THE HISTORY OF THE BREMERTON YACHT CLUB

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Cleaning Up in Everett

Now, boys and girls, listen to the story of this party. The fellows had such a hangover that it is generally agreed that is the reason for their glum expression to this date. Anyway, Bremerton went to Everett en masse. And it can be said again, brother, that they did it up brown. Took over the entire City Yacht Club and all. Took 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in the Predicted Log Race along with 1st prize in the Dinghy Tug-O-War, and put on the best show at the skits presented by each club. In other words, it was Bremerton's time to howl. Captain Hillbery won the race. Captain VanderStaay captained the tug-o-war and Perl Maurer and Ray Hart, Jr. put on the skit with some original gags and music. What a party!

In coming back to more serious club biz we note that the club discussed getting a liquor license on September 16th, 1935, but apparently it was just one of the 99 times that it was voted down.

Also, at this date the nominations were opened for the officers for the ensuing year. The election was held September 3Oth and Lewis Tucker went to the head of the class along with Captain Hillbery and Captain Bard in that order. Again, Clarence Adams was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

It was in this fall that the deal for the head of the bay property was started. The full story of this dealing is not recorded in the official minutes, but apparently it was a cat and dog fight all the way through. It seems that there were two local business men who joined the club and then went to bat to get the club to allow them to buy a club site, erect a clubhouse and to finance the entire proposition by running a roadhouse or speakeasy or something. This matter was taking practically the entire attention of all of the members all the time and this fall nothing much was done except that the membership was split into two factions and there is a record of a great deal of argument. It seems that these two fellows actually did go ahead and purchase the property at the head of the bay, but of course it belonged to them and not to the B.Y.C. So it didn't help the club any at all.

Here is an interesting item --the first feminine member of the B.Y.C. was Miss Avadana Cochrane (manager of the Credit Bureau). Miss Cochrane joined the club in the fall of 1935 and took an active part in the club activities. Another item is that the club started proceedings to incorporate at this time. Of course, in order to incorporate it was necessary to take another step forward putting the club on a more business-like basis, so a Board of Directors was made up of Pritchard, Brooks, VanderStaay and C. Adams as it's first members. Captain Phillips was elected Chairman.

We note that a special meeting was called by Commodore Braendlein on November 8th, 1935 to discuss a possible business agreement with the two fellows who were willing to finance the new clubhouse. At this meeting a motion was made, but was dropped, by one vote on the question to make the deal. So the entire deal for the new clubhouse fell through --again.

News flash --A Past Commodores' Club was formed in November, 1935. So passes 1935. It was an interesting year, wasn't it? But, the poor old yachtsman still didn't have a place of his own to argue in. What will happen? Don't hold your breaths.

L.A.Tucker

Here comes 1936 (A.D.). Commodore Tucker and staff were installed and we see that Captain Gib Palmer gets out another annual. By the way, he has been doing this since 1933. Captain Palmer must have been the answer to any Commodore's prayers. Commodore Tucker appointed the following committee chairmen: Braendlein, Membership; Regatta, Werner; Entertainment, Hillbery; Publicity, Pritchard; Fleet Captain, Werner; Fleet Surgeon, Schutt. A note in the minutes says that the club (early in 1936) bought some of the used lumber left from the wreckage of the old Golden Hotel. There is probably some of this lumber in the clubhouse right now.

On Washington’s birthday in 1936, the club sponsored a Heavy Weather Cruise that was the real McCoy. This race was held in the area from Fletcher Bay to Suquamish and return. It snowed so hard that everything was frozen up. Plenty rough, too. One vessel lost her dinghy which was lashed topsides. It was just a little later than this that Commodore Tucker lost his ship the "Rocking Moon". It seems that the Commodore had a bad fire aboard and the boat was burned down to the water's edge. Saved his engine by salvage, however.

On March 9th, 1936, the B.Y.C. finally got agreeable and made a deal for property (on time payments) on the Navy Yard Highway on Sinclair Inlet. This property was purchased through the generosity of "Skipper" Berg, a local restaurant man, who owned the aforesaid property.

Throughout the rest of spring and part of the summer the club was in an uproar as to the possibility of obtaining a liquor license and selling liquor to finance the building of a clubhouse, etc. This issue sharply divided the club membership although for a time it looked as though this program might go through with all this friction within the club, it is noted that Commodore Tucker presented his resignation along with Captains Bard and Pritchard. However, these resignations were refused by the membership, by ballot. History tells us that the liquor proposition lost by one vote --finally. In the meantime the club put the old Ostrich Bay property on the market.

Also, a drive for new members was instituted. The piling was purchased from Cresote in June and driven the same month. Work parties were instigated to install new floats on the new property.

The Ostrich Bay property was a lemon. It did not sell readily, and was not disposed of until the next fall.

Incidentally, the bill for driving the new piling required more money than was in the Treasury. Hmmmmm! But, the club was undaunted. They merely held the bill over until enough money was accumulated. Simple.

In the meantime, the Officer's Ward Room in the Naval Reserve Quarters located on the upper story of the old city dock in Bremerton was secured for meetings of the B.Y.C. This was done by Past Commodore Brooks who was a Naval Reserve Officer. So, from June 1936 the club had a regular meeting place anyway. We see that the club voted an assessment of $10 per member in order to build the new floats in July, 1936. Approximately $200 was collected in this manner. The penalty for not paying the assessment was to be dropped from the membership rolls and the $10 had to be paid in 30 days. Nevertheless only $200 was obtained in this manner.

C.J.Hillbery

On September 21, 1936 nominations for the officers for the following year were opened, followed by the election on October 5th. This time C. J. Hillbery was elected Commodore; Edward Werner, Vice Commodore; C. P. Freidman, Rear Commodore; and, as usual Clarence Adams as Secretary-Treasurer.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the minutes at this time. It tells the tale of how our forbearers navigated:

"Under Good and Welfare, Captain Johnson gave a very good report on his vacation cruise towards Cape Flattery and like all good Bremerton yachtsmen he did not reach his destination and a manilla stern bearing and inspection of bottom was satisfactory".

So --the club owned a good piece of waterfront property and had driven piling and started on the floats. Of course, there was no clubhouse --as a matter of fact, there was very little room to park automobiles because of the huge rocks and ditches allover the place. However, somebody got the idea of changing the incorporation over to a stock company so that shares in the club could be issued. They are still out. But. this was not successful so the horns were pulled back in.

Our resourceful fathers obtained the gangway from the unused Gorst Airlines float for $10.00. This was the first airplane service that Bremerton had to offer. Of course it was a comedown for the old gangway to have to be tramped on by ugly old yachtsmen but, several of the fellows have felt pretty high as they tripped merrily down this ramp.

On December 28, 1936, the B.Y.C. joined the American Power Boat Association in order to have a more active part in the say-so of the Nanaimo Race.

Commodore Hillbery was installed in office on January 5, 1937. He immediately appointed the following staff: Fleet Captain, Gordon Palmer; Fleet Surgeon, Ray Schutt; Regatta Committee, Harry Pritchard; Membership, Earl Moriarity; Entertainment, Floyd Phillips; Building Committee, George Braendlein; House Committee, Clarence Adams; Publicity. Freidman; Annual, Gib Palmer.

From this time forward the B.Y.C. made great efforts to obtain a clubhouse. We note that the club considered buying the old Seattle Yacht Club clubhouse and actually put in a bid on this property but, it was unsuccessful.

In order to obtain more funds the club opened the membership for $1 initiation fee for 60 days. This was extended over a much longer period than this, eventually. A sizeable amount of money was taken in to the club coffers through this method.

We see that the club politicians were still angling for a liquor permit. It is interesting to note that the club had been trying to get the City Commissioners to install a municipal float ever since the club was founded. These efforts were fruitless. However, on June 28th, 193], a report was made to the membership that the city might do this if the Bremerton Yacht Club would assume all liability and insure the float.

Here are the politicians again: The B.Y.C. formally passed a motion in July 1937 to hire a Club Steward, namely Harry Magill and lease the Houghton Road House (Shellbac) at Kitsap Lake. Don’t worry tho', fell through.

On September 20, 1937, the B.Y.C. formally started the Junior Club for all kids under 21 years. Captain E. Watkins assumed the sponsorship of the Junior Club and it was very successful until the start of the war.

Elmer Brooks

Nominations again. This time for 1938. The nominations were opened on September 20, 1937, and the election was held October 4th.

Elmer Brooks was elected to assume the post of Commodore for the second time, along with Jan VanderStaay as Vice Commodore and Ed Stell as Rear Commodore and Paul A. Sheely as Secretary-Treasurer.


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