Ischoda Yacht Club Bar
Ischoda Yacht Club

OFFICERS

Commodore: Bill Hartwell
Vice Commodore: Dave Michek
Rear Commodore: Alex Marini
Executive Officer: Rob Jones
Recording Secretary: Brian MacDonald
Financial Secretary: Harvey Augarten
Treasurer: Ron Miller

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Ren Case
Tim (Skinny) Daniels
Bill Forcier
Blake Harris
Bob Keeley, P.C.
Steve Potrykus, P.C.

HISTORY OF THE ISCHODA YACHT CLUB

Ischoda Yacht Club, one of the oldest clubs on Long Island Sound, was founded in 1886 as the Hallika-Wallika Club by a group of boatmen, mostly fishermen, as there was very little pleasure boating at that time. In 1901, while Norwalk celebrated its 250th birthday, it's name was changed to the Ischoda Yacht Club, a name from the Mohawk Indian Tribe which meant "A campfire around which the peace pipe was passed", and indicating the peaceful relations the white settlers in Norwalk always had with the Indians.

The first meeting places of the club were in East Norwalk, then the center of the shellfish and fishing industries. The last clubhouse across the river was located just east of the present public launching ramps off Liberty Square. In 1915 the club moved to rooms on Water Street adjacent to the Washington Street Bridge where it was to remain for 40 years. At that time the club rooms were located on the second story and there was only one key to the club which was lowered on a string by the steward to the thirsty members anxious to get upstairs to the welcoming and well-stocked bar.

Women (third class citizens at that time) were not admitted to the club rooms under any pretext. In 1955, the club realized that landlord Nelson Hayes was getting on in years and they must move or face a not-sogenerous landlord. Under the Commodore ship of Cliff Ferris, the present property was purchased from the Home Heating Company. The actual building was started under a new Commodore, Frank Bruno and upon his sudden death completed by acting Commodore John Solder. The clubhouse then consisted of the present bar and game room. The space now occupied by the Seabreeze room was then locker space. In 1956, two important events happened. The club was dedicated and for the first time women and children were welcomed. In the 60's the club ran into a financial crisis but through the dedicated leadership of the Commodores at that time Ed Keller, George Cejka and Dick Shanahan and the loyal support of the membership, a steady financial course was attained.

These days there is a deep fraternal feeling of fellowship among her members that makes it a true club and she is blessed by the many Tradesmen she has on board who continuously improve the old lady and make her a sturdy ship, not letting down the original founders of the club who believed it should always be a group of men and women joined together to work and play together in the light of the brightly burning campfire of peace.

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