoot.  He did some remarkable shooting.   The four boxing bouts were well contested and exciting throughout, especially the one between Messers.  Bolan and Hall. -- The Democratic Republican 12.01.1894

The Ossining Yacht Club Games.  The committees in charge of the second annual outing and games of the Ossining Yacht Club, to be held in Robbins Opera House, Thanksgiving afternoon, are hustling, and promise to present an entertainment that will surpass anything in this line ever before given by this popular organization.

  The games will begin at one o’clock, and will consist of running, potato, sack and three-legged races, jumping and other events.  Boxing bouts between well-known local amateurs and amateurs from Peekskill and other places, together with the well-known Barnett Brothers, professionals from New York, will form a special feature of the entertainment.  These contests will take place on an elevated ring, and those who attend will have an opportunity of witnessing the best exhibition of the “manly art” ever seen in this village.

 The admission will be twenty-five cents and seats will be reserved for ladies.  -- The Democratic Republican 11.23.1895

 Welcomed the New Year.  The Ossining Yacht Club, of this village, gave a banquet on Tuesday night last in their club house in honor of the parting year, and to meet socially and welcome the new.  Over forty members of the club and their friends assembled to enjoy the “feast of reason and flow of soul”.  The banquet was served by Chef Emanuel Papino, and consisted of six courses served in this chef’s most elaborated style.

  At the midnight hour, Commodore Rohr arose and announced that 1896 had arrived and he wished all a Happy New Year, after which Vice-Commodore Terwilliger addressed the meeting.  He outlined the progress that the organization had made since its formation three years ago with four members.  Now it has nearly ninety members on its rolls, and is perhaps the liveliest organization in this village.  He made a patriotic allusion to the great international yacht race last fall, which excited considerable enthusiasm among those present, and concluded by reading a letter, said to have been sent by a young lady, telling the exploits on land of some of the prominent members of the club, which presented disclosures that set the company in roars of laughter.  He has mislaid the letter, so we cannot give it in full this week. --Democratic Register 01.04.1896

The Yacht Club’s Great Show.  Everybody who has read the posters announcing that “the greatest aggregation of amateur stars”, composed of members of the Ossining Yacht Club and Volunteer Life Saving Corps, of this village, will give one of the best amateur minstrel and variety entertainments every seen in Sing Sing, at Olive Opera House, Tuesday night, April 14th, are convinced from the “modest” announcement that the entertainment will certainly be an enjoyable and up-to-date affair.  Diligent rehearsals, combined with ardent enthusiasm on the part of the “talent”, has rendered them about perfect and they are eager to appear before the footlights.

  The first part will be an innovation from the conventional half-circle, and will be so nautical in character, that the audience will certainly think the jolly tars on board the ship “Weskora” are at anchor off Paradise Island.  This scene will be one of the most elaborate ever shown on the local stage, and in it will be introduced all the coming comedians and great solo artists and the merry end men – Messrs. Ralph Baker, Fred.  W Barlow, Warren Odell, “Bab” Maleady, and George Leary – ten soloists, and up-to-date medley overture, rendered by a chorus of fifty voices and a grand finale.  Commodore J M Terwilliger, of the V L S C will act as Captain of the “Weskora” and help along the jollity.

  Superintendent Swain of the Electric Light Company will introduce a number of novel electrical effects, which will be a novelty never before used on our stage.


Among the specialties introduced in the second part will be Hunt and Gensler, the great “Dutch Team”, in their fun-provoking sketch, “From You I Can No Part”.  This is entirely original, and will alone be worth the price of admission.

  The two kings of fun-makers – Barlow and Baker – will also appear in one of most comical Irish sketches every seen here, introducing specialties, parodies, local songs, gags, and up-to-date jollity.

  Messrs. Griffin, Kromer, and Baker, who will introduce a musical sketch, in which 15 instruments are employed, have one of the funniest specialties on the programme.

  The eight premier song and dance artists – Messrs. Adams, Barrett, Leary, E I Maleady, Minnerly, H Rice, W V Stray and Walsh – of whom so much is expected, will certainly make a decided hit; in fact, their fame has extended so far by their rehearsals that metropolitan vaudeville managers are already negotiating for their services.  They will introduce “My Darling Emeline".

  The evenings festivities will conclude with the laughable skit, "Return of the Lost One", by the entire company, in which some novel features will be introduced, also singing and genuine buck and jig dancing. -- Democratic Register 04.11.1896

Yachting News.  --The members of the Ossining Yacht Club are striving to bring their membership past the century mark.  The new members elected on Tuesday evening last, brought the number up to ninety-six.

--The Pauline B, the sailing crack-a-jack of this vicinity, and the pride of the Ossining Yacht Club, was launched during the past week.  The owners hope to have a more successful racing season this summer than they had last, and will have many novelties in the racing apparatus of the slick little craft.  Capt. Irving S Haff will be at the helm again this season and is eager for the fray.  “Hank” knows how to sail a boat and his friends expect great things from this year.   -- Democratic Register 04.25.1896

For the Benefit of the GAR. The Ossining Yacht Club and Volunteer Life Saving Corps of this village will repeat their great minstrel and variety entertainment in Olive Opera House, this village, next Tuesday evening, May 12th for the benefit of Morell Post, No.  144, GAR of this village. -- Democratic Register 05.09.1896

Second Annual Regatta.  There were thirty-three entries and twenty starters in the eight classes in the second annual regatta of the Ossining Yacht Club last Saturday afternoon.  At the time of the start, about 1 o’clock, there were many of the fair sex gracing the balconies of the clubhouse, and the scene thereabout was one of great activity in getting the various craft in condition for the race.

  The course for Class C was to and around a stake boat anchored off Dobbs Ferry and return, starting from an imaginary line between a stake-boat and the clubhouse and finishing, at the same place, distance about twenty miles.

  The course for classes D, F, I, J and K was three times around a triangular course, starting from an imaginary line between a stake-boat anchored just below Croton Point, to a stake-boat on the west bank of the channel off Scarborough; thence back to the starting point, making a run of about eight miles.

  The course for Class L and the half-raters was twice around this latter course.

  The Judge was W L Onyans and the Regatta Committee Robert T Dennis, Chairman; Fred.  A Griffin, Benjamin R Smith, James H Moran, Irving S Haff, Timothy F Walsh, F A Fisher and W V Stray.  They occupied Commodore Andrew Rohr’s fine new yacht Adeline.

  In Class C, cabin sloops, 32 feet and under 40 feet, there were three starters: Minta, Bolet Brothers owners, Tappan Zee Y.C.; Ella S, B R Smith and others owners, Ossining Yacht

Club, and Henry Ward Beecher, Bevers & Tompkins owners, Tower Ridge Y.C.  This was a very peculiar race.  The Minta got away at the start long after the other two, and while they are admitted to be fliers, the Beecher generally winning in her class, the Minta got home nearly half an hour ahead of them, went out of its way in crossing the home line, and even then her rivals were out of sight.  Neither the judges nor any one else could believe she went over the whole course, her performance was so extraordinary.  But the crew said they had and so did the crews of the defeated yachts.  It then turned out that she went down on the west side of the river while the Beecher and Ella S were fighting against the tide, and thus stole a march on them.  She certainly won handsomely and her time was 4:07:08.  Ella S defeated the Beecher beautifully, her time being 4:30:35, and that of the Beecher 4:33:28.

  In Class D, open sloops, the Cleon, Charles A Preston owner, Tappan Zee Y.C., was the only starter and she withdrew after the second turn.

  In Class F, cabin cats, the starters were: Gracie, O C Pinckney owner, TZYC; Ethel, E Y Nelson owner, TZYC, and D F Fox, V E Van Hagen, Troy Y C.  The latter won in 3:25:28

    In Class I, open cats over 23 feet, the Nan, Gabriel Reeves owner, Yonkers Corinthian Yacht Club, had a walk over, there being no competitor against her.

  In Class J, open cats 23 feet and over 20 feet, the Pauline B, Maleady & Ward owners, OYC, and Colleen, Jackson & Bartlett owners, TZYC were the starters.  The Pauline B withdrew after the second round.  The Colleen won in 2:22:24.

  In Class K, open cats 20 feet and over 17 feet, the starters were Lohengrin, Van Wyck Rossiter owner, TZYC; Frank, W W Whyland owner, GYC; and Gauntlet, A X Fallon owner, TZYC.  The latter won in 3:09:23.

  In Class L, open cats 17 feet and under, there were three starters; Cinch, W Hubbard owner, Audubon


YC; Flossie, Walter V Stray owner, OYC, and Beatrice, Eugene Cuatt owner.  The latter did not finish.  The Cinch won in 2:29:00.

  In the special class – half raters – there were three starters: Isabel, James P McQuade owner; Nereus, O C Pinckney owner, and Florence, E Cohen owner, all of the TZYC.  The Nereus won in 3:06:50.

  The prizes were handsome trophies and the visitors ought to be well satisfied since they won them all. --Democratic Register 06.26.1896

--The Sing Sing Steamer Company’s base ball team and the Ossining Yacht Club’s nine will play a match game in this village on Memorial Day. --Democratic Register 04.24.1897

--There will be a fine bass chowder and other refreshments served at the “smoker” at the Ossining Yacht Club on next Monday evening, May 22.  Two professional entertainers, Frank Manning, a very clever monologist and humorist, and Prof. De Biere a skilled prestidigateur, both fresh from an engagement at Keith’s Union Square Theater, will help to entertain the assemblage.  The tickets are only fifty cents and can be obtained from members or at the door. --The Republican 5.20.1899

Consolidation of Clubs.  The Ossining Yacht Club is about to consolidate with the remaining members of the Ossining Wheelmen, of Central avenue, who were on the verge of disbanding.  The new club will have a membership of about 100, and will have the fine clubhouse and floats of the yacht club for a summer home and resort, and the recently refitted, handsome rooms of the defunct Wheelmen, and their fine pool and billiard tables, for a winter and cold weather home, and will have advantages not surpassed by any other organization in town. --Democratic Register 02.10.1900

Ossining Yacht Club Notes.  An interesting pool tournament has been going on in the rooms on Central avenue this week, and it will be continued through next week.  All of the crack players of the club are in it and some close games have been the result.  A handsome cue with silver name plate will be the winner’s prize.  A billiard tournament, handicap, is also under way. The annual meetng and lection of officers will take place next Monday evening March 5th. The club now has just 100 members. --Democratic Register 03.03.1900

Billiard and Pool Tournaments.  A billiard tournament is now underway in the village rooms of the Ossining Yacht Club, on Central avenue, and some interesting games are being played there nightly.  It is a handicap tournament and Messrs. John M Terwilliger, Lansing Terwilliger, William L Onyans, and Eugene Cuatt are the scratch men.  --Democratic Register 03.24.1900

--There will be a tub race for members only, at the Ossining Yacht Club on Tuesday evening, next July 24th, for a prize of a fine brier pipe.  Start to be made from float at 7.45 o’clock.--Democratic Register 07.21.1900

Ossining Yacht Club Clambake Wednesday, September 11th, has been set as the date of the annual clambake of the Ossining Yacht Club.  The event will take place at the Van Courtlandt farm, on the old Croton Dam Road, just beyond Brookside.  Tickets, including transportation each way $2.50.  The bake will be made by George Hunt, and will be of the genuine Rhode Island persuasion – stone baking.  --The Democratic Register 08-24-1901


Ossining Yacht Club Is No More.  This organization, which in the palmy days was well known along the Hudson River, has gone out of existence.  Its membership had dwindled down to  only a few and they decided to “give up the ship and rest on their laurels.

  The Volunteer Life Saving Corps composed of members of the Yacht Club, also goes down with it.  It had done good work in its day.  Its life Boat will be placed in the hands of the Village authorities to organize a new corps. 

  The one-time popular and prosperous organization went down with colors flying, however, and owing to the hustling of Collector  John Vanderbilt passed out of existence free and clear of debt. --Democratic Register 11.08.1902