Happenings at Buffalo [1907]

The late opening of the season at Buffalo, while a deterring factor in yacht outfitting, proved not altogether abortive of good results. Had the season begun early, undivided attention would have been devoted to getting out the water craft. As it was, with the river and harbor alive with moving ice cakes until a fortnight ago, thought was diverted to club affairs and matters of importance, pending, were rushed to accomplishment.

Probably at no other time has the sport in this city faced the future with such brilliant prospects. There is so much talk of new club houses, new additions, new piers, new boats -- that one is assured of a jumbled brain in an attempt to absorb it all. At the Buffalo Yacht Club, whose season opened auspiciously on May 11, the members are about to witness an unusual moving feat. The City of Buffalo, desiring to use the land on which the clubhouse stands, is preparing to take the big house to a more convenient location. People gasp at the thought as the house now stands on piling in about 5 feet of water, but Commissioner of Public Works ward, to whom all big things look small, merely says: "It is a very simple job."

When once settled, the policy of this year's aggressive administration will be carried out and big changes are in prospect. The regatta committee announce unusual interest in the racing branch of the sport. Cups and trophies are being offered lavishly and, as last year, long distance races will be the headliners.

The Motor Boat Club has bought an entire island in Niagara River and proposes to erect a handsome clubhouse thereon. The island is a short run from Buffalo and private services will be inaugurated to and from the mainland. Land will be leased to the members for the erection of cottages. New boats added to the fleet include a 27-foot speed hull with a 15 horsepower Leighton engine for Henry Gabriel, a 28-foot speeder with a 25-40 Sterling for John B. Mehrhoff, a 35-footer for Louis Roesch, this to have a 6-cylinder, 60 horsepower Sterling; a 22-foot Truscott launch for Fred Sherman, a 25-footer 15 horsepower Sterling for Harry Gould, and a 35-footer for Harry Wohler, built at the Niagara works at Tonawanda. Still others are big ones for Herman T Koerner and E. R. Thomas, the former to have a 60-footer with a 75 horsepower Standard engine and the latter going him one better with an 85-foot cruiser powered with three 100 horsepower automobile engines. Both of these hulls are being built by Whittelsey, Long Island.

Improvement is the order of the day at the Buffalo Launch Club. Surrounding the handsome clubhouse on Grand Island completed last fall is a spacious plot of land which this year will develop majestically under the touch of the landscape artist. From the clubhouse to the water will be a large plot of levelled green broken only by granolithie walks, while in the rear, tennis courts are planned to appease the lubber. Speed boat racing as usual will be the paramount feature. The fastest one yet talked of is a 40-footer modeled after the famous Niagara. It will be equipped with a 100 horse Herschell-Spillman engine and great will be the disappointment if 30 miles per hour is not reached. It is the property of Henry Lentz of North Tonawanda. May 30 is set for the official opening date on the river.

(Transcribed from Boating, June 1907, p. 36. )

[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. — LF]