Founding: 1939 - 1948
Frank F. Cope, a former Carroll County Common Pleas judge, launched the first sailboat, a 21-foot cat rig, on Atwood Lake in 1939. Mrs. Cope and Lee Stafford were crew, and Richard James subsequently purchased the cat. At that time, the lake extended from the dam to what now is approximately the northern edge of Sunset Valley.
A series of meetings were held with those interested in the development of a boating club on Atwood Lake during 1946 and 1947, and a site for the proposed clubhouse was selected. On Jan. 28, 1948, the Club was incorporated under the name of The Atwood Yacht Club, Inc., and on Feb. 16, 1948, the following temporary officers were elected: Frank E. Cope, Commodore; Dr. L.D. Hart, Vice President; and Coe Smith, Secretary/Treasurer.
The following Trustees also were elected: Richard James, Gilbert Harsh, Robert Mallarnee, Henry Partridge, Sam Ryan and Otto Oyler. On April 1, 1948, the lease for the nine acre tract where the Club now is located was obtained from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, and on May 4, 1948, a meeting was held at the Carroll County Court House where the temporary officers were elected as the first permanent officers and Board of Trustees of The Atwood Yacht Club.
Upon incorporation, 100 shares of stock were sold at $100 each. With that $10,000, and many further contributions of labor, material and equipment, the Clubhouse was constructed. Without this spirit of donated time and effort, the dream could never have been realized. Additional contributions were made to furnish and decorate the building, and The Atwood Yacht Club was officially opened with a dance on
November 20, 1948.
During 1950, the addition of the living quarters, assembly room, locker room and lockers, and the flagpole in front of the Clubhouse expanded AYC. Other significant improvements were made in future years, including the electric hoist, docks, and picnic area with three brick fireplaces and picnic tables. An active social calendar added to the enjoyment and relaxation of all members and their families.
The Club joined the Ohio Inter-Club Yachting Association (O.I.C.Y.A.). Plans were made to have an annual regatta at the Club to be held in September, 1951, and it was officially named the Harvest Moon Regatta. The original Harvest Moon logo was designed and made by Karl Rollius.
The Club hosted the O.I.C.Y.A. Seventh and Tenth Anniversary Regattas in 1952 and 1955. The Club joined the American Power Boat Association (A.P.B.A.), even though powerboat members were unable to race at Atwood Lake due to the horsepower limit. This membership did enable members to be eligible for racing at other motorboat regattas sponsored by A.P.B.A.
The decade of the Sixties saw further expansion of the Club as the kitchen was moved to larger quarters at the west end of the Club, with expanded capabilities. A lounge was added and furnished by the AYC Ladies Auxiliary, and the covered porch was also a welcome addition, extending across two sides of the Club facing the lake. Shuffleboard courts and equipment were installed and the Race Committee built a starting building with lights and cannon. It is known now as the “Race Shanty.”
Erosion problems in front of the Club during 1967 required the placement of tons of rock and fill from the launching ramp to the beach area. The road was opened over the hill, creating a loop for easier launching of boats and access to the hoist. The pool was completed and opened on May 24, 1969, in addition to leveling of the land along the East Bay and the installation of additional cribbing. The manager’s office also was remodeled and enlarged.
Pine trees were planted along the cove areas and the launching ramp was reinforced. The walk along the front shore was straightened and the West Bay made more serviceable during 1970. Sunfish racks were installed, and the first floating docks were placed in service in front of the Clubhouse. Further remodeling in 1971 included enlargement and renovations to the kitchen and the installation of new equipment. The snack bar was added, and improvements to the West Bay continued with dredging and the addition of additional cribbing and docks. Additional Sunfish racks were installed.
During the remainder of the Seventies, additional improvements were made to the Club facilities, including the installation of carpet and air conditioning in the Dining Room and air conditioning in the Ballroom. Also added were additional floating docks, a concrete sidewalk around the pool, a new sign for the driveway entrance, a trophy case, a mobile communication system for the Safety Patrol, and an outdoor public address system.
Major improvements during the Eighties included the completion of an expanded Kitchen and Dining Room. The Club also was able to tie into the Atwood Sewer System. Much attention was given to erosion control. Later in the decade, the driveways and parking areas were repaved, restrooms renovated and awnings installed over the front entrance. The Junior Sailing Program was activated and the Club became affiliated with the U.S. Sailing Association (U.S.S.A.).
During the early Nineties, substantial upgrades were made to the electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. New natural cedar siding was applied, new windows were installed in the Ballroom and a fire/intrusion alarm system was installed. With an increase in the size of the parking area, the hazard of overhead power lines was eliminated and area lighting was added.
By note at the annual meetings of 1993 and 1994, the Active Membership was increased to a total of 400. There also were 117 Senior and three Junior members. There was no waiting list for new members.
To meet the requirements for the legal operation of the Club Lounge, the decision was made to seek a Micro-Brewery permit. Accordingly, 1995 saw the completion of a major expansion of our Lounge and the installation of the brew-making equipment.
During the beginning of 1998, the Board of Trustees approved a major renovation of the Kitchen. Replacement of floors, wall coverings, plumbing, electrical, new counters and tops as well as new stainless steel hoods with exhaust and intake air were completed. Other enhancements and repairs such as resealing of the exterior of the building, as well as repairs and replacement of blacktop in the parking area were completed in 1998.
The Ladies Auxiliary donated new awnings for the main entrance and front of the building. A Gala Event took place on May 2, 1998, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Club, held in conjunction with the Commodore’s Ball. Also during 1998, new chairs were purchased for the Dining Room and the windows were decorated with new blinds. A project was started to replace the new docks in front of the Club and was completed with installation in 1999. The Ladies Auxiliary purchased new pool furniture. Additional cleanup work on the grounds and building was accomplished, as well.
During the late 1990’s and into 2001, many improvements were made. The Club purchased a computerized order entry system, repaired and painted the swimming pool, upgraded the electrical system at the pool, built a porch and loading dock for the Kitchen, removed concrete slabs at the Junior Sailing area, installed ceiling fans in the porch, installed smoke eaters in the lounge and removed old shrubs at the entrance. The Ladies Auxiliary also is credited for the new installation of carpet in the entrance area, as well as redecorating the main Ladies Room.
From 2002 through 2006, the Club furthered its ongoing improvements with enlargement of the paved parking area, remodeling of the Kitchen and adding more equipment, remodeling of the Ladies Room at the entrance of the Club, installing the display case in the Lounge and making major upgrades to the Pool House. The Basin Street seawall and dock replacement in 2004 was a project vital to future docking at the Club. This project significantly upgraded the access to the docking areas and the docks themselves, as well as ensured the future safety of the seawall’s foundation.
In 2006, the heating and air conditioning system in the Lounge was replaced for better efficiency, while providing a much more comfortable environment at the Club. The Ladies Auxiliary contributed to many of these improvements and, in addition, purchased new furniture for the Porch, Main Entrance and television area, along with many other projects.
In 2007, the coolers in the beer cooler area were enlarged, and the sidewalks on the North side of the building were replaced. New cabinets were added to the Ballroom, electric lines were run to the docks on Basin Street and Westside, and Club volunteers redid the women’s area in the Pool House. Tom Traynor donated a Lightning Sailboat to the sailing program. Dues increased $100 for active members and $50 for other member categories, which was the first increase in more than 10 years
The biggest project in 2010 was refinishing the Ballroom floor. Power lines to the Pool were buried in 2010 to eliminate the problem of sailboats entering that parking area. A basement door was replaced and the chimney re-grouted.
Necessity raised its ugly head in 2011, when a lightning strike knocked out the phone system, computers and two air conditioning motors servicing the Lounge area. One of the largest expenditures was replacing two old air conditioning units over the Ballroom with a new system that also included heating apparatus, creating a much more efficient means of heating and cooling those areas.
Other work included putting new underground wiring to the two light poles by the loading dock ramp and the parking lot, purchasing a new ice machine and new 4-door cooler for the Kitchen, rebuilding the water softening system, building a 24’x40’ Pavilion for the Junior Sailing program, and extensive revamping of the grounds, with undergrowth taken out and new areas mulched.
The major project in 2012 was replacing the roof over the entire edifice. For the first time in 18 years, the Lounge was remodeled with new carpet, painting of walls and refinishing of the bar. The John Rundt Replica Sailboat now is prominently displayed on a shelf over the entrance to the small kitchen off the bar.
Credit must be given to the Atwood Yacht Club Ladies Auxiliary for their many contributions throughout the years. Through their efforts of fundraisers and events, many improvements have been made to the Clubhouse and pool house.