Do You Remember What A 1950’s Marina Looked Like?


Hey yous, take a picture it lasts longer!

Well, do you? Really? I mean you would be in your 90’s now if you worked at one. So this might be a fun flash back. For the rest of us, its all a blurry flurry of imagery, and wondering why Fonzi isn’t working there, or why James Dean isn’t involved. The simple truth, is life is far more interesting in its truth and kinda normalness.

All kidding aside, looks like a great guy at that marina

Todays header is two photos in one to give some perspective. Never seen before.

Note the Jacket! Chris Craft Trailer with a Lyman on it. mmm, try explaining that at a show! There ya have it!

Not the glamorized impressions we have homogenized our brains with. Okay, that was a lot of big words. Bottom line, thanks to Bob Kays and the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum for sharing these cool images, and fun write up form Bob.. By the way, it is 2019, and I think???? Bobs got a calendar for you ..

Note the covers! Still doing it that way on the lake

Do you remember what a 1950’s marina looked like? Did you ever wonder? Here are some shots of Lakeland Marine Base on Lake Hopatcong in 1954. How many brands of boats do you see? How many models? How many accessories?
How much of this stuff can Matt find on Ebay?

Yesterdays photo

In the 1954 showroom photo we see a Chris Craft Racing Runabout, the “Mustang”, winner of the 1953 Governor’s Cup on Lake Hopatcong.


Another photo with rescue folks.

The color photo shows Mustang a few years later on the shoreline as a result of a bard turn in a race. At the time of the accident the original Chris Craft engine had been replaced with a Cadillac.

Royal Flush

Royal flush and Chuck Shipman 26ft CC

Also pictured are the two other boats that raced  in 1953  the “Royal Flush” and Chuck Shipman’s boat.

Irene – 25 Sportsman with a Scripps

Irene ripping along the lake If interested More HERE on Irene

In 1921 a marina, Nolan’s Point Boat Garage opened on Lake Hopatcong’s Nolan’s Point. In 1939 new owners renamed it Lakeland Marine Base. Recently the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum was gifted a nice collection of boat and marina photos.

Is that Irene under the cover on the right

More inside

Even more

Right down the line up

And back outside


30 replies
  1. Jon
    Jon says:

    Is that a young Jay Leno working the marina before hitting the local comedy club at night, on his way to stardome? Still has a love for classics, just morphed to cars.

  2. syd
    syd says:

    That takes me back to the early 60’s when we would got for a family drive on Sunday and sometimes we would end up stopping at the Morehouse Boat Company on the north end/ west side of Cayuga Lake. We never took any pictures but I can still picture it.

  3. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    The hull card says my first Chris Craft, a 16 ft. Riviera was delivered to the Lakeland Marine Base….but we never could find out who owned it. How it made its way to Florida is also a mystery.

  4. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    Yes, I do remember what a 1950’s marina was like. I grew up in one. My grandfather and father started one on the Erie Canal in the late 50’s. Great times growing up there. I was the only 13 yr old kid in the neighborhood with a 23′ express cruiser.

  5. Tparsons56
    Tparsons56 says:

    I don’t remember the 50’s but I do remember the 60’s marinas. They were mostly mom and pops that would not only store and service boats but would sell fuel, boat supples and snacks. Boat owners would mostly do there own boat work so every spring the yard was a cacophony of sights and sounds of sanding, painting, borrowing tools and catching up with friends. I don’t think the EPA would be too happy with the old boatyards.
    One of my strongest memories as a kid is that the boat yard our family used, Salt River Marine in Chesterfield, Mi, had a large picture of a man who has been killed by being run over by a boat. His back was all cut up from the propeller which was pretty gruesome. It left a lasting memory which I still think of when driving a boat near shore.
    They were different times.

    • Tim Robinson
      Tim Robinson says:

      That picture must have been widely circulated. I remember seeing that photo in a small store on the Colorado River near Parker Arizona. It made an impression with me also.

  6. Todd C
    Todd C says:

    I remember the long “boathouse” type storage of marina’s with doors on each slip. Rudders and props hanging down below the doors. Cool times.

      • Jon
        Jon says:

        I grew up in Trenton and a relative owned Holden’s. I remember it well, and still have two 10 hp Mercury outboards my dad purchased there.

      • Reddog
        Reddog says:

        Detroiters also might remember ” Lochmans Hardware and boats” this place was a combination hardware and outboard motors( Johnson and Evinrude) retailer and they are still in business today. Not really on the water just near it. Did Liggets change to Humbug or was that something different?

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    My memories extend to marine railways and boatyard….I hung out around them on the Chesapeake in my youth. Great!

    John in Va.

  8. Stan Struble
    Stan Struble says:

    Bob those pictures of Lakeland and Al Calvano bring back very fond memories of my youth. I spent a lot of time there in the early 60s. Al was always there and the marina was the same until it burned in the early 80s or very late 70s.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    There were no Marinas where we boated in the U P in the 50s. The pictures remind me of Ribar Bros. Boat shop in Hamilton Ohio. It was in the basement of Larry the owners Dads Drugstore. The boat wharehouse was across the street. If they had too many boats they parked them in the alley. Ribars sold both Evinrude and Mercury outboards, Penn Yan, Lyman and Thompson Boats. They also sold Tee Nee trailers. It was a big Saturday morning when my brother and I would go there with Dad.

  10. Gary Van Tassel
    Gary Van Tassel says:

    I vividly remember the “Baldwin Boatyard” in Baldwin, NY on Long Island where I grew up. They were WOOLSLEY paint dealers. My dad rarely used anything but Woolsley. I learned how to caulk seams on the family Bay City 36 ft. triple cabin from a then old timer that worked in the yard. Sanding massive amounts of bright work and my dad letting me do the first coats of varnish so I could learn. Applying bronze bottom paint with it dripping down my hands (wonder how many years that will cut off my life!). As to the EPA’s view on old time boat yards, that place which was very large later went through massive enviro cleanup when the boatyard closed up. They had three railways with tracks that extended well up into the yard. They used an old truck with a winch on the front to move the railway cradles up and down and launch and a method of winching boats off to the side of the rails. I remember something like a hundred or so boats under going spring outfit with most owners doing there own work. The yard pros, there was a magician with brush painting, would offer advice and guidance. To me that is part of boating history that will likely never be reproduced. This was one of just many such yards on the south shore of LI. I also remember Guy Lambardo’s TEMPO commuter being on the hard for spring fit out. He used it to commute from his house and restaurant in Freeport to his shows at the Jones Beach Marine Theater. Loved watching that boat run!

  11. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    I grew up on an inland lake and we had a boathouse in the 50’s so we did not visit too many marinas, but I do remember visiting marine dealerships in the Detroit area for parts, and things.
    I bought a marina that was started in 1956, Called Beyers Marina, then sold in the mid-1970s and renamed The Wharf Marina. One of the buildings still used dated back to the original days, with block construction, no paint on the walls, and thick old beams, etc, much like that in the header pictures.
    I can just imagine that is how those buildings would have looked back then, with boats on display.
    Talk about what comes around, I met the Grand Daughter of the Bryer owners, last fall, and she now works for The Wharf Marina!

  12. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    We did have one old-time marina on Belleville Lake where I grew up on, Called Doane’s Boat-Bait-Batteries. I remember it was smelly from all the live bait they had in large tanks.

  13. John Gannon
    John Gannon says:

    I have a 1958 Lyman that came with that exact same Chris Craft Alloy Marine trailer. The Chris Craft logo has long since been painted over, but it had the same frame and fenders. I had to replace that trailer in order to safely facilitate the long distance hauling I do with my boat.

    • JimF
      JimF says:

      Peter, Try YNOT Yachts. You can click on their logo above in the sidebar. They have several Red and White’s and may have some parts. Also Jim Staib at has some parts. I just bought a replacement windshield for my Red And White after mine was crushed against the roof of my boathouse in a flood.

  14. Steve Bunda
    Steve Bunda says:

    Looking at the header picture I noticed the bow pennants on the chris crafts are different. One could be red, and the other blue. Years ago someone told me the blue was for the cruisers and red for the runabouts. Looks like you could use either.

    • Brian Robinson
      Brian Robinson says:

      Steve, they are all red. One is in the light (flash?) and the others are not. Look at the pac-mans on the pennants, they are all blue with no opposite contrast.

      • Steve Bunda
        Steve Bunda says:

        Maybe , interesting the pennants are flying, fish line from the rafter , or metal rods? American stern flags not altered by the camera flash ?

  15. Rob Hennessy
    Rob Hennessy says:

    Hello fellow Boaters,
    Wondering if anyone knows about Chatfield Marine formerly located at Freeport, Long Island, New York? Chatfield Marine
    was a dealer for Chris Craft Boats from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. The owners had nick names OS and Woody for the two Chatfield brothers that owned the Marina. OS was the oldest and originally had a Ford Dealership before getting into boats.
    The Marina was not far from where Guy Lombardo kept his racing boats.
    In those early years my uncle and then my father worked there providing finish work to clients that docked their boats at the Marina. I even worked there as a teenager supporting my Dad with the many special projects that the boat owners desired. In those days it was a first class Marina and OS was certain to keep it that way!
    It would be very interesting if anyone had photos or other information regarding Chatfield Marine.

  16. RivaDella
    RivaDella says:

    Well, where I grew up there were NO marinas! In the hot, dry middle of Cali, you were lucky to have a launch ramp! Gas only came in the boats tank, or a spare jerry can if you remembered to bring it. More than once ran out of gas due to forgetting how much my Cad-powered flattie burned. One lake had a short floating dock with a gas pump fed from shore, but no ‘ethyl’, only regular. I didn’t see a marina til I went to Tahoe. Tahoe City Marina & Sierra Boat Co. were the ‘big time’ to a country boy….

  17. Bob Murdock
    Bob Murdock says:

    Our local marina on Crooked Lake on the Inland Water Way in Northern Michigan was originally called Engle Marine and Ralph Engle was the owner. It started in the early 1900’s and my family were all customers. My Dad worked there in the summer as did I. Went through several owners over the years; Jordan Marine, May Marine and then finally Windjammer Marine. We had a very large selection of wooden boats and all the MI brands were well represented. It was heaven sent for a gearhead kid like me.
    Sadly, they tore it all down as someone had a better idea with condos…………..
    We recently purchased Howe Marine in Indian River because we never wanted to see the same thing happen again. We’ve got wooden boats everywhere, a craneway and cradles to cater to all. Talk about history and they were Chris Craft dealers from 1942-1986.
    Can’t wait for SUMMER to come!

  18. Gary Van Tassel
    Gary Van Tassel says:


    I certainly remember Chatfields. My youth was spent around the water front , until July 20,1969 when I entered the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy). My parents were members of South Shore Yacht Club (across from Guy Lombardo’s home) and then they joined Freeport Yacht Club. My parents bought their Bay City Boats triple cabin from H.B. Lake on Woodcleft Ave. in 1949. I also remember an Owens dealer, but don’t remember who its was as well as the Scoponich (sp) Brothers (rum running fame) and Al Grover’s. Good memories.

  19. George Balaschak
    George Balaschak says:

    I worked at Spano’s Marina in Freeport Long Island in the summer of 1956 as an outboard mechanic and dock helper. A weird place with rapid personal turnover. I remember Guy Lombardo’s Tempo on the canal. My current boat, a 22 foot 1954 Greavette Streamliner was in Freeport and owned by Wes Carmen a neighbor/ friend of Guy Lombardo

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