The Oklahoma River has the Chesapeake Boathouse and is soon to have the Devon Boathouse. Often from the Interstate, you can see rowers pulling their shells along in the water.
This is not new for Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoman for July 4, 1912, announced that the first regatta of the Belle Isle Rowing club would take place that afternoon and stated that the members of the club had been working “very strenuously for more than a week and the crews are in splendid form. ”
“Nothing of this sort has ever been shown in Oklahoma City before and the races today promise to be the starting point for the organization of a permanent club for the promotion of rowing, swimming, canoeing and other aquatic sports.”
The next day the newspaper said the Fourth of July crowd “ran in the thousands,” and the headline roared “FIRST REGATTA A SUCCESS.”
The club organized July 1, 1912, as the Oklahoma City Boating Club and was also known as the Belle Isle Boat Club.
Regattas were held up through 1919, and no mention was found in the newspaper after that.
After the purchase of the park land by OG&E in 1928, the park remained open for picnicking and fishing.
In 1974, a group gathered informally as the Oklahoma City Rowing Club and formally organized and was incorporated in 1977. They practiced and held races at Lake Overholser.