The Creation of our Club
From 1953 to 2023
A group of seventeen men, many of whom were property owners along the Cooley Canal, met on the 22nd day of March, 1953, at the Clearwater Fish Company. They had a mutual interest in the improvement of the canal, the protection of the Cooley Property, the development of the community, and the pleasure of boating and fishing.
On the 24th of August, 1953, the Cooley Canal Sportsmen Club was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the state of Ohio. Charles H. Russ was elected president and served four years. During this time, meetings were held in the Jerusalem Township Hall and meeting room. Club membership grew to over three hundred and CCSC gained membership in the League of Ohio Sportsmen and the Associated Yacht Clubs of Toledo. Each summer found the club playing host to an A YC Regatta by utilizing the private area called Lakemont Landing. Commodore Don Roadarmel was active in the formation of the Western Lake Erie Cruising Association.
In 1957, the club bought a building at Corduroy and Coffee Roads. The building was over 100 years old, and was originally used as an onion storage barn. The structure was sound and a lot of work by club members turned it into a fine club house. A large stone fireplace and an excellent kitchen were installed, and a new bar facilitated many social events. Although the clubhouse was located one mile from Lake Erie and two and one half miles from any marina for visiting yachts, we still maintained the Regattas and rendezvous with other clubs.
Commodore Keith Davis, in 1964, was instrumental in changing the name from Cooley Canal Sportsmen Club to the Cooley Canal Yacht Club to more accurately represent the primary interest and aims of the club.
In 1965, Commodore Norm Cedoz announced the purchase of a slip on Wards Canal for the purpose of club docking and a future site for a new clubhouse. Docks were built immediately with the help of many club members.
Cooley Canal Yacht Club became a member of the Inter-Lake Yachting Association in 1967.
The new clubhouse was constructed during 1969. Commodore Art Kreger was devoted to this project and the club-house was dedicated in February, 1970.
In the spring of 1980, after 12 years of negotiations by Past Commodore John Lehmann with the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Cooley Canal Yacht Club could say "Thanks" for the widening of the entrance of Ward Canal to Lake Erie. It was widened from 10' to 120', construction of a 420' Rip Rap Stone Jetty and installing a red light at the end of the pier. This made the entrance safer to navigate. Before the Rip Rap Stone Jetty was built, floods played havoc and the club-house was flooded at least two times. Our members were always there with mops and shovels to clean up the mess. The members had built this club and were there when they were needed.
The years from 1968 to 1997 brought many small additions and improvements to our club and were completed by members. In the spring of 1998, Commodore Gil Latz announced a major expansion project to be started, after three years in the planning stages. The building was squared off, a peaked roof was added and an upstairs room was created. On a clear day you can see West Sister Island and Perry's Monument from this room. Although a major construction was done by outside contractors, the inside finish work was done by many dedicated members who, without their contribution, this project would not have been completed.
The CCYC Auxiliary has always supported CCYC, from the first president to the current president - they work, they produce, and they contribute to make Cooley Canal Yacht Club one of the finest clubs on Lake Erie.
Cooley Canal Yacht Club has been very active in the AYC and the I-LYA and has had five AYC past commodores - Jake Moritz 1964, Art Kreger 1976, Bill Knack 1980, Dick Christy 1985, John Lehmann 1989; and 2 I-LYA past commodores - Keith Davis, 1976 and Fred Schroeder, 2011.
In 2008 membership was expanded to accept female members. This also meant that the Ladies Auxiliary would now accept male members and would become known as the CCYC Auxiliary.
In 2010 an elevator was installed to increase accessibility and to promote the use of the clubhouse's scenic views from the second floor.
Today, membership is limited to two hundred fifty active members and one hundred fourteen docks. We are currently accepting applications and immediate dockage is available. Cooley Canal yachtsmen cruise to many area clubs to join their activities while maintaining an active participation in the Inter-Lake Yachting Association and the Associated Yacht Clubs.
Cooley Canal Yacht Club is a working man's club. This helps to cut expenses, maintain reasonable bar prices, dues and dock fees. Every member contributes to our founder's philosophy.