CCYC was founded on a Sunday in October of 1934, when the gaff rigged schooner GAVIOTA sailed into the new harbor at Montrose. She was from New England where she had been built for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt's great affection for the sea in the context of an era dominated by the Great Depression and two world wars. While some criticized Roosevelt for taking too many seagoing trips-he logged hundreds of thousands of miles at sea and was sometimes out of touch with the White House and the Secret Service for hours-FDR was quick to explain that his lengthy voyages allowed him to personally assess the world situation instead of relying solely on White House briefing books. The author argues that the skills required to be a good sailor have much in common with those needed to be a successful politician: the ability to alter courses, make compromises, and shift positions as the situation warrants. Cross describes FDR as a master at dealing with the unexpected, allowing him to excel in the Navy department, the governor's mansion, and the White House.
At the request of the Chicago Park District, the owners of GAVIOTA, Richard J. Frankenstein and William S. Ahern, had transferred their mooring from the over-crowded Belmont Harbor to the new, empty harbor facility at Montrose. Both Frankenstein and Ahern later became commodores of the Club. Frank Heyes, their First Mate, also played an important part in the formation of the new club. He acted as secretary in the framing of the Club Constitution and original Bylaws, and in the design of the burgee. The "Y" of the burgee symbolizes the two branches of the Chicago River, and the two stars stand for "Sail" and "Power".
These founders of the Club received a permit from the Chicago Park District to erect and maintain a club facility adjacent to the harbor, to serve the boating citizens of Chicagoland. Through volunteer efforts, the membership has continued to maintain and improve the club's facility at no cost the the City of Chicago. Corinthian is the Club of the people and for the people of Chicagoland. The constitution of the Club specifies the promotion of sailing and instruction in proper small boats handling. The first fleet organized at Corinthian was the Dinghy Fleet. From this small beginning, the Club has grown to include the fleets of today. Fleets no longer active, but which figured in the history of the Corinthian were Snipe, Arrow, Albacore, King Cruiser, San Juan 21 and others.
In the agreement with the Chicago Park District, membership in the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club was to be limited to boat owners who held official mooring permits for Montrose harbor issued by the Chicago Park District.
Seventy Three Years of Growth
Corinthian boasts its share of National and World Champion sailors. Corinthians continue to strive to maintain Chicago's role as a "World Class City" and offer its facilities and the efforts of its membership to promote any future boating activities.