January 22, 2008

Gar Wood Runabout Boat, Edgewater Taxi Service

I recently received this e-mail from a reader and said I would post it with the hope that someone can help him out. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos with this boat in it.

I found your site CRCC and your blog posts on the Edgewater Beach Hotel. I am trying to do some research on the Hotel but need some help. I don't know where to start but perhaps you can help.
I have acquired a very old wooden boat called a runabout. This boat was made by Gar Wood and was delivered to Navy Pier in 1931. I believe this boat was bought by the Edgewater Hotel for a taxi and ride boat. It is 28' long and held about 10 people. Records say Edgewater Taxi Service, July 1931
While on a trip to the 1933-34 Chicago Worlds Fair a family from Tulsa, Oklahoma rode in the boat and decided to purchase it. They brought it back to OK and it has been here ever since. I was able to track the history all the way back to the daughter of the gentleman who purchased it from the hotel. The boat was named after her. Rosemary (the daughter) described it as being right there at the hotel docks to take people for rides etc.
I'm hoping that there is some kind of archive for pictures of the hotel and perhaps there might be something with this boat in it. In 1931 this would have been a very big purchase as Gar Wood boats were considered the Duisenberg of boating. It sold for $6,000 in 1931, which was a ton of money especially during the Depression.

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