Rowboats on parade

Lake Harriet Boating Club sponsored by YWCA c 1900
Lake Harriet Boating Club sponsored by YWCA c 1900. Image from Hennepin History Museum’s collection.

Enjoying life on the chain of lakes has been an integral part of our city’s life for generations. Here, members of the Y.W.C.A. Rowing Club participated in a mid-summer boat parade on Lake Harriet in 1906. The club was formed in 1894 with only 16 members, but by 1906 the club boasted 110 members! They met every Wednesday evening during the summer to enjoy boating on the lake. Both beginning and experienced rowers were welcomed into the club; instruction was provided by Platt Walker, the city’s 8th Ward alderman. The rowing season featured several of these formal evening boat parades. According to news coverage of the time, the parade captured here was “a feature greatly enjoyed by the patrons of the roof garden [at the Pavilion] during the band concert intermission.”

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