TOLEDO ICE YACHT CLUB
Exactly when the first ice boat appeared in our region is not known. We do know it was well before the turn of the century. Circa 1886.
The sport was active up to 1918 but the activity was spread all over the territory. Clubs were organized for the soul purpose of promoting the fast and rugged sport of ice boating. In Toledo, the Maumee River Yacht Club, Toledo Yacht Club, Ottawa River Yacht Club, and Riverside Yacht Club all had their fleet and fans. We cannot forget Monroe piers and the Port Clinton area. They had their share of the beautiful old Gaffers.
It is no wonder the sport attracted so much attention back in the days of the horse and buggy. When the air was light, they could always race the horse-drawn sleighs.
As always, wars have a negative effect on sports, and World War I was no exception. Many western Lake Erie sailors served their time in this tragic conflict. Upon returning from France in the fall of 1918, a small group of Toledo skippers decided to organize a true ALL ICE YACHT CLUB.
After much discussion, the club was formed in the 1918-1919 season. It was decided to be known as "KING ICE YACHT CLUB" and boasted a membership of twenty-five (25), including the officers. I am proud and happy to say we still have blood from the original group.
The club is now known as the "TOLEDO ICE YACHT CLUB". This change was made for geographic reasons in the 1937-1938 season.
The current membership of 170 members with the best wishes of living old timers and the memory of old timers passed on, the spirit of competition through good sportsmanship and fellowship still prevails.
Many thanks to the 25 who started it all seventy-five years ago. Through good times and bad times, we have kept it going without interruption, for 75 years! Toledo Ice Yacht Club is one of the largest organized and active ice yacht clubs in North America.
Toledo Ice Yacht Club sails on the Maumee Bay as its principle site and travels to the lakes in Lower Michigan in search of ice when the Bay is not safe enough.