For 150 years, the Minnesota Boat Club (MBC) has been rowing on the Mississippi River. Since 1870, the boat club has resided on Raspberry Island between the downtown riverfront and the west side of St. Paul under the Wabasha Street bridge. Throughout the years, the Minnesota Boat Club has had to reinvent itself.
In 1870 there were two rowing clubs on the island. Early on they joined forces and became MBC, rising to national prominence. Shortly after World War II, the boat club’s membership dwindled to the point where they had to return a portion of Raspberry Island to the City of St. Paul to pay back taxes. Membership grew in the mid-50s and since then, the boat club have regained its competitiveness and notoriety in the rowing community. At the turn of the 21st century, the boathouse, which was built in 1913, underwent significant renovation to support current club rowing programs. Revenue is earned when the Great Room, on the upper floor, is rented out for weddings and corporate gatherings.
To celebrate 150 year of rowing, and assure MBC's future, the boat club has launched a major campaign to raise $1,500,000. Donations can be directed to bolster our three endowment funds. The endowments include the Building fund, Operations fund and Miriam Baer Youth Rowing fund. In addition to the permanent endowments, donors have the opportunities to direct their contribution by having a name added to a sweep oar, a set of sculling oars, or a seat. These monies will go directly toward maintaining our aging fleet and replacement after their useful life.
Donor wishing to contribute by check, please see instructions at the bottom of the page.
For those wishing to make a more significant contribution to the boat club, please contact Susan Tietjen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are in place, we now plan to host a gathering for all current and past members and friends of the boat club in September 2021 on Raspberry Island. As we get closer to that event, more details will be forthcoming.
Photo Credit: Minnesota Historical Society
If you prefer to make your contribution by check, please designate an endowment fund (Miriam Baer Youth Rowing, General Operations, or Equipment) on the memo line. If you do not want your name displayed on the website, write "DO NOT DISPLAY" next to your name on the check. Please insert a note if this contribution is in honor or in memory of someone and an email address so that we can contact you to acknowledge your contribution. Mail the check and note to the following address:
MBC 150 Years (c/o C. Stockwell), 391 Bidwell St., St. Paul, MN 55107
Your contribution will be processed and displayed on the website according to your wishes.