The California Yacht Club  

Pleasure sailing became widespread on the Estuary and Lake Merritt during the 1880s. The Estuary's first sailing club, the Oakland Canoe Club, founded in 1885, raced and cruised in small two-masted craft known as sailing canoes. The Oakland Navy--a loosely organized offshoot of the Oakland Canoe Club, with no clubhouse of its own--held monthly regattas on the Estuary during the 1890s. The California Yacht Club, an outgrowth of the Oakland Navy, was founded in 1894. By 1895 the club boasted 60 members and a fleet of 36 yachts, mostly small sloops.

The California Yacht Club built a two-story clubhouse with wrap-around veranda in Alameda west of the Webster Street Bridge. The Club moved twice, to sites in Richmond and Oakland, before it drifted out of existence soon after World War I. Remarkably, the old clubhouse was loaded on a barge and shipped to each new location.

Woodruff Minor

Oakland Museum of California Logo  "Walk Along the Water"
  Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.

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