Larchmont Yacht Club

When the Larchmont Yacht Club was founded in 1880, the United States had been a nation for 104 years – its total population 50 million. The village of New Rochelle was settled in 1688; Mamaroneck, as part of Rye, had also long been existence; but in between these two, there was no Larchmont.

Stories from Larchmont Yacht Club

In the early evening of Memorial Day 1880, five young men were warming themselves over a bonfire built in a cleft of rocks on the shore of what is now Horseshoe Harbor, in Larchmont Manor. These five loved boats and they had just finished a hard day of racing. Their boats were part of a small mixed fleet of jib and mainsail sandbaggers, sloops and cat boats moored in Horseshoe Harbor. Since a bonfire is scarcely the most comfortable way to close a hard day at sea, it is not surprising that these young men fell to discussing the possibility of organizing a yacht club.

That evening, it was decided: they would organize a yacht club to be called the Larchmont Yacht Club and invite others to join. The problem of a Clubhouse was resolved quickly: Fred Flint was elected a committee of one to approach his father, T.J.S. Flint, who was President of the Larchmont Manor Company and owned most of the property in Larchmont Manor from the Post Road south to the shoreline. On this property was the small Union Church. The young charter members made a deal with the elder Mr. Flint for the use of the church as a clubhouse and signed a lease for $1.00 per annum. However, it was made clear that the newly formed Club would have use of the church every day except Sunday – when the clubhouse would be opened to them only after church services were over.

The club membership grew so fast, however, that a larger clubhouse was soon needed, and in the fall of 1881 the club leased the Fleming residence near the church for the annual rental of $1,500 per year. The club continued to expand so it became necessary in 1884, to lease the Shepard House. Three years later, in 1887, the year of the incorporation of the Larchmont Yacht Club, the present site of eleven acres was purchased at a cost of $10,000 from Benjamin A. Carver, a railroad magnate. The original Carver residence was much smaller than the present clubhouse – the east and west wings having been added subsequently to the purchase. The Pandemonium was built fifteen years later in 1902; the Junior Clubhouse was the Carver stable, and the basement was the cow barn while the first floor housed the horses.

The Board of Trustees of the Larchmont Yacht Club voted to become a Founding Member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Larchmont Yacht Club joins other prestigious yacht clubs in the United States in supporting the National Sailing Hall of Fame as it is destined to become a home for the Sport of Sailing in the United States. LYC has a long and successful tradition of yachting and yacht racing, fostering generations of sailors who continue to excel in sailing. Sailing and competitive racing at the Larchmont Yacht Club prevails as a way of life, and the Club is proud to support the National Sailing Hall of Fame as a Founding Member in the spirit of that tradition.

Carl Olsson