Image (most likely Minnesota and Western Canada Assn. Regatta - 1909) from a collection of Upper Mississippi Photos. Gift from Mr. N. P. Langford Jr. to the Minnesota Historical Society 1944. 

August 8, 2017

Only once in the history of the North-Western International Rowing Association (NWIRA) has a ‘foreign,’ non-Association, club walked away with the treasured Sir Thomas Lipton Cup. In 1966, Chicago’s Lincoln Park Boat Club made off, some would say like bandits, with the prized trophy.

The Duluth Boat Club hosted the regatta, and everyone was happy about it. A few years prior, the club had lost their boathouse and much of their equipment in a devastating one-two punch of fire and high winds. True to form, the citizens of Duluth had stepped up, generously giving their time and money to revive the sport. Duluth’s oars were finally beginning to feel some purchase on the water again when six visiting teams descended on 3913 Minnesota Avenue, the site of their spanking new Quonset-style boathouse, to race over a mid-July weekend.

St. Paul’s Minnesota Boat Club (MBC) was heavily favored to win. Karl Twedt, temporary custodian of the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, dutifully crated and transpor...

July 10, 2017

To say that Minnesota has a strong outdoor recreational culture that revolves around its lakes is probably stating the obvious. Known as the 'Land of Lakes,' Minnesota boasts well over 10,000, and many offer ideal conditions for rowing. Yet, despite the overabundance of available 'still water,' the state's first rowers chose the mighty Mississippi River for the site of their club. The Minnesota Boat Club (MBC), the oldest rowing and athletic club in the state, remains where it has always been - on Raspberry Island - and its members continue to negotiate the unpredictable currents and river traffic as they always have (some believe this makes them stronger, better prepared for any situation they might encounter on a race course).

As the sport of rowing was establishing a foothold in Minnesota in the 1870s and 1880s, so too were the local railroad lines and resorts. Being a popular spectator sport, regattas drew people out...

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Rowing in Minnesota

History and Photography

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