At the end of the 1800’s, rowing clubs of Harlem, New York City, Long Island and Hoboken would hold regattas and invited women to participate in the rowing races, this amazing photograph documents one of the those races (the image looks east towards 125th Street with the Harlem Pier in the distance)..
Rowing Clubs with names like the Nassau Boat Club, the Harlem Rowing Club, the Nonpareil Boat Club, the Bohemian Boat Club and the Dauntless Rowing Club would hold a “Ladies Day” and open the festivities to women entrants. In some races the women would have assistance from the men as they stroked their four oared gigs or eight oared barges along the Harlem River from Sherman Creek to about 145th Street.
Both sides of the river would be packed with large crowds to cheer the ladies on during these regattas which were usually held by the different rowing clubs in June and September in the the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
This area of the Harlem River has excellent conditions for rowing and the Columbia University Rowing teams still holds practices there.
We’ve come a long way – and along way to go..