Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Making Waves on the Water…
Beginning in 1880
ODBC was founded in 1880 as a rowing, recreational, and athletic club in Alexandria.
The Club won its first rowing regatta in 1887 and continues to support rowing to this day.
The success of the program encouraged ODBC members to start a rowing club at George Washington High School in 1947. That same year, ODBC attended the 56th Middle States Regatta in NYC and won national acclaim by winning over crews from all over the east coast. The ODBC sponsored the 1948 and 1949 Middle States Regatta at the ODBC in Alexandria, Virginia.
With the opening of new high schools, rowing programs were established at Francis C. Hammond High School in 1956 and T.C. Williams High School (now called Alexandria City High School) in 1965.
Today, the Club continues to support these programs through the Alexandria Crew Boosters Club, organized in 1951.
1952 and 1954 were years of unprecedented accomplishments for ODBC rowing. Coached by members Julian Whitestone and Jack Franklin, ODBC became National Rowing Champions in two different events.
"The Full Slide" - ODBC's Rowing Heyday
Post World War II
AFter the pause for World War II, the Old Dominion Boat Club began racing again.
In 1946, ODBC won events in all the local regattas. In the Mid-States Regatta, ODBC won the quad and the gig races, and took second and a third in other events.
In 1948, the Middle States Regatta was held at ODBC in front of huge crowds.
Virginia's First High School Rowing Program
1950 to Present
ODBC sponsored the first public high school rowing program in Virginia, also one of the first in the USA, with the old George Washington High School in Alexandria.
ODBC rowers Julian Whitestone and Jack Franklin initiated the program and coached the students. ODBC provided equipment and its boathouse to get the program going.
The George Washington High School crews, based out of ODBC, won national championships three years in a row: 1954, 1955, 1956.
In the late 1960's, three high schools all rowed simultaneously out of ODBC's facility: T.C. Williams High School, George Washington High School, and Hammond High School. In the summer, the same students competed as teammates/junior members for ODBC.
"Let it Glide!"
1970s - 1980s
In the early 1970s, due to space limitations, ODBC was no longer able to house the high school crew teams. So they moved to the City-owned warehouse space that could accommodate all three schools and provide facilities for both boys and girls to row. ODBC donated all its remaining equipment to the Alexandria Crew Boosters who then also became major sponsors of the high school teams.
ODBC member and rower Dee Campbell coached at T.C. Williams High School for 30 years from 1975 to 2005 and became known as the "Dean of Girls Scholastic Rowing".
Select Crew Rowing
Fall Racing Series: 1999 - Present
In 1999 the ODBC Select Fall Club Rowing Program was initiated to keep the ODBC involved in competitive club rowing. ODBC's President at the time, Steve Danzig, asked member Jim Dooley, a former rower at George Washington High School and junior ODBC member / summer rower, to get ODBC back on the water.
Working through the Alexandria Crew Boosters and using the Campbell Boathouse and equipment, the program enlists experienced high school rowers, both boys and girls, from around the area to participate in the program sponsored by and representing the Old Dominion Boat Club.
Today, the ODBC Select Crew Program annually permits approximately 100 student athletes to row in this highly competitive series of club racing events. It has become one of the best and most competitive crews in the USA.
The Old Dominion Boat Club continues to support the program through a generous yearly budget item for the Alexandria Crew Boosters. ODBC also hosts a very successful annual fundraising benefit. Additionally, ODBC annually funds two college scholarships to graduating senior rowers at Alexandria City High School (formerly T.C. Williams High School). The Old Dominion Boat Club's continuing contributions to competitive rowing are sources of pride for every ODBC member.
ODBC Cup Invitational Regatta
2016 - Present
Building on the success of the War of 1812 Commemorative Regatta, club members established a new sailboat regatta in 2016. Skippers and their crews are invited to compete in a series of races held on the Potomac River in front of the club.
In past years, participants have represented six different countries, including the USA. Winning teams are recognized for their achievements and are memorialized on the perpetual trophy housed at the Club.
Erected by Old Dominion Boat Club.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Sports • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1880.
Location. 38° 48.174′ N, 77° 2.381′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. It is in Old Town. Marker is at the intersection of The Strand and Prince Street, on the right when traveling north on The Strand. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 0 Prince St, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Rich History on the Alexandria Waterfront (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named ODBC (here, next to this marker); Waterfront Archaeology (within shouting distance of this marker); Industrialization of the Strand (within shouting distance of this marker); Pioneer Mill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Raise the White Flag (about 300 feet away); The Domestic Slave Trade (about 300 feet away); The History of the Pineapple (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 14, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 14, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.