Newsletter of the Finger Lakes Chapter, ACBS

Volume 18, Issue 1 Newsletter of the Finger Lakes Chapter, ACBS March 2008

UPDATED March 18th 2008 - page 6


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George Zeth and Bruce Marsden are two antique boaters who were there when the Finger Lakes Chapter was formed and received its Charter from ACBS. Recently, the two of them put their heads together, recalled those early days, and documented the events leading up to the formation of the Chapter as they remember them. Many thanks to George and Bruce for providing this update on boating history in the FingerLakes.

In The Beginning´┐Ż The Founding of the Finger Lakes Chapter, ACBS In the spring of 1977, a bunch of us were hanging out at our favorite watering hole, the Deerhead Inn on Lower Lake Road east of Seneca Falls on Cayuga Lake. Ford Knight, Fred Curry, Richard Morehouse, Jr. and I were talking about our boats and the upcoming summer. As I recall, Ford said something about antique boat shows that had been held at Clayton and Lake George. At the time, the rest of us didn't know anything about boat shows, and Ford became the driving force behind the idea of one for the Finger Lakes area. We talked about the idea and thought it was something we could do.

So Ford, Fred and I decided to go to Clayton to learn more. There we found the Shipyard Museum and we were hooked! None of us had ever seen the variety of boats that were on display there. During our tour we ran into John Bradley and talked with him about our idea to have an antique boat show in the Finger Lakes. He was very positive and offered his support as well as ideas on where to begin. He also told us of a new organization in Lake George that we should contact -- the Antique and Classic Boat Society. We came back to Seneca Falls all excited and ready to go.

But we stepped back a bit when we realized that we couldn't put together a boat show in just a couple of weeks. So for the next few months we figured out how to go about pulling a show together.

In September of 1977, we sent out a press release to the Finger Lakes Times (in Geneva), the Auburn Citizen and the Ithaca Journal announcing an organizational and informational meeting for any persons interested in helping to plan or promote the "First Annual Cayuga Lake Antique and Classic Boat Show". The meeting was held at the Deerhead Inn on Sunday, October 16th, and as I recall, about a dozen people showed up including Syd Marsden, John Barnes and others who would help get the ball rolling.

The next meeting was held on Sunday, November 13th at the Deerhead, and Jim Brennan and Bob Myllymaki joined our small group of boating enthusiasts. They had also heard of ACBS, and Jim noted that he was already a member. We decided to contact Ray Nelson (an ACBS Founder) to find out more.

Ray offered to come to our next meeting and tell us all about the antique boat movement and ACBS. At that meeting on Sunday, December 4th, Ray told of all the benefits of joining ACBS, including insurance coverage for the boat show if we were to become a chapter of ACBS. This was the kicker, and we decided this was the way to go. But we needed 15 members to become a chapter.

By the time of the next meeting on January 8, 1978, we had collected the following 16 memberships for ACBS. We were on our way.

Ford Knight -- President Seneca Falls, NY Fred Curry Seneca Falls, NY Richard Morehouse, Jr. -- Treasurer Seneca Falls, NY George Zeth Seneca Falls, NY Syd Marsden - Vice President Auburn, NY George & Gloria Hyatt Geneva, NY Harold Flagg Seneca Falls, NY Kristine Marble -- Secretary Seneca Falls, NY Ron Jasper Seneca Falls, NY Jerry Feltus Seneca Falls, NY John Barnes Skaneateles, NY Jim Brennan Dewitt, NY Bob Myllymaki Syracuse, NY Mary Ellen Bond Syracuse, NY Joesphine Brown Seneca Falls, NY Allyn Morehouse Seneca Falls, NY

We sent the memberships to Ray Nelson, and at the ACBS Board of Directors meeting on February 11, 1978, we were approved as the "Finger Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society." The Charter for the Finger Lakes Chapter was presented to us by Bill Willig and Ray Nelson at a dinner held at the Deerhead Inn on April 8, 1978.

That makes April 8, 2008, the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Finger Lakes Chapter. Congratulations to everyone who has worked to sustain it through those years, and may it continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead. In the June issue of Brightwork look for the story of how the first Boat Show of the Finger Lakes Chapter came into being. -Ed.

Boat Show Reminder

Invitations to the 2008 edition of the Chapter's Boat Show will be going into the mail in April. Because 2008 is our 30th Anniversary year, those invitations will urge an early return of registrations. And because the judging process requires lead time to prepare assignments with complete sets of backup paperwork, the Invitations will also highlight the requirement that boats to be judged must have their registrations returned not later than July 11th.