The 1950's brought the realization that as S.B.Y.C.'s membership grew so would the size of the clubhouse and the boat basin. It was in 1952 that the main dining room was added to the club. The builder was Elmer Mapp and one of his workers on that project was none other than our own Charlie Thomas who himself was at the time still some thirty years away from becoming a club member. The room was built on locust posts which caused the floor to bounce whenever it was used for dancing. Tables would often line the perimeter of the room leaving access to a sizeable dance area.
The lagoon was also expanded during this decade. Photo 28 shows docks being disassembled in preparation for the dredging of the boat basin. This photo from the spring of 1953 also shows the Koot House standing on the corner of the north bulkhead. It would stand its ground for only nine years more.
Photos 37 and 38 were taken during May of 1955 and illustrate even further expansion of the lagoon. The members shown in photo 38 are from left to right: Oliver Van Dyck, Tom Leonard, Duane C. Cole, Bob Wider, and Bill Winter. The little boy in the foreground is Gary Wider who was then only four years old.
Much of the lagoon's expansion occurred through the efforts of one very prominent club member, Councilman George Fuchs. Uncle George, as he was known, was very influential in helping the club to secure more land and in obtaining the necessary permits to dredge the boat basin. He served as Commodore from 1950 to 1953 and apparently was as popular a person as he was influential. Uncle George is the second gentleman from the right in photo 34. The others in this picture from left to right are Urban "Curly" Everling, Russell J. Nicastro, Duane C. Cole, John C. Reboli, Jr., Walter C. Hazlitt, and kneeling is Harold Malkmes, the former Brookhaven Superintendent of Highways.
Photo 33 shows Frank Newsham's seaworthy 28 foot Richardson which was built in 1929. Here Frank is under way for his 1957 vacation trip to Nantucket, Plymouth, and Lake Champlain.
Photos 26 and 27 show S.B.Y.C. getting its share of press from both The National Geographic Magazine (September 1957 edition) and The Independent Press of Stony Brook (September 11, 1953). The National Geographic article calls attention to the pictured boat's bow by stating that the "burgee on the nose proclaims membership in the Stony Brook, Long Island, Yacht Club". Unlike today when officers begin their terms on January first of each year, it was once the custom for new officers to assume their duties during the mid-summer months.
Many of the club's traditions continued during the 1950's including the once very popular swim races which were held annually in the lagoon.
There apparently was a strong interest in family oriented programs. In fact, the Constitution and by-laws even called for a separate Race Committee to oversee many of those programs. S.B.Y.C. was rapidly approaching its Golden Anniversary. January 28, 2010 10:53 AM