Early Hoofers History: 1960s

1960 – 1969

1960
UW-Madison student Oscar Strickholm drowned on a whitewater canoeing trip. Two other students were guiding the canoe while Oscar, not wearing a life jacket, filmed the event. Though he could swim, Oscar spent his strength clinging to a rock in the white water. Witnesses attempted to rescue him but were unsuccessful.

A row of Tech Dinghys.

A row of Tech Dinghys.

1960
Former Sailing Club Commodore Peter Barrett participated in his first Olympics in Finn class sailing. He also competed in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics, winning silver and gold medals, respectively.

In the 1964 Tokyo games, Barrett hit a mark, which was grounds for disqualification. Although no one else noticed, he admitted the foul, preventing himself from winning the gold medal.

1962
Chuck Miller and Peter Barrett, both former Commodores of the Sailing Club, and James Payton, another UW graduate, compete in the North American crew sailing championships.

As skipper of the winning crew, Payton received the Mallory trophy. In the men’s monotype competition, Barrett received the first George D. O’Day trophy, for which Miller came in second.

1963
The Union purchased the University Boat House from Carl Bernard. Bernard, from the 3rd generation of his family in the boat business, had run the boat house for 23 years. The Union decided to rent only canoes and row boats, not sailboats or speedboats.

Hoofers boat repair.

Hoofers boat repair.

1964
The Boat Repair Center was added to the Hoofer facilities in the Memorial Union Theater. The additional space allowed the Outing Club to begin their boat-building program, primarily canoes and kayaks for white water use.

Union boat rental services and Hoofers equipment were combined, totaling 24 canoes, 6 rowboats, 36 boat moorings, 3 motorboats available for rent. Also available were rental bikes, sleeping bags, and backpacks.

1965
In 1953 a member of the Wisconsin Field Archery Association had noted that “field archery is to ordinary archery like senior women are to freshmen, more interesting and harder to catch onto.” Perhaps this sentiment was what spurred the creation of the Hunt Club in 1965.

Hoofer's bulletin board, 1961. #dn06021407

Hoofer’s bulletin board, 1961. #dn06021407

Replacing the Archery Club, which was long plagued by a lack of facilities and membership problems, the emphasis of the Hunt Club was on shooting prey rather than targets.

Its members entered tournaments, embarked on hunting trips, and went carp shooting. After deer hunting outings, they held venison stew suppers, which were, more often than not, venison-free.

Unfortunately, the Hunt Club did not have much better luck than its predecessor; it lasted only a few years.

ca. 1966
Lakefront development, including a new boathouse, was completed. During the 1966-1967 school year, over 8,000 people used the Union pier.

Hoofers members sailing, 1960s.

Hoofers members sailing, 1960s.

1966
A Hoofer Special Conservation Committee was established, including representatives from each of the clubs. The origins and purpose of Hoofers were always closely aligned with environmental causes. In the 1960s, this connection became increasingly explicit with the establishment of an infrastructure to address such concerns.

The Conservation Committee’s purpose was to take on most of the conservation activities that the Outing Club had been sponsoring as a matter of course.

1966
A movement within the Sailing Club to break away from both the Union and Hoofers gathers momentum. As the largest and most profitable of the Hoofers clubs, the Sailing Club desired more independence.

At a December 1966 meeting, they did not attain a quorum, but a straw poll suggested that the motion would have passed.

Hoofers sailboats.

Hoofers sailboats.

1967
Robert Keuhlthau, Sailing Club Commodore and Hoofers President, was named to the Intercollegiate College Sailing Association’s first All-America team.

Fourteen team members were selected by the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association of North America at the request of the US Naval Academy.Keuhlthau won the 1965 Single Handed Championship of the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association and the Inter-sectional Angsten Trophy Regatta in Chicago.

He was also the two-time winner of the Midwest Monotype title. He was enshrined in the Collegiate Sailing Hall of Fame at the US Naval Academy.

1967
The Hoofer Constitution was amended to include the promotion of conservation. This was the first time that conservation was officially written in to the group’s bylaws, ultimately leading to the creation of the Ecology Club around 1971.

A Hoofers outing

1967
After only two years as an independent unit, the Hunt Club was dissolved and its functions transferred to the Outing Club.