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Searching for More Info: 10,000 Lakes Family Boating Club


Searching for More Info: 10,000 Lakes Family Boating Club


One of a handful of recently discovered images related to the 10,000 Lakes Family Boating Club of the Twin Cities.

One of a handful of recently discovered images related to the 10,000 Lakes Family Boating Club of the Twin Cities.

Help wanted! I am searching for more information about the 10,000 Lake Family Boating Club of the Twin Cities. Due to recent discoveries within the Weinhagen family slides collection and old home movies from the 1950's, I have reason to believe that my grandfather, Tom Weinhagen, may have been a charter member of this once popular boating group. The only information I have been able to gather thus far is the club's history as posted on their website. Unfortunately it appears that the website has been abandoned and has not been updated in a decade. Here is what they have on the website:  

A minister founded the 10,000 Lakes Family Boating Club.  Rev. Wallace (Wally) Pomplun called on marine dealers in the Twin City area and boating enthusiasts early in 1953 to create enthusiasm for a boating club geared toward families with young children.  A handful of families organized to secure better launching ramps, better boating regulation, uniform boating laws and safety and courtesy on our waterways.  Dues were $12.00 a year.
Rev. Pomplun was the first Commodore.  The first cruise was held in June 1953, on Lake Minnetonka with eight boats participating.  The first meeting was held the following month in St. Paul. Interest apparently ran so high that a St. Croix cruise was held the same month.  Like some club cruises since, this one tested captains and crews.  Stormy weather struck.  As boats scampered back to the launching site at Prescott, rain and wind made it difficult to follow in line.  The small boats, none of which had tops or windshields, had to be constantly bailed.
In August, 30 boats participated in a Mississippi River cruise launched from Holman air field in St. Paul.  That Holiday season saw the first of the annual tradition of a Holiday Party.  Sixty-five boaters crowded into a small room at the St. Paul Athletic Club for dinner.
The club was instrumental in the completion of the launching ramp on the west end of Harriet Island, near downtown St. Paul, just before the 1954 snows.  For many years, this was the only free public launch ramp in the St. Paul area.
By 1955, cruises were held every weekend of the summer.  There were moonlight cruises, overnights, a water ski cruise, a Lake City to LaCrosse adventure and even seven families trailering boats to Florida.  In 1954, the Keel Klatter was born and the club exhibited at the St. Paul Boat Show.  In 1957, a group boated in Canada, going as far as they could on the Gunflint Trail by car, then loading gas and provisions into boats and continuing by water for a week of fun.
Other traditions were begun the burgee, a club logo, club colors, safety programs, crowning a queen, special events for children, mothers and fathers day cruises, luaus, longer trailering trips away from the Twin Cities.  In 1957, the 10,000 Lakes Family Boating Club was featured on the first color cover of Lakeland Boating magazine.  In 1961, the club was awarded the Outboard Boating Club of America award for service to the community, and later, in 1977, was awarded the Boat Club of the Year award at the Minneapolis Boat Show.
We have changed much and we have changed little since the days of our founding. Our organization has been modified to accommodate the changing times and life styles.  Our purpose has changed very little from that envisioned by our founders.  We still want to work for the same thing Rev. Pomplun and his handful of boating enthusiasts had, to enjoy safe boating with friends.
— 10000 Lakes Family Boat Club Website

I've reached out multiple times over the past couple years to get in touch with someone over there using their forum and website with no such luck. I am hoping this post will help get the word out. Along with old slides and movies, we also have a scrapbook that was presented to Tom Weinhagen back in February of 1962. there is a page within that lists these names, along with Wally Pomplun, as early members/founders of the 10,000 Lakes Family Boat Club: Bob Yeager, Vern Rippen (Rippon?,) Howard Griffen, Nels Lundell.

I am very interested in hearing from anyone who has a connection to this club. I'd love to learn more information from old stories, photos, and films of the early days of the 10,000 Lakes Family Boat Club from the early '50's to the early '60's. If you or someone you know may be of help to me and this project, you can contact me here or by clicking on the button below. Thank you! Dz