The History of The South Boston Yacht Club


A history of the SBYC


On February 5th, 1868, less then three years after the end of the Civil War, Captain John Greer and a group of his fellow yachting enthusiasts met in Arthur Scott’s boathouse on the South Boston shoreline between K and L streets to organize the South Boston Yacht Club with a roster that year of 59 members.


The following summer a new building on the shoreline at the foot of K Street was built at a cost of five hundred dollars and it was dedicated on July 15, 1869. Less then three years later on February 7, 1870, this building was physically moved to 6th street at the corner of Farragut road, where better location and facilities were offered for yachting.

In 1886 a rapidly growing membership found it necessary to again improve their accommodations and the clubhouse was enlarged extensively and completely remodeled at the cost of $2,500 and was re-dedicated on April 7, 1886.  In those days, the granite retaining walls along the beach between N Street and Farragut Road did not exist and the water at high tide would have completely covered what is now the Center Island on Day Blvd. The entrance to this clubhouse was on 6th street and the building extended across what is now Day Boulevard and Kelly’s landing. The southern part of the club was built on pilings and suspended over water.

On April 2nd, 1877 the South Boston Yacht Club incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth of Massachusetts was incorporated with the Powers, rights, privileges and subject to limitations, duties and restrictions.   At this time, the club had a membership of 139 members and a fleet of 44 yachts. It was on this Memorial Day in 1877 that the first open regatta was held, an event which survives to this day in the annual May 30th Opening Day celebration as well as our Memorial Day observance to pay tribute to those who have gone before. This Memorial Day ceremony and regatta has marked the real opening of the season in the Bay.


The significance of memorial day as the choice for our official opening day exercises each year, becomes more interesting when one considers that on May 30th 1868, less than four months after the club’s founding, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the republic issued orders that this day be observed by all his department Commanders by decorating the graves of the fallen comrades, thus inaugurating Memorial Day.


In 1899 the club found itself sitting in the middle of what today is Day Boulevard as work on what was then called the Strandway rapidly approached club’s location.  The clubhouse was demolished and in return the City of Boston granted it’s current location with a waterfront of 200 feet in a lot depth of 100 feet. The main portion of the building was built at a cost of $19,000 dollars and was dedicated at the annual Memorial Day of May 30th 1899. Two wings were added to the main building in 1900, and a large western wing with four bowling alleys and 103 Lockers was completed in the year 1901. In 1901 the clubs membership roster was 315 members and 150 yachts.

In the year of 2000 we are pleased to have 476 members and we celebrate our clubs 132rd year.

The ceremony still continues as you can see below.


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