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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Early Ice Boating


You’ve seen them, skimming across the winter horizon at impossible speeds like a flock of some fantastic arctic birds. Wisconsin has been a center of ice boating for a century and a half. From humble beginnings in the 1850s (the first boat was built from discarded lumber), the sport quickly grew into a pastime that fascinated observers and addicted participants. This 1878 engraving from Harpers shows that it had become newsworthy by then, and 20 years later designers and builders had fashioned a fleet of the sleek, elegant craft we associate with the sport today. The “ice yacht” club described in the first article linked above is still thriving today. For more information on its history, visit their Web site’s history page.
:: Posted in Curiosities on March 24, 2005
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