A SHORT HISTORY
For 150 years, the Minnesota Boat Club (MBC) has been rowing on the Mississippi River. Since 1870, the boat club has resided on Raspberry Island between the downtown riverfront and the west side of St. Paul under the Wabasha Street bridge. Throughout the years, the Minnesota Boat Club has had to reinvent itself.
In 1870 there were two rowing clubs on the island. Early on they joined forces and became MBC, rising to national prominence. Shortly after World War II, the boat club’s membership dwindled to the point where they had to return a portion of Raspberry Island to the City of St. Paul to pay back taxes. Membership grew in the mid-50s and since then, the boat club have regained its competitiveness and notoriety in the rowing community. At the turn of the 21st century, the boathouse, which was built in 1913, underwent significant renovation to support current club rowing programs.
Minnesota Boat Club's revenue is earned when the Great Room, on the upper floor, is rented out for weddings and corporate gatherings. With the restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, this essential revenue stream was impaired.
To celebrate 150 year of rowing, and assure MBC's future, the boat club has launched a major campaign to raise $1,500,000. Donations can be directed to bolster our three endowment funds. The endowments include the Building fund, Operations fund and Miriam Baer Youth Rowing fund. In addition to the permanent endowments, donors have the opportunity to direct their contribution(s) by having a name of their choosing added to a sweep oar, a set of sculling oars, or a seat. These monies will go directly toward maintaining our aging fleet and replacement after their useful life.
With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in place, the Anniversary Reunion will be held September 2021on Raspberry Island, Saint Paul. Sign up to get notified with forthcoming information.