The Springfield Motor Boat Club had its origins in the minds of three sportsman and became a reality through patience, diligence, and foresight of a number of club pioneers who wanted a club of their own independent of public interference.
Before Lick Creek and Sugar Creek became Lake Springfield, Herbert Adams, Louis Schwartz, and Henry Early had their boats moored on the banks of the Illinois River near Havana. These men kept a sharp lookout for a first choice spot on Lake Springfield. It finally came. As soon as the waters of Lick and Sugar Creek began climbing the banks of the new Lake Springfield, a meeting was called in the C.I.P.S. garage. the meeting was called to form a boat club.
It soon became apparent at the meeting that there were two distinct interests – motor boating and sail boating. Another meeting was soon called for motor boat enthusiasts only, and at this meeting it was defiantly decided to form a motor boat club.
First members, many of whom were present at the first meeting were: Louis Schwartz, Herbert Adams, Henry Early, Father Yunker, Dr. A. E. Walters, Bill Kessling, Harold Dow, John Mitchell, Herschel Rollet, Vern Pass, Lewis Lush, Anthony Sgro, Chan Charlson, Wiley Shoup, Carl Nickerson, and Austin Cull
In the spring of 1933, the Springfield Motor Boat club was organized with Louis Schwartz, Herbert Adams as President, William Kessling as Vice President, Chan Charlson as Secretary, and Dr. A.E. Walters as Treasurer. The club had a roster of approximately 30 members.
A lease for one year was taken on a white house and a small plot of ground with lake frontage, the location of which was near approach to Lindsey Bridge. After one year, the lease expired and a new location was offered and accepted. The new site, five acres of land, which is now present site, needed many things to make it an attractive motor boat club. With the depression in full swing, and with just $15 in the club treasury, the outlook for the membership was one of gloom.
In the spring of 1934, weekly meetings were held and $20.00 yearly membership dues were agreed upon. No limit was put on the members to be taken in. It was decided to build a club house, docks and a bath house. This seemed to be a herculean task with funds at a very low ebb. Various lumber companies were contacted for credit and the Vredenburg Lumber Company agreed to extend the necessary credit. Twenty men signed notes of $100 each to guarantee the lumber bill. Lumber was delivered and work was begun. In some instances, memberships were given to tradesmen for their skilled services, some donated money, many joined in the cooperative enterprise and helped nail, saw, carry boards, etc..
In August of 1934, a one room club house, a bath house and docks were completed and the Springfield Motor Boat Club became a reality. Credit for hard work, planning and organizing should go to those few men who gave generously of their time so the Springfield Motor Boat Club could be enjoyed by so many.
Throughout the years, the Springfield Motor Boat Club has continued to update and modernize our club grounds and facilities. This attention by our members to the future needs of the club speaks to our member’s commitment to keep the Motor Boat Club as one of the best clubs on the lake.
The Springfield Motor Boat Club, over the years has positioned itself to be a family oriented club, where families could socialize and enjoy our water activities. We celebrated our 75th anniversary in 2008 and look forward to many more years as a social club on Lake Springfield.
Club Address: 17 Club Area, Springfield, IL 62712