T. Wyandotte Boat Club, Built 1996
The Wyandotte Boat Club is the largest rowing facility in the United States. The lower level features two massive indoor tanks, a weight room, ergometer room, coaches office, mens and womens locker rooms, five storage bays that can hold over 100 shells, and a workshop for repairs. The second level has a beautiful bar and dance floor, a meeting room, outside patio, and balcony overlooking the river. The boat club has had many homes through the years starting with a rough two story wooden structure at the foot of Vinewood. At that time the only way to travel to races in Ecorse and Detroit was rowing there (upriver) and back (downriver).
The clubs second home was a one bay shell house behind the Legion on Vinewood. Through the efforts of William E. Kreger a life-long rowing enthusiast and benefactor, a third home was secured in 1944 on 7.5 acres donated by the Wyandotte Chemical Corp. later to become BASF. Through donations the club built a boat house on the site that was used for fifty years. A complete clubhouse was also built on the river and in 1953 was leased to The Wyandotte Yacht Club. Revenues of that lease were used to support the clubs rowing programs is they still do today.
In the mid 1940s the boat club began a program to sponsor rowing for high school students. Theodore Roosevelt High School was the first school to participate, followed by Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School. In 1947 the Wyandotte Boat Club hosted the 13th Annual National Schoolboy Regatta.
Today the club supports rowing at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The programs are open to all students and there are no charges to students or schools for use of the facilities. The clubs oarsmen have are competitive nationally and internationally.
By the late 1990s growth demanded expanded facilities again. The club turned to BASF and Bill Kreger again for help. Working with the City of Wyandotte and other groups, the club embarked on designing a new world class, Olympic caliber facility.
After 125 years of existence, the facility is located at the foot of Pine Street where it first began. The new $1.8 million dollar facility has enabled the club to expand its rowing family to include six local schools. On January 14, 1997, after sixteen months of construction, the first high school and club crews began winter training in the new facility.