Eau Gallie Yacht Club derives its name from the town where it began. The land that became the town of Eau Gallie, loosely
translated French and Indian for “rocky water”, was acquired, founded, and
platted by William H Gleason in 1870.
Its location is where the fresh waters of the Eau Gallie River flow into the Indian
River just south of the southern tip of Merrit Island and the mouth of the
Banana River. It proved a good hurricane
hole and access to traveling and trading up and down the Indian River.
As the town grew and boating was a major
activity, a local yacht club was started in 1907. The first Commodore was
George Paddison and 3 years later the Paddisons deeded the property fronting on
the Eau Gallie River to the club. An
official club facility was completed 2 years later in 1912 which was the size
of a 2 story house. The club burgee is
unique as having a Pattee cross, of French heraldry and used by the knights of
the Crusades, surrounded by a royal blue circle on a white triangular
pennant. In its early years the club
conducted many local, state, and national sailing regattas and an international
regatta in 1936.
World War II saw the Commodore and many of
the club’s gentlemen members leave to join the military. To keep the club going, Mrs. Susan T. Edwards
was bestowed the title of Commodore Emeritus as she stepped in to run Eau
Gallie Yacht Club. Another prominent
woman member, Mrs. Carol H. Gleason, wife of Lansing Gleason whose family would
again play an important role in the future of the club, also served in ways
doing whatever was needed. As yachting
increased along the Intracoastal Waterway, Eau Gallie Harbor and in turn Eau
Gallie Yacht Club became a natural stopping spot. The area’s population grew and access across
the ICW to the barrier island was improved as small communities were started.
It was in 1959 that the Club launched a new
chapter in its history. The membership
voted to dispose of the old clubhouse property and seek a new location on which
to build and operate a new full-time Club with adequate docking and parking
facilities. As long-time and devoted
members of the Club, the Gleason family generously gave over three acres in
Indian Harbour Beach on the barrier island to the Club for its new home and is now
its current location. The Club’s
membership expanded from a roster of 70 names in 1959 to over three hundred two
years later when the new clubhouse was opened on December 23, 1961.
With continued growth in membership and
facilities, the Club’s reputation grew and in January of 1982 Eau Gallie Yacht
Club became the 25th member of the Florida Council of Yacht
Clubs. This enabled its members to enjoy
the benefits of reciprocity with the other council clubs and join them in
working to protect yachting interests throughout the State of Florida.
More than 100 plus years have passed since
the founding of Eau Gallie Yacht Club.
Many changes have been made through the years, however, the mission to
bring enjoyment to its member’s remains.
Continued improvements of facilities and programs are launching Eau
Gallie Yacht Club into its second century.