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We welcome neighbor and author Chris Brown to talk about his book The Washington Canoe Club. The Washington Canoe Club has been a landmark on the Georgetown waterfront of the nation’s capital for over a century. Its iconic Victorian boathouse, now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, has survived floods and fires as well as changing land uses along the Potomac shoreline. The canoe club is best known for its prowess and as a pioneer in national and international paddling competition, from introducing canoeing as an Olympic sport in 1924 to bringing women fully into competitive paddling. But the story is also one of the coming of age of outdoor recreation and social clubs in America’s cities, where, post–Civil War, people came to enjoy new leisure time and “physical culture” in a wide variety of outdoor activities.
Author Christopher N. Brown fell in love with canoeing 50 years ago while teaching school in Chicago. Since then, on vacations and through jobs in river conservation with American Rivers, the National Park Service, and the US Forest Service, he has paddled in all 50 states. Its unique history and riverfront location drew him to the Washington Canoe Club in 1990. He is an honorary life member of the club, whose collections and family albums largely
provided the assemblage of images in this book.