On August 20th, 1909, the Barrington Yacht Club dedicated its long awaited Clubhouse located on the west side of the Barrington River along Mathewson’s Bend. A 50-year lease of land near Chapin Road was secured; we now had our place along the Barrington River’s best anchorage. To finance the building of the new Clubhouse, the women of the Club organized a Winter Cotillion that was held on November 7, 1908 at the Town Hall.
The Club was popular from the start with 218 members paying five dollars each to belong. Shares in the Clubhouse building fund were sold for ten dollars a piece. By August things were well under way, and Abbott Gardiner was hired as Steward for one dollar a day.On the dedication day a large crowd gather to see Howard Gladding win the boys row boat race. First Commodore Arthur Smith presented young Gladding with a pewter cup, this trophy was recovered a few years ago, and today it is the perpetual award for our Ladies Big Boat Race. The Barrington Yacht Club’s oldest trophy is now called the “OLE” Ladies Cup.
It was during this time that Charles McKenna, William Bliss and Arthur Almy designed the Club Burgee and Seal. The Club Burgee with its blue Maltese cross has been the subject of many questions over the years that we as your historians would love to know the answer to – What is the nautical significance of the Maltese cross?
We know other Yacht Clubs have used it on their burgess that are older then us, examples include the Riverside Yacht Club in Connecticut, American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, and the Egg Harbor Yacht Club in New Jersey.
We also know that the symbol is often used on sails of Portuguese Boats, including their Tall Ship cadet trainer “Sagres”. And the most important clue, it is a symbol of bravery found on firefighter’s badges. But what is its nautical significance???
We need your help to answer this question.
Enjoy the picture of the Dedication of the Clubhouse in 1909 on the web site; it is one of our favorites. The original can be found in the Williams Room on the South wall.
John and Jean MacIntyre, Club Historians