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Songs and Stories
     March 25, 2019      #82-85 SsK

Looking Back: Boat harbor opens with a roar

Motorboats were “roarin’ on the river” on a sunny Sunday afternoon in 1950, as members of the Kankakee Valley Boat Club helped to celebrate the opening of the city’s new boat harbor in Waterman (now Beckman) Park.

The celebration was a four-hour festival on June 25, 1950, that included five races for outboard and inboard watercraft, a waterskiing demonstration, a unique “water polo” game played by competitors in motorboats and brief dedication ceremonies. The event drew a crowd of 600 spectators to the north bank of the river.

Measuring 300 feet by 100 feet, with a depth of 4 feet, the harbor initially ...

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