I recently had a replica casting made of an old bronze chock, about 7” long overall. The original was reportedly on a derelict boat moored or docked on the south branch of the Chicago River sometime between the 1920s and the beginning of World War II. I am hoping a GLCC member may have some additional knowledge about this chock, and for what boat it was originally cast. Such an unusual chock must have been a specialty item!
The original chock was obtained by Ray Andresen’s father who purchased a 50’ schooner in the mid 1920’s with the idea of taking it to the islands. Ray and his parents lived on the schooner, named Idler1, for a number of years, spending the summers at Monroe St and the winters on the south branch of the Chicago River. The very unusual frog chock was reportedly removed from an adjacent derelict boat, either at the Monroe Street basin, or the south branch of the Chicago River. Ray told stories of his mother rowing out to the mooring with 50# blocks of ice! WW2 ended the idea of going to the islands, but Ray and his wife Bert spent many happy years at Jackson Park. Ray crewed on a JPYC boat in a Miami to Bermuda race in the 1980s. Ray was a commodore of Jackson Park Yacht Club in the early 1983-84, and a very close personal friend of Robert (Bob) and Judy Fouts. Bob was also a commodore of the Jackson Park Yacht Club in 1981-82.
Note: An earlier ~100’ schooner, also named Idler, built in New Haven, Ct., in 1864, by one F. Colgates of New York , was bought by "Archie" Fisher, commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club and brought to Chicago, in the late 1800’s, sold to John Cudahy for his summer home at Mackinac Island who did a major rebuild of the boat in 1890. In 1896 W. D. Boyce was elected commodore of the Columbia Yacht club and he chartered the Idler for the season for his flagship. Capt. Corrigan purchased the yacht from John Cudahy and sailed her to Cleveland. She sunk in Lake Erie off Cleveland on July 7, 1900, and was reportedly refloated. Whether or not she was returned to Chicago is unknown. This large schooner had an all Norwegian crew. Mr. Andresen, Ray’s father was reportedly from Norway, and likely named his 50’ schooner in honor of the older Idler schooner.
Any information about this chock would be greatly appreciated! Marilyn Kinsey "Adena", Port Captain, Escanaba, MI