190 Woodmere Blvd. South
Woodmere, New York 516-374-9827
"IT’S ALL GOOD AT K.Y.C"
Keystone Yacht Club
History of the Bay Houses of the south shore of Long Island
KEYSTONE YACHT CLUB IS A PROSPEROUS ONE - CLUBHOUSE PLAIN, BUT COZY
Has Seventy-five Members, All Lovers of Boats and Salt Water
K.Y.C. Men are True Sportsmen and Enjoy Sailing When the Lee Rail is Awash. Nestled just inside of Woodmere Bay is the home and headquarters of the Keystone Yacht Club, one of the oldest clubs on the island. Here, where cool breezes blow all summer long, and where every prospect pleases, middle class folk who love the sport and excitement of yachting can enjoy themselves in the same degree as their more wealthy neighbors. Over seventy-five members, which means the same number of families, all having their summer homes in Cedarhurst, Hewlett, Lawrence and Woodmere, develop into good sailors and better companions during the six months to which the season for yachting is there confined. During that time in the many craft of many sizes and makes the members find all the exhilaration that attends a sail with yards of canvass out and a spanking wind behind. Every day of every week in the yachting season the member’s flocks to the clubhouse rendezvous and soon across the broad surface of Woodmere Bay. Numbers of trim craft can be seen flitting from point to point, dipping, turning and careening as gracefully as only a well built, well-handled boat can. Thirty-seven boats, ranging from the 25-foot sloop to the catboats of scarcely more than half the length of the largest fellow pleasure-givers, compose the fleet. Then there are rowboats galore and five stanch, well equipped motor boats, one of which seagoing. Half of these are owned by members who are really crack sailors and can roll off the mariners’ whole vocabulary as easily as they can sail a race in a gale of wind. The rest are somewhat less free in their choice of nautical terms and not inclined to boast of their accomplishments, but their enthusiasm for the sport and for the waters on which it is enjoyed is just as great. In 1890 this club, the first of those on the south shore of the island you strike after leaving Jamaica, was formed. From the tiny little clubhouse of that time, it has grown in every way and is still adding to its influence in the social life of the summer colonies of Woodmere, where business men of the metropolis – or many of them – have their homes. Of all those clubs that dot every bay and inlet along the south shore, it is the only one which boasts of having a really, high-up naval officer among its members. Standing at the head of the club’s membership column is the same of Admiral Winfield Scott Schley. But a few years ago, just after the admiral soared into greater public notice through his part in the Battle of Santiago, he made a visit to this pretty little clubhouse and was at once accepted as an honorary member. A mile’s drive from Woodmere, over a smoothly macadamized roadway that winds between rows of handsome willow trees shading the pretty summer residences, will bring the visitor to the point of land form which the clubhouse can be reached. Stretched out before the point is as pretty a view as can be seen along the coast in that section. The water from the bay has reached far up onto the lowlands, inundating broad acres to a depth of from four to five feet. From the head of the point to which the water has risen, channels turn to the eastward, and like twin serpents twist their ways to the bay again, forming many green-surfaced islands and leaving the clubhouse completely surrounded by water. On a pier that runs out for five hundred feet the members walk over the water out to the clubhouse. With anchors down, many of the boats rest alongside beneath the shelter of the building. But it is the height of the season now, and the sailormen who own them don’t let the boats lie much at anchor while blue water and stiff breezes are always reading to furnish an afternoon’s pleasure. The clubhouse itself is not as large as some of the others on the shore, but is fully supplied with all the accoutrements of such a place. It is one story high, and long, containing reception rooms, rooms for men and women, a dining room and many lockers for both sexes. Here, in the time just before or after the yachting season, or on stormy days, when even the biggest boats couldn’t safely put out, the club members can loll in comfort and have joyous times as the wind whistles in from the ocean beyond. At other times a rowboat can be used, fishing tackle gotten ready and the lure sent out for weakfish that prove such good sport in that section. Many prefer this sort of amusement to even the sport that is more strenuous. But the club’s men and women, who have plenty of red corpuscles in the blood take more pleasure in the exciting races that are held in the bay every Saturday. The clubhouse and grounds about it are crowded on these days, and as there is a tense rivalry between the members, good sport can always be enjoyed, both by the participants and by the onlookers. Besides these races, there are the motorboat races, the annual regatta, when the races are held on a more extensive scale, and the yearly cruise. On the latter occasion every boat lines up, and with its owners and their friends of both sexes as guests, sail up the coast to the Great South Bay, visiting all the other yachting clubs as far as Westhampton. It is a pretty sight as the boat all assemble off the clubhouse. When all is ready and the commodore give the word, the sales are sent, and like a flock of great swans the boats go slowly out though the bay, past Hog’s Island, near the ruins of the Long Beach Hotel, which burned but two weeks ago, and then into the ocean, keeping as closely as is safe to the shore, the fleet then starts it course east until the next club is reached. After that the return trip is made. The whole trip which was taken but two weeks ago by the Keystone fleet, is completed in three days. The man who has charge of the annual cruise, as well as other affairs of the organization, is Commodore C. A. Schiffmacher, who is a Wall Street broker, has a summer residence in Woodmere and is one of the oldest members of the club. The other officers are: Vice commodore Dr. E.C. Smith; secretary, William H. Latham; measurer, John J. Wood; fleet captain, G.H. Schiffmacher; treasurer, John A. Willis. Dr. Smith was the only member of the club whose boats are entered in the New York Yacht Club races. The rest of the members stayed a home, and although they missed the event supposed to be the yachting occasion of the year, they claim there was enough enjoyment in an extra sail on Woodmere Bay to recompense them for what was missed on the greater occasion.