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.
The Beginning� 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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
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.