CATAWBA ISLAND — Dr. Richard Thomas, a trustee of the Catawba Island Historical Society, will speak at the Catawba Island Club (CIC) about vintage power and sail boats at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 15 in the Chart Room. The talk is open to the public.
The one-hour presentation, “A Short History of Pleasure Boating Around Catawba Island,” will be a sneak peek of an exhibit debuting at Catawba Union Chapel Museum, which opens its sixth season in May.
Thomas’s display highlights luxury power boats that began appearing in the 1920’s when companies like Matthews, Lyman, Garwood, Dart and Dodge captured the imagination of marine enthusiasts wanting speed and style. The history of recreational sailing on the Great Lakes, particularly the racing legacy created by clubs like CIC, is also explored.
“The subject of pleasure boating is enormous,” said Thomas. “My objective is to provide an entertaining overview interspersed with quirky topics like the evidence of prehistoric boating competitions, and the link between powerboats and the rumrunners of Prohibition fame.”
Thomas, a Catawba resident, designed all the displays at Union Chapel Museum after thorough research. Much of the local information included in the exhibit and at his scheduled April 15 presentation came from the Catawba Island Club archives, members of the CIC Yachtsmen Association and the Sandusky Maritime Museum.