Early Hoofers History: 1950s

1950 – 1959

Canoes on Lake Mendota, 1950s.

Canoes on Lake Mendota, 1950s.

1950s
The Hoofer Canoe Club was organized. In the late 1930s, Hoofers sponsored a canoeing and biking arm of the club.

After a hiatus, canoeing reappeared as an official club in 1952. It operated independently until 1957, when it was folded into the Outing Club.

1953
The YMCA pier on Lake Mendota was purchased by the UW, to be used for swimming and fishing. This allowed the Hoofers pier to be closed to these activities and reserved solely for Hoofer boat use.

Tech Dinghys on the Lake.

Tech Dinghys on the Lake.

1955
The Sailing Club purchased two fiberglass Tech Dinghys. The dinghys were designed by a retired MIT professor (hence their name).

The vessels were first tested by the Sailing Club in 1952; the group requested some modifications to the original design. Eventually all the UW’s Tech Dinghys were custom-made to Commodore Peter Harken‘s specifications and called “Badger Techs”.

Peter went on to form Vanguard Sailboats and, later, Harken with former Commodore Art Mitchell and Peter’s brother Olaf. The companies manufactured sailboat hardware and accessories.

1955
The last Winter Carnival is held, due to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the student body. Hoofers attempted to revive it in 1958, but the effort was quickly discontinued.

1956
The Muir Knoll ski jump, built by Hoofers in 1932, was condemned. The City of Madison purchased the jump for $700 and moved it to Hoyt Park, where it was used for years. In the jump’s former path a parking lot is constructed, next to the Limnology building.

Hoofers co-ed ski jump, 1947.

Hoofers co-ed ski jump, 1947.

ca. 1958
The point system and designation of Heels were abolished.