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Kimberly, James C. / The history of the Neenah-Nodaway Yacht Club of Neenah, Wisconsin: an account of yacht racing on Lake Winnebago from 1859 to 1957
(1957)

Chapter 2: yacht racing comes to Neenah-Menasha,   pp. 4-20


Page 20

 
2eenah-N7(odaway racht Club 
was called off. The Menasha and Fond du Lac sailors were as dis- 
appointed as the gallery and decided among themselves to sail two 
races in August, one at each of the two cities. 
  The first of these was scheduled for August 21 over the Fond du 
Lac course. The Marguerite Club chartered the Oshkosh steam 
yacht Annie and advertised a limited number of tickets for sale at 
fifty cents. The steamer was to leave Menasha at seven thirty in 
the morning and return immediately after the race. 
  Available news clippings offer nothing on either race. A storm 
encountered on the trip back to Menasha took the news spotlight 
away from the first contest and may well have caused the cancella- 
tion of the second. An Oshkosh paper, dated August 22, 1890, 
gives this account of the adventure: 
  The steamer Annie, of Oshkosh, with the yachts Marguerite of Men- 
asha and Minerva of Fond du Lac in tow, and having about 50 passengers, 
left Fond du Lac harbor last night at dusk for Menasha, where it was 
expected the yachts would race today. When about an hour out the boats 
were struck by a strong gale and, in attempting to make the harbor here 
again, ran aground. They were out on the lake until 1 o'clock this 
morning, blowing a distress whistle before grounding. The passengers 
were very badly frightened and all sick. Sailors who were out say it was
one of the worst storms they ever saw on the lake. The friends of the 
Menasha party on the steamer were greatly concerned for fear the boat 
had gone down, and telegraphed here early this morning. 
In the September 1 issue of the paper, the Menasha Yacht Club 
acknowledged the receipt of $20 from Fond du Lac in payment 
of the prize won by the Marguerite in the regatta, which suggests 
that she came off the victor in the August 21 race. 
  This burst of activity in Menasha marked the end of an era in 
lake racing. Four years were to elapse before a new club was or- 
ganized on new principles to continue Neenah's yachting history. 
But before introducing this new group, a backward glance at the 
early Fond du Lac and Oshkosh fleets will show the kind of compe- 
tition that the early Neenah sailors faced. 
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