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The White Cross Fishing Club was established on December 18, 1898 when a dozen men gathered at Hohler’s Hall, located at 3027 Third Avenue between 155th and 156th Streets to talk about one of their greatest interests, fishing.George Hohler was elected president that evening and they set up their club on City Island.Then in 1901 they obtained permission to set up a shed on a raft and therefore built a small house on a float off Jack’s Rock at Old Orchard Beach.It was enlarged in 1904 as the club began to grow and the need for more space became obvious.The house was accessed by a pier built on tall pilings with a stairway leading down to the house on the float.Jack’s Rock is still there but since Robert Moses created the new 115-acre Orchard Beach during the 1930’s, the area around Jack’s Rock was filled in and now it is far inland.It is located across the road from the south end of the current Orchard Beach Parking Lot and is largely indistinguishable from other boulders in the area.There’s a picture of it in my book “Images of America, East Bronx” on page 128 which will make it easier for you to find it should you wish to take a look at it.
The club soon outgrew the little house on the raft and joined the Life Saving Service of New York in 1909 with a branch in Throggs Neck.The following year they purchased the property at 750 Clarence Avenue and began building their own little piece of paradise on Eastchester Bay.The grand opening was held on February 22, 1913.A few years later a pier and float were added.The club continued to grow and additional lots were purchased.Soon the size of their property was more than doubled and the membership rolls continued to grow.A Ladies’ Auxiliary was added in 1934 and that, too, flourished.It is a member of the Interclub Association along with the Manhem Beach Club, the D. A. Beach Club, the Westchester Country Club, the American Turners of New York and Askov Hall Beach Club.Their annual interclub swimming races have become an extremely popular event throughout the area over the past sixty years.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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