The first meeting of HCYC, of which there is any record, was called an organizational meeting and was held at the Lake Breeze Tavern in Old Lyme on October 19, 1946. The Lake Breeze Tavern was located in Haines Park on Rogers Lake and subsequently burned to the ground.
Apparently, a lot of effort went into planning for the meeting, as a Constitution was presented and approved on that date. Officers and Trustees were elected in accordance with the provisions of that Constitution. The First Commodore was Donald G. Reynolds.
Thirty-three of the people present at that meeting paid their $10.00 dues and became members. It was decided that anyone who joined prior to April 1, 1947 would be considered a Charter Member. By that date, the club had seventy-seven Charter Members. P/C Leland Reynolds is the only charter Member who is still a member of the Club.
Since there were no Club facilities, meetings were held in local restaurants, the Lyme Public Hall, or the Lyme Grange Hall. When held at the latter two locations, dinner was often prepared by the ladies of the Grange, or the Ladies of the Church. The dinners were very popular with the members as there was a lot of homemade food at a reasonable price.
Members came from many towns – Lyme, Old Saybrook, New London, Wethersfield, Hartford, Springfield, and even Pittsfield. During the winter months it was not uncommon to hold meetings “Up-State” in such places as the Gelston House in East Haddam and various locations in Middletown, Manchester, Marlborough, and Danielson.
There was a spasmodic search for Club Property. Not all Members were in favor, as many liked the $10.00 annual dues. The present property was finally purchased in 1963 for $15,000.00, half in cash, half with a 6% ten year mortgage.
Improvement of the property was delayed by a nine year argument with the Town of Lyme over boundaries. The old records were not very specific, and there had been a semi-public access to the Cove for years. Neither side could prove exactly what they owned, so that the solution had to be a compromise. Since the Club was anxious to get the matter settled, and the Town could afford to wait, the compromise was not favorable to the Club.
In 1973, the mortgage paid off and the property lines settled, the Club embarked upon improving the property. The property has been substantially improved in several steps, with the present assessed value at $208,250
One of the first activities of the Club was to arrange for the marking of the channel in the Cove. The Club persuaded the Coast Guard to place four additional buoys at the Cove entrance. In the late 1940’s the Club funded the cost of stakes and markers; these were installed by volunteers.