Friday, April 5, 2013

Harvard's Weld Boathouse

The Weld boathouse is now the home of the Radcliffe rowing team at Harvard University.  It was originally the first men's boathouse at Harvard, back when Harvard was only a men's school.  The Weld is located on Memorial Drive on the corner of the Larz Anderson Bridge, and it was built in 1906 with funds bequeathed by George Walker Weld (1840 - 1905), an alumni.  There were originally two boathouses here on this spot, the first one dating from 1899.

The Larz Anderson bridge was built by Weld's neice, Isabel Weld Perkins (1876 - 1948), in memory of her husband in 1913.  Isabel's mother became the richest woman in America when she was only five years old! Their ancestor, William Fletcher Weld (1800 - 1881) was a famous Boston shipping magnate who left millions to his descendants.  John Weld (1623 - 1691), the first Weld in America, was William Fletcher Weld's 3rd great grandfather, and my 10th great grandfather. 

My daughter rowed here in the summers when she was in high school.  She would participate in a week long rowing seminar and board at the Divinity School.  She loved rowing on the Charles River so much that she went to Simmons College and was on the varsity crew starting her Freshman year. She rowed in several Head of the Charles regattas.  The Weld boathouse is on the half way point of the Head of the Charles.

This is my daughter during her junior year of high school, rowing at the Weld boat house summer program.  The brick Weeks Footbridge (for pedestrians) is at a tricky bend in the river.  Student rowers in Boston  practice this bend every day, and have an advantage over away crews rowing the Head of the Charles regatta and sprints.

The Weld Boathouse

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I know this boathouse! And the Charles, and the entire area. My late sister went to Harvard Medical School, and we drove up and down Memorial Drive all the time, visiting her. She also rowed crew at Princeton, as an undergraduate.

    "Old Home Week." !