A Brief History of the GSYC

The Garden State Yacht Club was born for boating and sociability in 1948 at the home of Harry and Laura Lynn. With the acquisition of the Lambert estate near Ingram Cove, our club came to its present location in 1949.

The electric motorized lift, also called a funicular, or counterbalanced uphill rail car, was added shortly afterwards.  It can transport up to six people at a time from the lake area to the clubhouse.  It is still in use today as a welcome alternative to climbing the many stairs lining the hillside. 

In 1950, the Playing Field, Tennis courts, and handball area (now used as a front parking area)  were donated by club members.  The concrete patio at the docks were also installed during the 1950’s.

In 1965, the GSYC Clubhouse was remodeled, including the addition of the pool and upper patio area.  

In the 1970’s, the elaborate Victorian boathouse, which contained the teen clubhouse, became unsafe and was too expensive to maintain.  The  Jefferson Fire Department assisted the GSYC to demolish the structure safely.  It employed its fire boats and several area fire departments in a controlled burn exercise which was quite a spectacle!  

 In 1984, a series of steps and terraces were carved out of the lawn to make access to the dock area easier.

Although the original Club Season ran for only ten weeks through Labor Day, the number and variety of GSYC activities continued to grow.  From the 1950’s through the late 1970’s, sailing and powerboat races dominated the waterfront — culminating in the Labor Day regatta races. The first ICCYRA-Celebrity Class Regatta was held in 1971 and the Father’s Day series was started in 1975.  Currently, a relaxed version sail boat races brought the sailing program back to life.

The Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Commodore’s gala formal dances, plus  Halloween costume party, and a Gala New Year’s Eve are traditional highlights of the year and continue to this day.  The Fourth of July party now features nautical dress instead of tuxedos and evening gowns.

Another GSYC tradition over the years has been the writing and performing of amateur programs, including parodies of complaints, issues of concern and just plain lampooning of GSYC Officers by our members.  Tuesday afternoon Ladies Club luncheons, game playing and programs are as much part of our history as the sailing trophies in the club show case.

The end of an era came on December 6, 1984 when an electrical fire of unknown origin burned our beloved GSYC Clubhouse to the ground.  With incredible  dedication and hard work, several members spearheaded the effort to rebuild the Club House, led by Past Commodore Hank Steinman.

Even though the elegant Victorian mansion of the past was replaced by a modern clubhouse, the allure of Lake Hopatcong and the fun times shared by GSYC members, their families and guests never gets old.