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Faragut Boat Club
Life Span: 1886-1952
Location: 3016 Lake Park Avenue
Architect: Robert Rae
Farragut Boat Club
The Farragut Boat Club was organized in 1872, and, as its name indicates, for the purpose of promoting the interests of boating. Beginning with a limited number of members, and a small boat house at the foot of Twelfth Street, it has gradually increased until it has reached its present flourishing condition. The present club house (at 3016 Lake Park Avenue) was completed in the spring of 1886. It is a handsome building of brick, with stone trimmings, and consisting of two stories and a basement.
In the basement are the bowling alley, the pool room and the lavatories. The first floor contains the parlors, the reception room, the billiard room, the card room, and the library. The second floor is devoted to the dancing hall and a perfectly appointed little theatre, with a full stock of scenery and properties, and a seating capacity of four hundred.
A series of entertainments are given here each winter, and the Farragut Boat Club Theatricals have become famous, attaining as they do to a pitch of excellence rarely reached by amateur efforts. The boat house proper is a one story brick buildirig, at the foot of Thirty-third Street. The Club owns about twenty-five boats, including an eight-oared barge, four-oared shells, four-oared gigs, single and double shells, single and double training boats, and pleasure boats of all descriptions. The initiation fee to the Farragut is fifty dollars and the dues are twenty-four dollars a year.
The Board of Management is composed of the following gentlemen: President, Mr. Henry C. Van Schaack; Vice-President, Mr. Harrison Kelley; Secretary, Mr. C. F. Bryant; Treasurer, Mr. F. M. Staples; Captain, Mr. George B. Jennisou; Commander, Mr. Harry C. Avery; Lieutenant-Commander, Mr. John L. Corbett; Ensign, Mr. John M. Keogh; and Chairman of the Board of Admissions, Mr. Charles D. Hoard.
The first softball game was played on Thanksgiving Day in 1887. The players played inside of a gym at Farragut Boat Club. The believed inventor of softball is George Hancock. The location was 3016-3018 Lake Park Avenue. This is now on the grounds of Michael Reese Hospital (now closed) on the near south side. The club house, what was left of it, was demolished in 1952 (circa). There is a monument at the site placed there by some national or international softball federation.