Club History


The Launching of a New Yacht Club

On January 12, 1892 a group of 13 men, former members of The Philadelphia Yacht Club which had been taken over a few years earlier by The Quaker City Yacht Club, held a meeting at the Bullitt Building in Philadelphia.  They felt dissatisfied with the state of affairs at The Quaker City Yacht Club as a result of schisms developing among the members and occasioned by undignified acts by some members.  There also developed an incompatibility between people of different social and professional standing. During this period a change in the size of the yachts was taking place with larger seagoing yachts overtaking the then prevalent smaller 20' to 40' vessels.  This meeting concluded with a resolution recommending the advisability of breaking away from The Quaker City Yacht Club and forming a new club.  A month later, in February 1892, a charter was approved and a certificate of incorporation was issued for the newly formed Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia. (CYCOP)
Among the thirty signatures that were placed on the CYCOP Application for the certificate of incorporation were names that are familiar to us today.  They are: Alexander Van Rensselaer; Anthony J. Drexel, Jr.; Edward R. Coleman; and Addison F. Bancroft.  Ned Coleman, who owned the largest schooner Norna, was elected Commodore, Ogden D. Wilkinson as Vice-Commodore, and W. Barklie Henry, who stood number one on the roster, Rear-Commodore.  Their photographs are among those with the past Commodores on display in the present clubhouse.  As soon as the certificate of incorporation was granted, the organizers resigned from The Quaker City Yacht Club.  So many others followed that eventually sixty resigned during the next few months to join the newly formed club.
As time went on other distinguished Philadelphia names became associated with the Corinthian Yacht Club.  Names such as Edgar T. Scott, Walter Clark, Charles Longstreth, Samuel Kent, Ernest Du Pont, Walter H. Lippincott, Ralph Earle, Arthur Pew, R Fenimore Johnson, John Wanamaker, John T. Dorrance, Cyrus B. Curtis, A. Atwater Kent Jr., Fitz Eugene Dixon, and E. Paul Du Pont were listed on the membership rolls.  With the establishment of the new club came the necessity to find an appropriate headquarters and/or clubhouse.  A property down river in Essington with a wharf and protected harbor was found and subsequently was leased for $500 per year with the privilege of purchase.  The house on the property was an old hotel with 14 rooms on 12 acres of ground.  The original building was built in the late 1700's by John Shreve and was used as a taproom.  In December 1893 The Corinthian Yacht Club exercised its right to purchase the property and the price paid was $9,000.
Such were the beginnings of the Yacht Club we have and enjoy today having survived over 118 years of maritime history.  For more CYCOP history covering the first 75 years, see: Early Days of C.Y.C, by Robert Barrie - Published 1940 and The Later Days of C.Y.C - Published 1967.  A Brief History of C.Y.C, by Albury Fleitas - Published 1996 is also available at the Clubhouse upon request. 

For more information about CYC and our rich traditions, check out this blog