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Friday, September 11, 2015

Alden Marsh Young's Pine Orchard Yacht Club (1899), Long Island Sound -- founded in his villa in Connecticut, New England. First president: Alden M. Young. Vicepresidents: John T. Manson and Henry C. Rowe. Secretaries: Fred T. Ley and Henry W. Doolittle. Treasurers: Milton J. Warner and Henry W. Doolittle.


Alden Marsh Young's Pine Orchard Yacht Club is located on Long Island Sound.

The yacht club was founded in 1901 by Young (of Young's Pond fame) with a group of Pine Orchard friends in Young's villa in Connecticut, New England.

The decision was made to form a club for social interests.

The club house was built erected just prior to the turn of the century, in 1899.

Young's villa stretched throughout almost all of the land from the shoreline northward to the Boston Post Road.

Cuff-linked gentlemen like Young and his friends sought summer leisure activities among the green bowers, warm sands and blue ocean waves, especially yachting.

It is easy to picture Young and his friends gathered around a table in his library, perhaps enjoying a sherry, heads together, sketching out the plans for the clubhouse.

What visions did he have beyond this first round of decisions?

Did Young think, "Someday, we will create a distinguished portage of some type for our boats: after all, this is a yacht club!"

The club house mapped out that evening in Alden Young's library at the time fulfilled a need for the Pine Orchard residents.

As we said, Young had his club house built in 1899 on his own villa.

The yacht club leased the land from Young's company -- the A. M. Young Company --.

The club house has a large dance hall and a smaller reception room with a distinguished hearth.

At the end of the hall is a stage for amateur performances, with dressing rooms at either side.

There are locker rooms for men and women.

The club house opened on July 28, 1900.

The first meeting of the Pine Orchard Yacht Club, Inc., took place on September 7, 1901.

The purpose of the Pine Orchard Yacht Club is to promote yachting, and to provide for its members means for the enjoyment of the same.

Alden Marsh Young served as the first president.

The first vice-presidents were John T. Manson and  Henry C. Rowe.

The first secretaries were Fred T. Ley and Henry W. Doolittle.

Finally, the first treasurers were Milton J. Warner and, again, Henry W. Doolittle.

The corporation opened with a capital stock of $ 10,000.

In the early years, Young and his friends would cover any deficits in the yacht club with private funds.

As a moving force behind the idea, incubation and innovation of this club, Alden Young was par-none.

By 1903, the membership numbered 126.

In 1907, the Branford Trolley Line brought summer folk from the city right down to Pine Orchard.

The Pine Orchard Yacht Club had no lack for membership candidates.

In 1904, permission was granted by Secretary of the Navy William Howard Taft to build a breakwater.

This breakwater was built in 1926.

In 1907, the Pine Orchard Association, the Pine Orchard Yacht Club, Inc. and individual property owners, were granted the right by the Governor of Connecticut to build a sea wall, to fill it in and to own the land enclosed.

The P.O. Association and the Pine Orchard Yacht Club were given further authority to excavate and dredge for the purpose of creating an anchorage and harbour for public use and convenience.

In 1908, at a directors' meeting, it was proposed they find a way to focus on the yachting.

It seems that, barely a handful of years earlier, the founding fathers of the yacht club did indeed envision something more than a hall to hold dances.

A committee was appointed to prepare plans for the enlargement and improvment of one of the most unique club facilities in the country for yachting.

Alden Young's vigour, imagination and generosity were a driving force behind the growth of Pine Orchard and the yacht club.

In the early years, Young and his friends would cover expenses and deficits the yacht club encountered.

In 1911, when Alden Young unfortunately passed away, the whole undertaking of the enterprise needed to be re-imagined.

In 1914, a group of members organized the Pine Orchard Improvement Company, whose goals included improving the harbour.

The dredging and filling allowed in the 1907 grant were utilised well toward all of these ends: a yacht basin was created.

The first pier with a floating dock was built in 1930.

A caretaker were hired in 1913, William Holt.

Part of his duties would include serving refreshments.

Plans to add two wings of locker rooms, a new upper promenade deck that stretched all around (and which afforded marvelous views to those who strolled its length), and a terrace on the water side were soon implemented.

In 1916, the harbour committee engaged a boatman, Michael McDonald, to purchase or lease a boat or boats to rent.

There was no dock at this time and all of the boats were on moorings.

Dancing ... and sailing!

The opening season of 1916 was extremely active and was well-documented in "A Glimpse of the Summer of 1916", a reprint of a series of New Haven Register Sunday articles, (reproduced in John Kirby, Jr's 1981 "The Pine Orchard Shore").

The New Haven Register series mentions fund-raisers, including Saturday night dances!

A sum not to exceed t$200 was voted by the Board to cover the expenses of ten Saturday night dances, so we can see how vital the social activites of the yacht club had become.

In a few more years, a systematic yachting programme was initiated which have become a vital part of the season for all members.

Throughout the years, the membership made sure that their Club continued to grow and meet the needs of the families that used it.

The Marine Lounge were designed to create comfortable dining and lounge areas.

And still today, in-club programs and inter-club programs are always being created and expanded, and improvements are made as needs arise and the vision for the Club grows

The main dining room, with a second story marine Lounge, is nestled on the back.

There is a professional kitchen, which is housed in the wing off the right of the building shown here, which serves fresh, top of the line cuisine at Club functions, tournaments, private functions and for the membership's dining pleasures.

The 103-Slip Marina has 24 moorings.

The yacht club offers relaxation in the second-floor marine Lounge with its magnificent, commanding views of Long Island Sound and the incomparable Connecticut Shoreline.

And then there is Yachting...

From the forties.... to the twenty-tens...

From Yacht races to yacht races.

From sea-planes and launches, sailboats to big cruisers, the club's harbour has seen it all.

The club holds a club cruise event for club boaters, and club members regularly participate in national and international racing events. (One club commodore recently raced in the Newport-Bermuda, 600-plus mile, Atlantic Gulf Stream course).

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