George Tooker – Miniature Yachting (grandfather of George Claire Tooker, the artist)

George Alfred Tooker

George Alfred Tooker was the grandfather of George Clair Tooker, Jr., the artist, who lived for a short while in the Champlain/Tooker cottage on Beaver Dam Creek, but otherwise was of Bellport, NY, and now of Vermont. George Alfred Tooker seems never to have lived in either Brookhaven or Bellport; but this is an interesting story nevertheless.

Playing With Boats.

Among the peculiar pastimes of the age, the strangest, since it seems, to interest adults as much as youth, is what is termed miniature yachting. It originated in this city from the sailing by children of toy boats on Prospect Park Lake. Today this play navy has reached such dimensions that two large houses are required to shelter the boats and there is enough work to be done in connection with these frail barks to necessitate the employment of a boatman, John CRUMLEY. Of course none of the boats is capable of containing a person; though some are eight feet long, and ranging in value from $25 to $150. In sailing them they are all started on the same tack, and the one that gets in first carries off the prize. Many of the models are very beautiful, and few are not fitted up with extreme nicety. The regattas this year will take place the third Saturday in each month, beginning with June.

The following boats compose the fleet:

Flirt, schooner: owned by Captain LYON.
Katie B., schooner; owned by Charles SAMPSON.
Nellie, schooner; owned by James MAUCE
Hiawatha, schooner; owned by Geo. BAKER.
Cornelia, schooner; owned by Captain COLE.
John Cole, schooner; owned by Mr. PEDO.
Carrie, schooner; owned by John BENNETT.
No Name, sloop, owned by Mr. BROWN.
Vixen; schooner; owned by George BAKER
Ida May, schooner, owned by George BAKER
Com. Bennett, sloop; owned by Geo. TOOKER.

The following boats are in the navy, but have not been entered for any of the races:

Tudie, schooner; owned by Mr. PEDO.
No Name, sloop; owned by Mr. TOOKER.
Ida. schooner; owned by Mr. NEFF.
Marion, schooner; owned by John Y. CULYER.
Phalarope, sloop; owned by Mr. BRAZIER.

Besides these there are over a dozen boats, the names of whose owners were not on record in the boat-house. With one or two exceptions all the boats are owned by adults, the exceptions being youth almost advanced to manhood’s estate.