On This Date In Twin Cities History - December 18, 1873
On this date in 1873, the Minnesota Boat Club in St. Paul is incorporated. Formed in 1870, the club built its first boathouse on Raspberry Island in 1885. It was the first official athletic organization in the state and immediately occupied a prominent place in St. Paul. By the late 1870s, the club began to focus on competitive racing. Residents of St. Paul often gathered on the Wabasha Street Bridge or Smith Avenue “High Bridge” to watch club members compete against each other. The Spanish Colonial Revival styled boathouse that sits on Raspberry Island today at 1 South Wabasha Street was built in 1910. It was designed by H. G. Carsley and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Minnesota Boat Club boathouse on Raspberry Island circa 1915 (MHS)