The SHYC was established in October, 1939. At that time there were very few pleasure boats in South Haven. The port was utilized by a few commercial fish tugs and foreign ships delivering wood pulp bales for the paper mills at Kalamazoo, with an occasional lake freighter unloading gravel or coal.
Some pleasure craft along the east coast of Lake Michigan would stop in overnight and found a problem with dock space. A few local boat owners, discussing boating and lack of suitable dock facilities, decided a yacht club would be an asset to the harbor.
A meeting for all interested boaters was set for Sept. 19, 1939 at the home of Dr. Buckborough. Sixteen men met at the first meeting. Approximately 30 people met at the next meeting in October where the constitution was adopted, and a board of governors was elected. Dues were established at $10 per year but could be paid quarterly if members desired.
Subsequent meetings selected committees to plan for a club building, to improve boat dock space, to select a club vessel, and to establish the Party and Entertainment Committee. Negotiations were started with the city for a lease of the property for the building site and up-river slips (down river was private property).
Taken from an article by Marty Benacker