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Big Beaver Boat Club

Milestones Vol 25. No. 1

During the month of April, 1937, a charter was granted to the Big Beaver Boat Club, of New Brighton. The idea of the organization was conceived by a number of young men in the community during the preceding year. The completion of the Montgomery Island Dam on the Ohio, which created a pool of water approximately 19 miles in length, had much to do with encouraging the movement. This dam gave an average navigable depth of nine feet to the Beaver River at New Brighton. So in order to promote active interest in boats and boating along with fresh water navigation the club was formed.

The first election of the organization resulted in the following members being named to office: Leroy Kelbaugh, Commodore; Lysle Latsaw, Vice-Commodore; Harry Gestrich, Rear Commodore; Fred K. Kennedy, Secretary; Roy Kaufman, Treasurer; and the following trustees: George Garmen, Karl Kelbaugh, Arthur Shaffer, Edward Shaffer, Robert Snowden and Harry Watt.

After acquiring sufficent capital a club house was sought and finally a former government quarter boat was purchased in Pittsburgh. This was moored at the municipal wharf at Nineteenth Street, late on December 25, 1936. During January, 1937, and again in April the club was menaced by flood waters, necessitating a 24 hour a day watch on the properties. Fortunately no serious losses were suffered.

In the spring of the same year the members built floats, purchased boats, improved the docking grounds, thus making the river shore at this point take on a nautical appearance. On Decoration Day 1937 the first annual regatta was held by the club, as provided for in the constitution. Well attended by the citizens of the community it promises to be one of the features of this holiday.

From The New Brighton Centennial Book - 1938