Singapore Yacht Club History

Late in the summer of 1959, Mark Hannah, of Battle Creek, Michigan, conceived the idea of forming a yacht club. It was not hard to find other craft owners who shared his enthusiasm, and a club was formed. Its aims were to promote yachting – power and sail, water safety and sports, good fellowship between members of the club and the residents of Saugatuck, as well as cooperation and fellowship with other organizations of a similar nature; to encourage the development of the harbor formed by the Kalamazoo River at its entrance to Lake Michigan; to maintain club rooms and other conveniences for the benefit of its members and friends.

The name “Singapore” was selected for the club because there used to be a town by that name near Saugatuck. . . “ Beneath the sands near the mouth of the Kalamazoo River lies the site of Singapore, one of Michigan’s most famous ghost towns. Formed in the 1830’s by New York land speculators, who hoped it would rival Chicago or Milwaukee as a port, Singapore was, in fact, until the 1870’s, a busy lumbering town with three mills, two hotels, several general stores, and a renowned “wildcat” bank. It outshone its neighbor to the South, “The Flats,” as Saugatuck was then called. When the supply of timber was exhausted, the mills closed, the once bustling waterfront grew quiet. The people left, with most of them settling in Saugatuck. Gradually, Lake Michigan’s shifting sands buried Singapore.”

Robert M. Sergeant, J. Addington Wagner, and Victor E. Kronemeyer, all of Battle Creek, incorporated the club on October 29, 1959. The first Bridge and Board of Directors of the club became:

  • Mark Hannah, Commodore;
  • Warren Peasley, Vice Commodore;
  • George Kitchen, Secretary;
  • Russell Snow, Treasurer;
  • Charles Lamkin, James Scripps, and Frederick Rahn. Directors.

A room in the lower level of the Butler Hotel was selected as the clubroom and it remains so today, although the Butler Hotel is now known as the Butler Restaurant.

On November 14, 1959, the first membership meeting was held at the Tara Restaurant in Douglas, Michigan, followed by a dinner dance. Over 60 members and wives attended the meeting. A burgee for the club was selected at the meeting. It portrays a green dragon on a triangle of yellow silk, with the club’s initials in red entwining the dragon’s body, portraying the Chinese heritage of the Singapore name.

Singapore Yacht Club was accepted into membership of the Yachting Club 0f America on February 10, 1960, and remains an active member to this day. It is also an active member of the Lake Michigan Yachting Association.

The club’s objectives have changed very little since it’s incorporation in 1959. They currently are: to promote yachting, boating, safe navigational practices and other affiliated water sports and activities; to promote sociability between members and other sportsmen; and to stimulate and encourage good moral and instructive entertainment.

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