Laureate Boat Club
The Laureate Boat Club was located in Batestown. Founded in 1866, the organization survived until 1930 at which point their clubhouse on Glen Avenue was sold. In 1931 the clubhouse became the home of a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post until 1963 at which point it was demolished.
—Turner’s Lane is to be opened as a street, and the present boat house of the Laureate Boat Club will have to be removed. The club have purchased a lot North of their present quarters, and intend to erect thereon a new and very handsome club house, costing some $5,000. In a few years boating will be one of the institutions of Troy.
“City Notes.” Troy Daily Times. August 23, 1870: 3 col 3.
—The plans for the new boat house of the Laureate Boat Club, of which we spoke some time since, and which is to be constructed on the bank of the river at the foot of Turner’s Lane, have been completed by Cummings & Birt, and on Monday the erection of the building will be commenced. The house is to cost $5,000, and will be the prettiest and most commodious boat house in the state if not in the country. It will be two stories high surrounded by a plaza, and will contain every accommodation which is required by the members of the club. The Laureate club is composed of some of our most prominent club is composed of some of our most prominent young men, and we are glad to see them embark so earnestly in this noblest of out-door sports.
“City Notes.” Troy Daily Times. September 30, 1870: 3 col 1.
—The new boat-house of the Laureate club will be finished by the 1st of June, when a grand inaugural review will take place on the waters above the dam. A number of clubs from out of town will assist in this magnificent aquatic parade.
“Homespun.” Troy Daily Whig.. May 6, 1871: 3 col 2.
—The house warming at Tennyson’s Villa, the new boat house of the Laureate club on Peeble’s Island, will take place on Tuesday afternoon and not on Wednesday as announced. Doring’s band will furnish the music. Capt. Green requests the members of the club to wear their uniforms on the occasion.
“City Notes.” Troy Daily Times. August 10, 1872: 3 col 1.
—The beautiful boat house of the Laureate club will be kept open this Winter, and will be warmed and lighted. Two new and splendid ice boats are being made for the club, and with ice-boating and skating the members propose to have many a joyous time during the Winter months.
“City Notes.” Troy Daily Times. October 23, 1872: 3 col 1. [Regarding ice boats, see e.g. the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club and “Two Centuries of Ice Yachting on the Hudson” by Brian Reid.]
Of these [upper Hudson boat clubs], the Laureate club is the oldest and most influential. Organized, as mentioned above, in 1866, with six charter members, the club purchased a second-hand six-oared barge and built immediately above the dam a wooden shanty, in which to house the boat. The membership of this pioneer club increased so rapidly that in 1870 a plat of land was purchased, fronting the river, on the north side of Turner’s lane, now Glen avenue, and the present commodious boat-house erected at a cost of $7,120. It is a two-story brick building, 68×30 feet, the ground floor being used as a boat room, while the upper floor is divided into parlor, hall and dressing room, the last-named being provided with lockers, wash-stands and shower-bath. Off the parlor and facing the river is a broad balcony, which, on many occasions, has been crowded with friends of the club to witness races and regattas. The interior of the boat room is well filled with all manner of craft. The club property consists of five singles, two doubles, two fours, one six-oared gig, one six-oared and one four-oared barge and a working boat. All of these boats are of paper and built by Waters, except the barges and gig. Besides the club craft there are five singles, one double, canoes and working boats—the property of individual members. The house when built was by all means the finest in the country, and to-day, while surpassed in size and architectural beauty by the magnificent quarters of the Staten Island athletic club at West New Brighton, and the Nereid boat club of Brooklyn, at Sheepshead bay, is considered a model of convenience and durability, for, unlike those mentioned, it is built to stay. The officers of the club are: H. M. Alden, president; Harry Schoonmaker, secretary and treasurer; W. C. Buell, captain; George H. French, lieutenant. There are about ninety active, life and honorary members of the club.
Troy Daily Times. May 25, 1888: 3 col 2.
Laureate Boat Club, organized June 19th, 1866. Boat-house foot of Laureate Avenue. John H. Tupper, president.
Weise, Arthur James. Troy’s One Hundred Years, 1789-2889. Troy, NY: William H. Young, 1891. 368.
Famous Organization Will Soon Be But a Memory—Organized in 1866.
The Laureate Boat CLub property at the foot of Glen Avenue has been sold to Thomas J. Mulligan. The transaction includes about 80 feet frontage on the Hudson River and 175 feet along Glen Avenue. The large plat of ground adjoining the former clubhouse and formerly an athletic field was not included in this transaction, as that grounds are owned by the New York Power and Light Co. Seth W. Smith is President and John Danahy is Treasurer of the Laureate Boat Club. With the transfer of the property to the new owner will thus pass into history one of Troy’s oldest and best known athletic organizations.
The Laureate Boat Club was organized June 19, 1866, and during its long existence has been known far beyond the confines of this vicinity. The club was represented in regattas for many years, with former college stars occupying the shells from the singles to the eights. The late John M. Francis, who was crack oarsman at Cornell, and his father, the late Charles S. Francis, who held an intercollegiate record, were members of the famous club.
Years ago the spectacle which attracted many people on the Fourth of July was the regatta sponsored by the Laureate Boat Club and held on the Hudson River, with shells starting at the Waterford bridge and finishing at the Laureate boat-house. These regattas and annual boat races of the Laureates attracted thousands of people.
For years the Laureate Boat Club football team was known far and wide. The Thanksgiving game was one which always attracted a big crowd.
Troy Times. February 3, 1930: 5 col 5.
Former Laureate Boat Club Was Raided By Prohibition Men—Other Visits in Vicinity.
Federal prohibition agents raided a “speakeasy” located in the old Laureate Boat Club, at the foot of Glen Avenue, last night and confiscated two quarts of whisky, one quart of gin and a half barrel of beer. George Burke, employed in the place, was arrested. He was arraigned before Commissioner Cipperly this morning and admitted to bail in the sum of $2,000, as it was his second offense. He will be given a hearing July 9.
The Maple Grove Hotel at Burden Lake was raided and eight half barrels of beer seized. Martin J. Galusky was arrested on a charge of violating the Jones law by manufacturing and possessing intoxicating liquor. He was bailed before Commissioner Cipperly in the sum of $2,000 for appearance July 24.
Joseph Russell and Sylvester Collins, arrested yesterday in raids on two places in Cohoes, were admitted to bail this morning, Russell in the sum of $2,000 and Collins in $1,000.
The Brass Rail, a speakeasy at 16 Green Street, Albany, was raided and James Burke and Mario Comsole arrested. Whisky, gin and beer were seized.
Troy Times. June 21, 1930: 5 col 5.
A S. Wikstrom, Inc., Skaneateles, with a bid of $2,500, was the lowest of six bidders who today submitted estimates to the State Public Works Dept. at Albany for demolition of the former building of Troy Post, VFW at the foot of Glen avenue.
The structure, at one time the Laureate Boat Club and now owned by the State of New York, is to be torn down to permit relocation of the facilities of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, now in Albany. The corps property vacated in Albany will be used as part of the right-of-way for future reconstruction of Interstate Route 90 (the Albany northside route).
The state’s estimate for demolition of the former VFW building was $3,600.
Other bidders on the project were: Capital City Wreckers, Inc., Albany, $3,437; Craib Engineers, Berlin, $3,460; Becker Wrecking & Salvage Corp. Albany, $3,000; Bloomfield Building Wreckers, Troy, $3,887.50 and Amsterdam Wrecking & Salvage Co., Amsterdam, $2,825.
Times Record. July 11, 1963: 36 col 2.