1938 to 1947
The origins of TYC are with the Fall River Yacht Club. Situated on Riverside Drive, immediately south of the current TYC and directly across the street from the John Moran homestead, FRYC served the ample interest in racing and sailing of Tiverton residents. In addition to the 20 foot porch overlooking the harbor, the south water frontage of the adjacent wharf was reserved for the exclusive use of the members. The clubhouse was destroyed by the 1938 Hurricane, pictured at right, and for several years Tiverton residents were without a yacht club. The old stone pilings of that building are still visible extending out into the harbor.
Continued interest in yachting, especially Candy Class sailboat racing, spurred a group of Tivertonians to launch a drive for a new yacht club in the fall of 1945. Several informal meetings were held in the home of Carlton Grinnell and the first organizational meeting was held at the home of Stewart Grinnell, who became the club’s first secretary.
It was decided to lease the second floor of the building on the dock at the foot of Middle Ave. [now Standish Boatyard], whose new owners, Henry Walsh, his son, Harry and son-in law James Mataronas, had agreed to install a soda bar, cover the walls with knotty pine, lay a hardwood floor in the clubroom, construct a large porch on the second floor waterside and build a bridge directly from the street side second floor to the Main Road sidewalk for easy access. Additionally, a 20-foot addition was built on the building south end, giving the TYC a 60 X 30 foot area. The south water frontage of the wharf was to be for the exclusive use of the members of the new club. Point of interest, the facility had just been purchased by Mr. Walsh’s group from Francis Manchester.
|Standish boatyard looks very much the same today as it did in the early 1950s.
A successful membership drive in the spring of 1946 insured a healthy future for the new TYC when it held its first annual meeting at Whitridge Hall, Lawton Avenue in Tiverton’s Stone Bridge area, on April 11. The first meeting of the TYC board of directors was held on May 3 when the first flag officers of the new club were elected. Stewart Grinnnell, the first Commodore, initiated the racing program. The 1946 season saw the first formal racing schedule, a series of social events, and all sorts of new equipment for the club. During this period of expansion, the Tiverton Candy Boat Fleet [the primary sailboat racing class of the TYC] increased in size to a registration of 42 boats, and the powerboat fleet numbered 26, with the total membership of 206 yacht club individuals.
Towards the end of the 1947 season, while Carleton Grinnell was president and Robert T. Richards commodore, several important changes were made in the by-laws. It was voted to abolish the system of dual officers and to instruct the running of the club to the flag officers and board of directors. The board was to consist of fifteen members, five to be elected per year for a three-year term.