While lacking the year round grand formality of the 19th century New York, Newport, Marblehead Yacht Club scene, the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club was certainly considered, along with Bar Harbor, one of the best summer yachting destinations for those clubs and for the summer residents and visitors to the region.
The Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club was incorporated in 1895, although the Club’s history dates back to 1870. The club quickly became a racing and social center for the summer boating season in the harbor from its downtown Boothbay Harbor waterfront location, now the site of the Tugboat Inn.
Using old photo references from several historical sources, and with considerable help from Barbara Rumsey at Boothbay Region Historical Society, Ed Parker has depicted the club as it would have looked in 1910, members, guests and rusticators on the docks waiting to be ferried out to their boats or summer cottages.
Based on research from Wooden Boat publications, he also added several boats popular then, including a 1908 24-foot Dark Harbor sloop, a One Design class of knockabouts, 200 of which were built in Maine and sailed by many yacht clubs, and an 18’ Catboat, also very popular then for family picnic day sails.
There is a certain implied social and fashion formality to the scene that was strictly followed during that time and in some instances established traditions that carry over into today’s yachting environment.
The original painting is now on display at Gleason Fine Art, 31 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor. A very limited number of signed giclee prints are available directly from the artist.