Austin Rowing Club Records
An Inventory of the Collection
Rowing has had a long history in Austin, Texas. The Austin Rowing Club was first established in 1899 with 43 charter members and a mission to “promote all aquatic sports” in Austin. The club was founded by the same people who in 1893, 1894 and 1895 hosted the International Regattas in Austin, Texas on Lake McDonald. According to Audrey Bateman's Waterloo Scrapbook an International Regatta was held in Austin in 1893 with an audience of 10,000 people.
Organized rowing returned to Austin when the current Austin Rowing Club (ARC) was incorporated in August of 1981 with the purpose of practicing and supporting the sport of rowing in Austin. Finding a location to store the boats near Lake Austin proved to be the first large hurdle to overcome. Working with the City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department the ARC was allowed to store the boats at the Deep Eddy pool site. In 1982 the organization moved to a lakeshore alternative to Deep Eddy and the boats were moved to Bill Miller's Duplex Advertising Building just south of the Congress Avenue Bridge.
In the fall of 1982 expanded its impact on the community by conducting the first Austin Community College course and becoming involved in the City of Austin's Task Force for Olympic Development. Plans for the Heart of Texas Regatta for the Spring of 1983 also began, bringing competitive rowing back to Town Lake. The Heart of Texas Regatta is an annual event held in March that has expanded to not only include college crews, but Masters, Open and Junior events as well. Almost 700 boats competed at the 2009 Regatta for a total of over 1,000 competitors.
After several moves the Austin Rowing Club found permanent facilities at the Town Lake Rowing Center built by Southland Development Corporation (the boat house was given to the City of Austin and is managed by the Austin Rowing Club) in the 1990s. Along with providing services to its own members and classes to the Austin community the Austin Rowing Club has been a host to Texas Crew, who continues to use the grounds and docks, and currently hosts St. Edwards University Crew, who rows under the ARC membership and uses ARC equipment and facilities.
The Austin Rowing Club (ARC) collection contains administrative and organizational records dated 1980-1995. The majority of the materials were donated by one of the charter members, Steve Martin. The administrative records include the ARC Articles of Incorporation and bylaws and amendments to both documents. There are agendas and meeting minutes for various committees and task forces including the Executive Committee, the Boathouse Committee, the Fundraising Committee, Five Year Plan Task Force and the Boat Scheduling Task Force as well as financial records, historical information and survey results from a resources questionnaire. Operational records consist of materials about classes and training, planning the first Heart of Texas Regatta, as well as correspondence, membership lists, press releases, rules and regulations, and forms. Also included are materials documenting Martin's involvement with the United States Rowing Association Clinic on Coaching as well as his involvment with the City of Austin's Task Force for Olympic Development.
Printed materials include newspaper clippings about the organization, ARC newsletters, training materials and a City of Austin Proclamation designating March 19, 1983 as "Heart of Texas Regatta Day." The collection contains three unidentified photographs.
The remainder of the collection was donated by Burke Fort, chair of the Boathouse Task Force, and documents the process and ideas that led to the eventual building of current boat house during the 1980s. There is a flip chart from a presentation on a proposed addition to the YMCA, a 1982 City of Austin Parks and Recreation concept plan as well as architectual drawings of the current Town Lake Rowing Center (which is going to be torn down in the near future to because it is impeding the Waller Creek Tunnel Project). The architectural drawings have been separated to the Architectural Archive collection - see Separated Material for more information. The flip chart from YMCA presentation had mold damage so photographs were taken and the chart itself was discarded.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Materials donated by members of the Austin Rowing Club.
Austin Rowing Club (AR.1992.003). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2001/021, DO/2003/017
Donation Date: 2001, 2003
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2010.
The collection contained a minimal amount of material related to the Austin Scottish Country Dance Society that was added to AR.2005.006. Duplicate materials, United States Rowing Association newsletters and checks that were not cashed were discarded.
Additions added in December of 2010.
Because of extensive mold damage photographs were taken of the flip chart used during a YMCA presentation and the original document was deaccessioned. The photographs can be accessed here: I:\Archives\Archival Collections\AR.1992.003\YMCA Presentation (internal access only). Photocopies of the flip chart pages are located in the collection.
Detailed Description of the Collection