My grandmother Rhea Fern (Coughlin) Moynahan's (1902-1992) photo album has been a wonderful inspiration for my #52Ancestors blog posts. Some of the pictures most fondly remembered by my father are pictures of his mother Rhea iceboating.
This blog post is devoted to the subject of my grandmother ice boating in the early 1900s.
Here is the photo page that my father fondly remembers:
|The "Iceboating" page from my grandmothers photo album|
|My grandmother Rhea Fern (Coughlin) Moynahan|
iceboating (Windsor, Ontario)
The Thrills of Ice Boating
|From the Windsor Evening Record|
I am unable to place these photos in a specific time or place. The photos themselves offer few additional clues. There were a lot of ice boats on Lake St. Clair during this period of time. Both on the Michigan and Ontario shores.
The 1894 article "On Wings of the Wind" (below) tells us of the dangers and the pleasures of ice boating and advising "Don't go sailing with a novice unless suicidally inclined". We also learn that Poughkeepsie and Red Bank hold the ice boating speed records.
"There is no civilized sport more intoxicating than the form of sailing pictured herein today...the novice that is not swathed in newspapers, woolens, and warm furs will freeze....there is no protection from the wind on those skeleton shells...So when preparing to go ice boating it is wise to tuck a newspaper across one's chest and another across one's back, tie your coat sleeves tightly about your wrists, muffle up your head and ears and still expect the wind to whistle through you like a sieve."
"The sport is very popular in the Canadian Queen City and the fleet is numerous. Erie, Pa., Hamilton, Ont., Newburg - Poughkeepsie, Detroit, Mich., and Red Bank NJ all have lively ice boating clubs says the Buffalo Express. "
"Red Bank and Poughkeepsie hold the American Championships. The record for 15 miles is 20 minutes and 40 seconds....."
|The Windsor Evening Record|
The ice boats were also used to deliver mail and run whiskey during U.S. prohibition.
|Postal History Corner|
- The Coldest Sport In The World: Ice Boating 1824-1941
- 1891 Toronto Daily Mail: "Faster Than The Wind"
- Windsor Public Library Iceboating page
- Postal History - Ice Boating page
- Rum-running between Detroit and Windsor on IceBoats (and Ice Skates)
- Ice Yachting on the Hudson
- How To Build an Ice Yacht
- Vintage Video: 1917 Ice Boating on Lake St Clair Michigan
- Video: Iceboat Races With Car on Frozen Lake St. Clair 1935 Chevrolet Newsreel
- Video: Ice Boating D- Class Vintage (1942-1943) On Lake St. Clair