…and yet another farewell of the Rowing Hall of Fame

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The front door to the G.W. Blunt White Building, where the National Rowing Foundation’s National Rowing Hall of Fame used to be located. Now it really looks like it’s in bad shape.

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

Please allow me to start by apologising to you readers: I am sorry, but here is yet another one of those blog posts about the dying Rowing Hall of Fame in Mystic. The bulldozers can now be spotted by the horizon and they are getting closer by the hour. Therefore, this morning the small group of wonderful NRF volunteers, who have already put in a huge amount of hours to ‘save’ the rowing history for future generations – yes, I know it sound over-the-top melodramatic but I am really sad about the whole thing – gathered to move out some old oars, sliding seats, a bow section and a 1962 Pocock single scull, build by the grand master himself, George Pocock, and because of that, named after him, By George.

To move all the ‘stuff’ across the street to Mystic Seaport’s boat storage space, which is located in an old velvet mill, the Rossie Mill, the NRF’s volunteers had help of the Museum’s volunteers, another marvellous group of people who help out on their spare time. Led by volunteer Phil Tankard, head of the Museum’s boat storage volunteers, it went smoothly and without any hiccups.

Here are some pictures from today’s move.

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At the Mystic Seaport boat storage space is around 400 watercraft stored. Most of the recreational and racing shells in the Rossie Mill belongs to the National Rowing Foundation, the NRF. This picture is showing a boat building mold, which Joseph Garafalo, of Worcester Oar & Paddle, used for building single sculls.

 

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A grand collection of wooden oars and sculls.

 

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A collection of old ‘rowing machines’ for sweep rowing, with the oar handles removed. Many American colleges’ rowing programmes used these machines. There where rows after rows of these in the colleges’ gymnasiums or boat houses.

 

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A pile of old riggers and sliding seats.

 

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Another vintage rowing machine, donated to the NRF. The machine was still bolted to the old gymnasium’s floor when it arrived to Mystic Seaport.

 

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Some of the racing shells in the NRF’s collection.

 

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More racing shells in the Rossie Mill. Among these is Mary V, which once belonged to famous American sculler Jack ‘Kell’ Kelly, Grace Kelly’s brother. All his single sculls were named after their mother, Mary.

 

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Resting at the bottom of the racks is the oldest of the racing shells in the Museum’s collection, a ca. 1870 straight six, once owned by the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts). Legend has it that this is the boat Massachusetts Agricultural College used to defeat Harvard and Brown in March 1871 in a race held on the Connecticut River, near Springfield, Massachusetts.

 

3 comments

  1. Hello Patrick ~ No, a new location has not yet been picked for the Rowing Hall of Fame, though two different rowing organizations have expressed a serious interest in “hosting” the “Hall”. However, while these organizations are in discussion with the National Rowing Foundation (NRF), the rowing items, cups, medals, trophies, pictures, books, etc. are in a warehouse.

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