The MINNESOTA BOAT CLUB (MBC) is the state's oldest athletic institution. Since 1870, MBC has established a long record of rowing championships in the Midwest. In recent years we have won several national titles and even produced a few Olympians.
The club, located on Raspberry Island in downtown Saint Paul, once claimed ownership of the entire island. The original boathouse was a wooden structure that was replaced in the early 1900's by the existing boathouse. During the first and second World Wars, the club's declining membership contributed to the forfeiture to the city of the lower two thirds of the island.
The great flood of 1965 took its toll on the club, forcing members to vacate the building and wait out the high waters. Members returned to find walls of the building washed away, still evidenced by the replacement concrete block walls on the up river end of the building. History nearly repeated itself in the spring of 1993 when floodwaters caused an evacuation and reached the bottom of the boat bay doors. In the Spring of 2001, floodwaters exceeded their 1965 mark, with over a foot of standing water in the boathouse. The flood receded in late May and leaving no permanent damage.
In recent years, the boathouse has undergone a major renovation. New ammenties include: A restored ballroom and banquet facility, expanded locker rooms, an elevator and second stairwell, larger weight room, public restrooms, environmentally sensitive landscaping, and updated ramps and dock. Raspberry Island has also been completely overhauled with: new Wabasha Street bridge, new Raspberry Island bridge, rip wrap, band shell, landscaping, and public parking.