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Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club photographs

1941

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club was founded on May 4, 1938, and is the oldest active women’s club of its kind in the United States. The clubhouse, located at 14 Kelly Drive on historic Boathouse Row in Philadelphia, was built in 1861 as the home to the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society. The Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club rented this building until they were able to purchase it in 1962. The original organizers of the Club were Ruth Adams Robinhold, Gladys Hauser Lux, Lovey Farrell, and Mrs. Ernestine Bayer, who chaired the organizational meeting of the Club at which thirteen additional women became the core founders. The Club was founded because none of the other boathouses on the Schuylkill would “allow members of the weaker sex” as members. In July 1939, the Schuylkill Navy agreed to host the first women’s race on the Schuylkill River, known as an “exhibition race”, which continued through the late 1950s, when women were welcome to race in other regattas.

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