Indian Hill Boat Club

History of the Club

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Indian Hill Boat Club, Maumee, Ohio

In 1955 a few Maumee residents and business men decided to try to form a boat club on the the Maumee River within the city limits. Their ideas were largely formulated during coffee sessions, presided over by George Burnett, at the Cottage Restaurant on Conant Street.
 
Lookin over the river frontage available, it appeared that few lots were left that might be suitable. One was almost directly across the street from the well-known and famous Wolcott House, oned by the late Rlla Hull. Initial talks with Miss Hull, who lived in the house, were not very encouraging, but when she learned that her minister, the Rev. Malcom Ward, pastor of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, was interested in the project, she agreed to lease the land.
 
The Indian Hill Boat Club had its official start on May 24, 1955, when Articles on Incorporation were filed wit hthe State of Ohio. The first paragraph stating the pruposes of the Corporation reads as follows:
 
To promote, encourage, and provide facilities for boating, sailing, and navigation of watercraft of all kinds and types; competition between such crafts; thereof, and social and recreational activities in connection therewith or incident thereto, particularly in the City of Maumee, Ohio, and the area and waters adjacent thereto.
 
Those signing the Articles of Incorporation were: Lowell L, Baldwin, Louis M. Earick, Frank W. Hackett, Sr., George S. Burnett, and S. E. Klewer. The officers for the first year of operation in 1955 were listed as Lowell Baldwin - president, George Burnett - vice-president, and Louis Earick -secretary/treasurer. 

In compiling this history of Indian Hill Boat Club, a special tribute should be paid to Earl M. Martin. Earl was treasurer and secretary from 1956 to 1976 and retained the office of treasurer through the year 1982.
 
The help and assistance of Will Donaldson also bears mentioning. In the early days of building the first floating docks, use of his business facilities was a tremendous help. He also assisted in and later took over the financing of the seawall in 1964.
 
Special mention also goes out to Lee Dunbar, who has been such a pillar of strength for the club. His engineering "knowhow", the use of his shop in building the steel docks, and the use of his "cherry picker" and other tools in moving the docks spring and fall have made it much easier for all the members.

The present boat club property was leased from Miss Hull on June 1, 1955, for five years with options to renew for five successive periods of five years each. The original lease called for a rental chagre of $1 per member per month, with a minimum total charge of $25 per month.
 
The site selected and leased from Miss Hull was part of River Tract 21 which has figured prominently in early Maumee history. Around the years 1835-1850 it was known as Upper Steamboat Landing and was owned by James Wolcott, a great grandfather of Miss Hull. On this site Mr. Wolcott built at least two steamboatsthe 326-ton General Harrison in 1840 and the 100-ton James Wolcott in 1843.
 
At the time the present River Road was known as Wolcott Road and another road, known as Water Street, ran along the river giving access to the steamboat landing and several other warehouses and docks between the landing and what is now the end of Corey Street. Ewing Island, across for the club, was called Great Island.
 
In an early conversation with Miss Hull, George Burnett remembers that she requested the northwest corner of the property not be disturbed as it was part of an Indian burial plot, which was known as Indian Hill. Hence, the name of the boat club. Because of the burial plot, the driveway was run southwest off River Road.  
 
References to the building of steamboats on the river in front of the Wolcott House were taken from John A. Smith's "History of Maumee."