Bachelors Barge Club

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Bachelors Barge Club
Location #6 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Home water Schuylkill River
Established 1853
Navy admission 1859 (reinstated 1882)[1]
President James A. Meadowcroft, MD
Treasurer John Rice
Captain Henry Hauptfuhrer
Navy delegate Henry Hauptfuhrer
Coaches Margaret Gordon
Membership 150[2]
Colors Navy      and Red     
Affiliations Conestoga High School and Drexel University
Bachelors Barge Club
Bachelors Barge Club is located in Pennsylvania
Bachelors Barge Club
Bachelors Barge Club is located in the US
Bachelors Barge Club
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°58′11″N 75°11′07″W / 39.96978°N 75.18527°W / 39.96978; -75.18527
Part of Boat House Row (#87000821[3])
Added to NRHP February 27, 1987

Bachelors Barge Club is an amateur rowing club located at #6 Boathouse Row in the historic Boathouse Row of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the oldest continuously operating boathouse in the United States.[4] It went through renovations as part of the "Light Boathouse Row" initiative, in which new LED lights were fitted to each of the boathouses.[5] Bachelors Barge Club is currently home to several programs, including the Conestoga High School Crew Team,[6] and the Drexel University Crew Team,[7] among several others.


The founding fathers of Bachelors Barge Club were members of the Phoenix Engine Company, a volunteer fire-fighting organization. Initially, membership was limited to bachelors, however the Club opened its doors to married men shortly after its founding. Membership at the club has risen considerably since the early 1980s when the Club counted only 10 members.[2] Now, the majority of Bachelors Barge Club's 150 members are women.[2]

Israel W. Morris,[8] a prominent iron merchant and philanthropist, is credited with founding the Club. He was also elected as its second president. Other prominent Old Philadelphian 19th century industrialist members include Charles F. Berwind (coal), William Weightman (chemicals), Maxwell Wyeth (pharmaceuticals), Charles E. Mather[9] (insurance), W. Atlee Burpee (seeds and plants), Clarkson Clothier (retailing) and J. B. Lippincott (publishing).

Members of Bachelors Barge Club won Olympic medals for the single and the four in 1924, the single in 1928, and the double in the 1932.[4] More recently, Cody Lowry was named to the 2009 US National Team to row in the Lightweight Men's Single Sculls.[10]

The Boathouse[edit]

Bachelors Barge Club occupied several boathouses in succession before 1860, when it built a stone building.[11] In 1884, architects Edward Harlehurst and Samuel Huckel, Jr. designed the Club's social up-river house in East Falls, the Bachelor's Button.[12] The two architects had teamed up in 1881, and maintained a 20-year partnership that produced residential and ecclesiastical architecture including the Union Methodist Church and the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church.[12]

In 1893, the Fairmount Park Commission allowed the Club to replace its 1860 building.[11] In 1894, construction was finished on the Mediterranean-style boathouse at #6 Boathouse Row, which was also designed by the Harlehurst and Huckel team.[12] Huckel became a member of Bachelors after designing its boathouse.[12] Today, the building remains relatively unchanged.[11]

Wharton Crew[edit]

The several organizations that row out of Bachelors include the Wharton Crew Team, which is the rowing team for Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.[13] All other University of Pennsylvania crews row out of College Boat Club. Wharton Crew is one of the largest graduate and professional student athletic clubs at Penn.[13] The program owns two Vespoli eight shells –– the Wharton Journal and the Russell Palmer.[13] In 1997, team member and co-captain, John Hall, broke the world record in the master's lightweight 2000 meter ergometer.[14]


  1. ^ "Boathouse Row". Living Places. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 2009 Program (PDF), Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, 2009, p. 18, retrieved 30 April 2010 [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ a b "The Stotesbury Cup Regatta". Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "LEDs Rejuvenate Philly's Boathouse Row". Live Design. 11 July 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "About Us, History". Conestoga High School Crew. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Drexel Crew to Row Out of Historic Bachelors Barge Club". Drexel University Athletics. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Morris Family Papers, Collection 2000B, 1695-1965 (bulk 1772-1884) (PDF), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2007, p. 12, archived (PDF) from the original on 7 June 2010, retrieved 3 May 2010 
  9. ^ "Transportation Mutual Insurance Company". A.M. Best's Insurance Reports: Fire and Marine. Alfred M. Best Company. 1919. p. 623. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "USRowing Announces 2009 World Championships Roster". United States Olympic Committee. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c "National Register of Historic Places Inventory--Nomination Form". NPS Focus, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior. 27 November 1983. p. 661. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c d "National Register of Historic Places Inventory--Nomination Form". NPS Focus, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior. 27 November 1983. p. 673. Retrieved 7 May 2010. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ a b c "The Wharton Graduate Association Clubs, Crew & Rowing Club". Wharton Graduate Association. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Arend, Jennifer (18 March 1997). "Wharton crew team member paddles his way to break world rowing records". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°58′11″N 75°11′07″W / 39.96978°N 75.18527°W / 39.96978; -75.18527