An Exceptional Environment with a Wonderful Story to Tell!Lakewood Yacht Club History
Lakewood Yacht Club was founded on April 24, 1955. The three founding members were Sterling Hogan Sr., Captain W. R. Parker and J.D. Kirkpatrick. They decided to build an elegant yacht club that would cater to powerboat owners. Sterling Hogan owned 40 acres of land adjacent to Ben Taub’s old Rouger Hotel property on Clear Lake, but it did not have water access. Mr. Hogan made a deal with Mr. Taub to swap his 40 acres to Taub for his 28 acres with the provision that Captain Parker would dredge a channel between the two properties giving Taub access to Clear Lake.
It was Mr. Kirkpatrick’s responsibility to build the clubhouse, swimming pool and marina. Construction began in early 1954. Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Texas on May 4, 1954. The three membership classes were Class A, Governing Board Membership, voting; Class B, Resident Membership, non-voting; and Class C, Non-resident, non-voting.
By mid-April 1955, all construction was complete except for the clubhouse, which was approximately 75% complete. Lakewood Yacht Club held an opening day party on April 24, 1955. The club’s first manager was Mr. Waymon Armstrong. The first flag officers were Commodore C. S. Wallace, Vice Commodore Sterling Hogan, Rear Commodore Milo Maule, and Fleet Captain C. B. Delhomme.
Lakewood continued to evolve with the guidance of Flag Officers and a Board of Directors. The 1960’s saw the club survive Hurricane Carla, which slammed into the club in September 1961 with 125 M.P.H. winds and a tidal wave. The club suffered little damage. The “Sea Devils” were also formed in 1961 as a program to teach teenagers water activities. When President Lyndon Johnson moved NASA to the Clear Lake Area at the request of several influential Texas Democrats, Lakewood Yacht Club offered its cabanas to house the astronauts until facilities could be built at NASA. The first astronauts lived at Lakewood in 1964 and 1965.
During the 1970’s, Terry Chapman was selected as Assistant Manager, the town homes of Lakewood were built, and the condos were purchased and financed by a group of Lakewood members. The town house purchasers added two tennis courts, the northwest harbor and a large plot of land between the condos and the townhouses. A street called Lakewood Lane was built for the club entrance. 1977 was a notable year because it was determined that Lakewood Yacht Club would allow sailboats to be docked at the club and Terry Chapman became General Manager, a position that he still holds today.
Lakewood continued its expansion efforts in the 1980’s with the purchase of a former bait camp on Offatts Bayou in Galveston in 1983. Construction began in January 1984. This became “Lakewood South” and is still used today by members for cruises to Galveston and beyond. The ballroom was added in 1985 and piers F and G were rebuilt in 1988. During the 1990’s the membership rejected a recommendation to sell Lakewood South and voted to spend additional funds to build a bathhouse and a shaded picnic area.The restrooms of the clubhouse were modernized and the bar and lounge were “nauticalized.” In honor of Lakewood’s 40th anniversary, Commodore Corwin organized the first Commodore’s Cruise to Cozumel, Mexico in 1995. In 1998, Commodore Fuller instigated the first Concours d’Elegance, “Wooden Keels & Classic Wheels,” event that brought (and continues to bring) national acclaim to Lakewood Yacht Club.
In the mid-90’s, Lakewood made considerable improvements to the shed and piers and completely rebuilt C-shed and replaced D-dock with a new, concrete floating pier. Because the floating piers were so attractive to prospective members, three new, state-of-the-art floating piers were approved for the West Harbor in 1999 and installed in early 2000.
The beginning of the new century saw Lakewood continuing plans to further improve and expand the Club. In 2002 a state-of-the-art kitchen and food storage facility were constructed and in 2016, dining room renovations improved the ambiance as well as the traffic flow through the clubhouse.The spacious clubhouse offers its members a beautiful view of Clear Lake.Today, Lakewood Yacht Club sits on 38 beautifully landscaped acres with four sheds and ten docks. There are nearly 100 covered slips for powerboats ranging in size from 44’ to 100’. There are also over 200 open slips on fixed and floating piers ranging in size from 40’ to 125’. Also, Lakewood Yacht Club has rebuilt Lakewood South making it better than ever.
The members are very proud of their Club, and of the hard work the staff, Commodores, Board of Directors and fellow members have devoted to the club over the past 60+ years. With the continuing dedication of members and staff, the future of the club looks very promising.