Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Bernard - Hoover Boat House
Erected 1976 by the Madison Landmarks Commission. (Marker Number 47.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin, Madison Landmarks Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1943.
Location. 43° 4.941′ N, 89° 22.936′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker can be reached from East Gorham Street 0.1 miles west of North Blount Street, on the right when traveling west. The boat house and marker are at the east end of James Madison Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 622-1/2 East Gorham Street, Madison WI 53703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Irene and Robert Connor Residence (within shouting distance of this marker); Anna and Cornelius Collins Residence (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Collins House (about 500 feet away); Lincoln School (about 700 feet away); Nichols Station (about 700 feet away); City Horse Barn (approx. 0.2 miles away); Here was Madison’s first African-American neighborhood (approx. 0.2 miles away); Miller House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
Regarding Bernard - Hoover Boat House. According to the Madison Landmarks Commission, "In the days before individual boat ownership became widespread, renting pleasure boats for lake excursions was a significant summer business in Madison. Numerous commercial enterprises developed here in the nineteenth century to cater to the demand, the first being the one German native Charles Bernard started on this site in 1855 as a fishing station.
"Gradually, Bernard's business expanded to include both boat and fishing gear rentals.
"By the 1890s Bernard was building his own boats as well, including several large, steam-powered excursion boats that operated on Lake Mendota.
"In 1911 the Bernards replaced the original buildings with a larger frame structure. Four years later that building was destroyed by fire and was replaced with the present frame building. Carl Bernard sold out to Harry Hoover in 1943; Hoover continued to operate the board livery and gave excursion rides until 1968 when he sold the property to the City. Today the Bernard-Hoover boathouse is the only survivor of the early days of Madison's love affair with pleasure boating."
Also see . . . Mendota Rowing Club. Additional history of the boat house from the web site of the current occupant. (Submitted on December 4, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 4, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,540 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 4, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.