Club History

Black Rock Yacht Club traces its origins to 1874.  In that year, George A. Wells, an associate of P.T. Barnum, purchased a building on the land where the clubhouse now sits.  It became known as part of the George Hotel, known the world over for its elegance and charm.

The Club House was used as a bar and for shore dinners.  During that period it was called “Pleasure Hall”. Bathing facilities for the hotels 200 or more guests were quite different then with sandy beaches and clear blue water.  A five hundred foot long pier reached way out to the channel.  At low tide, one can still see the remaining stubs from some of the pilings and the old iron sewer pipe from the hotel and its cottages. By 1902, the glory days of the George Hotel had passed the "Shore House" as our present club house was known, was sold.

For years the spacious harbor house was used primarily for entertaining as a summer home, until on July 3, 1926, it officially opened as the Black Rock Yacht and Lawn Club flying the adopted red and white burgee of the old Bridgeport Yacht Club.

On January 16th, 1926 The Black Rock Yacht and Lawn Club Inc. (the name was changed in 1927 to its present name) made an agreement with Kenneth W. McNeil, the owner of our present property, whereby he agreed to sell the land and its improvements.  The club completed the purchase of the property on June 15th, 1932.

In 1808 The first Fayerweather Lighthouse was built, the only one between New Haven and Eaton’s neck, on Long Island.  On September 22, 1821 a southeast gale washed over the island and destroyed the lighthouse and all the great trees on the island.  Every vessel in the harbor was washed ashore, one sloop was dismasted and one vessel with six men aboard went down with all hands lost.  The present lighthouse was built in 1835 for $8,000.  It was put out of commission in 1932 and was replaced by two automatic blinkers.  The outer blinker was destroyed in 1950 and replaced.  This old lighthouse destined to be torn down many times has remained standing due to the concern of area citizens for its pleasure and beauty.  ---- Art Samuelson, MD