The Seafarers Yacht Club, organized in 1945 as the Seafarers Boat Club, and is the oldest African American yacht club in the United States.
The Seafarers Yacht Club, organized in 1945 as the Seafarers Boat Club, and is the oldest African American yacht club in the United States. The clubhouse is located on the Anacostia River north of the John Philip Sousa Bridge (Pennsylvania Avenue, SE) and just south of the CSX Railroad bridge (across from the skating rink in Anacostia Park). The Seafarers Club was organized by Lewis T. Green, Sr., a wood carver and vocational arts teacher in the DC Public Schools. Green built boats as a hobby, and in his search for a place to dock one of his boats, he contacted the Department of the Interior about this site. Told that he should establish a boat club, he did so, but waited in vain for a response from the government. Eventually, with the help of Mary McLeod Bethune and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, he was able to rent the land for the club. The site originally was called Green's Boat Yard, and club members improved the marshy land and built docks and a clubhouse.
The club soon developed a commitment to boating safety and community service. In 1965 the club merged with the D.C. Mariners Boat Club. In 1985 the group began the Seafarers Yacht Club Annual Cleanup, which has grown into the annual Anacostia River Cleanup Day held each spring.