Capital Improvements

P/C Frank H. Foster, III – February, 1990

The need to raise money for improvements to the club is not a new problem.  According to Commodore Kyle Armstrong, in January 1907 the club decided to raise funds for the first BLYC clubhouse.  They formed a separate corporation named the Buckeye Lake Building Company, a for profit company, and sold shares to members and to the club itself.  One thousand shares were authorized at $5.00 per share.  They borrowed $200 from the club to pay intial expenses.

They commissioned an architect to prepare drawings including a sketch which was published in the paper and is exhibited in a frame in the Commodores’ Lounge.  This plan turned out to be too expensive so a much less expensive and far more modest clubhouse was built.

The company built the clubhouse and rented it to the Club for $350 per year.  By November 1907 the mortgage “heavily hung” over the club.  The problem was that the building cost about $2000 and when it was due to be paid, the building company only had about half that amount available.  So the company directors borrowed $1000 on a note at 6% secured by a mortgage.

But the coffers were still bare.  So the club increased the cost of becoming a member by requiring a new member to purchase two shares in the company for $10 in addition to the previous $2 intiation fee and $4 annual dues.  In 1908 several improvements had been made to the island.  But the Buckeye Lake Building Company had borrowed $2300, more than the cost of the clubhouse.

In 1910 ther was talk of building a “real” clubhouse.  Harry Holbrook, an architect, was admitted into membership and was expected to make it happen.  In 1912, the Governors’ Ways and Means committee made recommendations for raising money for the new clubhouse.  They pointed out that the Building Company, not the club, would be responsible to build it.  The club itself owned only 160 of the company’s 500 shares.  One worry was that some of the shareholders later ceased being members with concerns then arising whether the club would be able to control the company.  The club struggled to buy as many of the shares as they could out of their operating funds.  Annual dues were about $4.00 per member.  The club offered a Life Membership for $75.00 to help raise funds to buy these shares.

On March 31, 1913 the Building Company had 775 shares outstanding of which the club owned 663.  It had $9000 in investments , owed debts of about $4000 and had $153.98 of cash on hand.  So it borrowed $4000 from teh Guarantee Title and Trust Company.  In 1925 another $6000 was borrowed.

THe 1928 tornado did $5000 worth of damage to the club.  Sinc the club had only $1000 to go toward repairing the damage, it leveied an assessment of $10.00 per member (about equal to one year’s dues) and all but two members came through.  Some made even larger contributions ranging up to $300.00.

To gain additional income the club held a stag party in the winter of 1932-33.  It was so successful, except for some unhappy losers, that it was continued for about another ten years.

The Building Company continued until 1938 helping the club finance damage and weather the Great Depression.  Eventually the club obtained nearly all of the stock of the Building Company.  It owned 842 of 844 shares, the other two owned by Comm. Harry Freeman.  So on November 25, 1938 the Buckeye Lake Building Company was dissolved.  Ask Commodore Bob Irwin about it.  He was there.  Or ask Comm. Chris Lambrecht, he was active in the management of the club then too.

When Comm. Dick Wolf checked our safe deposit box recently he found a share certificate  issued in 1912 to BLYC for two shares in the Buckeye Lake Building Company.  It is hanging in the Commodores’ Lounge.

Editor’s Note (1/25/17): It is my understanding that the share referred to in Commodore Foster’s article is in safe keeping by the Club.  It will later be scanned and a copy displayed both here and in the BLYC Library upstairs. (SGH)

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