Loosely founded by five men (Warren Pine, Frederick C. Filley, Alfred Judkins, George H. Rich, and Milford Baxter, all residents of Troy, NY) in 1898, the group existed alongside four or five other local clubs at the time, eventually surviving past its competitors to its official incorporation on Feb. 7, 1911. A club charter was drawn up at that time, stating the purpose of the group to be for "the development of aquatic sport, the advancement of motor boating and canoeing, and for the general recreation of its members."
An early physical location of the club other than its present location is unclear. For a short period of time the active club is thought to have been located in the vicinity of 112 Street and the Hudson River.
In 2008, the club modernized its current main building with a $150,000 renovation, expanding the club house, construction of a new bar, a WI-FI computerized system with large screen digital projection, and an enhanced HVAC system.
As the second-oldest boating club on the Hudson River and within the Hudson Boat Council, the Troy Motorboat and Canoe Club takes its history seriously, still using a circa-1918 motor to power its railroad-based system for launching and retrieving docks from the river. The old electronic powered motor, for powering the launch and retrieval of our rail-based system, it is believed this electric motor came off a locomotive or automotive tow truck. It is a classic example of the ingenuity of the early members of the club. The tradition and mission continue over a 100 years later.
Though made up of a cross-section of individuals ranging from company CEOs to craftsmen to machinists, the club has always been decidedly "blue collar," billing itself as a working club, where full members are expected to pitch in with cleaning, grounds maintenance, loading and retrieving docks, and other duties.
Known as "A members," working members are expected to work 61 hours for and at the club in exchange for boat and canoe docking privileges, while "B members," or social members, pay a small annual fee and attend social functions and recreational activities. There are currently 25 A members and 155 B members. Typically, a prospective member owns a boat or canoe, enjoys the river, and wants to protect the environment that surrounds it. "We have a variety of people in our club, and we all get along together, and it really is in that sense unique. It is like a family." A mutual love of the water and the desire to promote the use of the river makes for a tight-knit community. A lot of work goes in to running the club, and the group's selectivity with its membership ensures that it will remain a success for years to come.