Fayetteville’s Cyclone Boating Club

By: Weeks Parker, June 2022

When I was a student at Central Elementary School on Burgess Street near Cross Creek, I often marveled at the partially sunken boathouses that were on Cross Creek about halfway between Goodwin’s bridge, at the junction of Maiden Lane and Union Street, and the dam on Green Street.

At that time, I had no idea I was looking at the remains of the small boathouses once used by members of the Cyclone Boating Club in the 1920s.

I also fondly remember when there were races from the bridge to the McNeill Milling Co. dam on Green Street. Young men used metal washtubs as boats. The city of Fayetteville sponsored these races on July 4th every year, and the winner received a prize.

I also remember when a greased pole was erected on the Green Street side of the Market House so young boys could attempt to climb it as members of the Fire Department sprayed water on them to prevent them from reaching the top. The boys who succeeded in climbing the pole were given a watermelon.
During the early 1900s, Fayetteville residents enjoyed boating on Eccles Pond, which was located on the present site of Eccles Park, that ran from Anderson Street to the McNeill Milling Co. on Green Street.

Members of the Cyclone Boating Club, whose headquarters was in the new LaFayette Hotel building on Hay Street, put up many small boathouses along Cross Creek near Eccles Pond. It was not unusual to see members of the club, dressed in their finest clothes, paddling up and down Eccles Pond on a Sunday afternoon. When the pond was frozen during the winter of 1927, someone made a lovely picture of the Cyclone Boating Club boathouses as seen from the Green Street bridge.