A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 19, 2005
Scullers’ Row
"Scullers' Row" (or "Sculler's Row") is in the Sherman Creek area of Washington Heights/Inwood. Scullers' Row used to have many rowing clubs, but that disappeared by about 1900.

Part of the Sherman Creek redevelopment plans include a new "Scullers' Row."

New York City was the birthplace of rowing in the United States and continued to be a center of rowing activity as late as the 1950s. In their heyday, around the turn of the century, numerous rowing clubs were located along the Harlem and Hudson River. A grouping of boathouses called 'Sculler's Row' on the Manhattan side of the Harlem River, and those in Macomb's Dam Park on the Bronx Side, rivaled the extant Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. The rivers played host to some of the greatest races and scullers in the early history of rowing. However, a declining interest in rowing and New York City waterfront-planning policies that were notably insensitive to waterfront development, eradicated any trace of these boathouses and their inhabitants. Fortunately, a new era in city government and participation by private non-for-profit organizations have recognized the value of public access to and use of the waterfront and may mean the resurgence of rowing's legacy in New York City.
Around the turn of the century rowing reached its peak of popularity. Manhattan had many boat clubs that were gathered together in an area referred to as "Sculler's Row." A small tributary along the Harlem known as Sherman Creek was a popular location for boathouses. There were many boat clubs located there; Atalanta, Friendship, Nassau, New York Athletic Club, Nonpareil, Wyanoke, First Bohemian, Harlem Rowing, Lone Star, Metropolitan, Dauntless and Union. The Knickerbocker and Waverley Clubs remained on the Hudson River side of the island.

21 August 1893, New York Times, pg. 2:
The committee of Arrangments for the Venetian fete to be held on the Harlem River on Sept. 9 have decided that the fleet shall form in two divisions. The first division will consist of the clubs above the Fourth Avenue bridge, the second division will be formed by the clubs below that bridge. It is expected that all the boathouses along "Scullers' Row" will be brilliantly illuminated, and the plan is for the clubs of that division to form on the Westchester side of the river opposite their houses.

27 August 1893, New York Times, pg. 6:
The Crescent Rowing Club held its annual regatta on the Harlem yesterday afternoon. The course was from the foot of East One Hundred and Seventeenth Street to a finish opposite the clubhouse at the foot of One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Street, and was a mile in length. The races were watched with much interest by the inhabitants of "Scullers' Row" and a larger number of visitors, and excited a great deal of enthusiasm.

27 July 1901, National Police Gazette, pg. 11:
"Scullers' row," the site of nearly all the old Harlem River (N.Y.) clubs, is a thing of the past, as all the clubhouses are to be wiped out to make way for the waterfront improvements.

7 September 1913, New York Times, pg. S4:
The stretch of water of the Harlem River on the lower section of Sculler's Row, between the 145th Street and Central Bridges yesterday was a busy place with two clubs contesting their annual regattas, and although the Lone Star Club mustered the largest fields with eight events, the Friendship Club, a more active organization, put in a busy afternoon in its events with five races carded.

Posted by Barry Popik
Neighborhoods • (0) Comments • Sunday, June 19, 2005 • Permalink