Edit ModuleShow Tags

Vintage San Diego

New Year's Day plunge


Published:

San Diego Rowing Club 1916

Do you have a vintage photo of
San Diego? Send your pic and story
to erinm@sandiegomagazine.com.

On a chilly 58-degree New Year’s Day in 1916, members of the San Diego Rowing Club gathered at their boathouse in the San Diego harbor to participate in the annual New Year’s Day Plunge. The tradition began in 1900 as a christening ceremony for their first boathouse, at the foot of Fifth Avenue. The event has recurred annually for over a century to this day, and according to former SDRC president Percy A. Rooks, it is “the best cure we know for a New Year’s Day hangover.” SDRC called its original boathouse home for 79 years while the club’s membership soared, and it served as a social meeting place for businessmen and community leaders. An increase in Naval vessel traffic after World War II, however, eventually forced the club to move its headquarters to Santa Clara Point in Mission Bay. But the plunge has always taken place at its original location, now Joe’s Crab Shack.

By The Numbers

  • 1888
    San Diego Rowing Club founded (called Excelsior Rowing and Swim Club until 1891)

  • 12
    Years the club struggled to obtain its own boathouse

  • 13
    Number of SDRC founding members

  •  
  • 1892
    Inspired by SDRC, ZLAC, the oldest women’s rowing club in the nation, was formed

  • 1,200
    Average number of members in the 1930s and ’40s

  • 1934
    San Diego Bay opened up to Naval ships

  •  

1974
Ban on women in rowing lifted as a result of decreased membership during postwar years

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego Symphony Launches Sensory-Friendly Concerts

The new series is aimed at families with children on the autism spectrum

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 31

Westfield UTC expands its food scene in a major way, a restaurant in Spain finds a novel way to feed the hungry, and the founder of Kitchens for Good stops by

24 Reasons to Love San Diego Right Now

We have extreme sailing, cross-cultural markets, maker space labs, plus 21 more reasons we’re so ridiculously happy to live here.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 103 Dishes to Eat in San Diego before You Die
    Here's Made, our little black book of San Diego's best food
  2. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies and attractions
  3. Why Restaurants Are Adding a Surcharge, and Why Diners Should Gladly Pay It
    Restaurateurs are finding ways to deal with the challenges of the minimum wage hike
  4. The Dog Lover's Guide to San Diego
    Here are 52 ways to experience San Diego with your four-legged friend
  5. 67 San Diego Holiday Traditions You Don't Want to Miss
    'Tis the season for fa-la-la fun in San Diego
  6. Meet the Founders of the New Officine Buona Forchetta
    Native Italians Matteo Cattaneo and Mario Cassineri talk recipes, family-friendly dining, and the virtues of good bread
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags