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Recreational Sailing: Primary Sources: Archives & Records

Manuscripts

Gerry Spiess Scrapbooks, 1971-1983.
Three scrapbooks containing clippings of world-wide news coverage documenting Gerry Spiess’s 1979 and 1981 record-breaking solo voyages across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in the 10-foot sloop Yankee Girl that Spiess designed and built.
The scrapbooks, compiled by Louis Spiess, father of Gerry Spiess, also contain programs, pamphlets, posters, proclamations, and correspondence from honorary celebrations, speaking engagements, boat shows, and the dedication of Spiess Landing at Matoska Park on White Bear Lake. Also included are two clippings regarding Spiess’s first attempt at solo navigation in 1971.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Boating Industry Catalogs, 1956-2005.
Sales catalogs from Minnesota and national boat manufacturers. The collection documents a significant aspect of Minnesotan state history and culture, boating, over fifty years and reflects advertising trends, summer fashions, and the transition in the industry from a tourist activity to a leisurely one. Included in the collection are sales catalogs on boats, motors, outboards, trailers, water skis, pontoon boats, powerboats, fishing boats, yachts, sailboats, other boating accessories, and snowmobiles. Price lists for boats and motors are also included.
MNHS call number:  Digital Finding Aid

Constitution and Sailing Rules of the White Bear Yachting Association.
Dellwood, Minn. St. Paul : H.M. Smyth Print Co., 1891.
MNHS call number: GV823.W5 A1 1891
MNHS call number: GV823.W5 A1 1893

The Log Book of the Sailing Craft "Edith": The Diary of a Trip Down the Mississippi to Florida that Laura Ingalls Wilder Would Have Liked to Make into a Story, by Joseph Quiner Carpenter (1890), settings and editing by Dorothy Smith.
Malone, N.Y.: D. Smith, 1984.
MNHS call number:  F354 .C3 1984

Books & Other Publications

Alone Against the Atlantic, by Gerry Spiess with Marlin Bree. 
Minneapolis, Minn.: Control Data Publishing, 1981.
MNHS call number:  G470 .S66

Wake of the Green Storm:  A Survivor's Tale, by Marlin Bree.
St. Paul, Minn.: Marlor Press, 2001.
MNHS call number:  F552 .B77 2001

In the Teeth of the Northeaster, by Marlin Bree.
St. Paul, Minn.: Marlor Press, 1993.
MNHS call number: F552 .B74 1993

Minnetonka Yacht Club: Centennial, 1882-1982, by Virginia Brainard Kunz.
Minnesota: Minnetonka Yacht Club Sailing School, 1982.
MNHS call number: Reading Room GV823.M66 K86

How Larson Boat Works Changed the Industryby Earl Geiger.
Minnesota, 2009.
MNHS call number: VM321.L37 G44 2009

Pamphlets

Pamphlets Relating to Boats and Boating in Minnesota, 1884-
Contains pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to boats, boat and water safety laws, manufacturers of boats and boating equipment, boat clubs, and related items.
MNHS call number: GV775- GV777

Pamphlets Relating to Rowing and Rowing Regattas in Minnesota, 1884-
Contains pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to regattas and similar boating competitions.
MNHS call number: GV791-GV807

Pamphlets Relating to Yacht Clubs and Yachting in Minnesota, 1884-
Contains pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to yacht clubs and their activities.

MNHS call number: GV815- GV827

Government Records

United States. Congress. House. Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs.

  • Medal in Recognition of Gerald F. Spiess microform.
    Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1980.
    MNHS call number:  U.S. Docs Microfiche X 96-2 :H.rp.849

Minnesota Department of Conservation.

  • Minnesota Safe Boater.
    St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Conservation, 1970. 
    Note: "Reprinted from The Conservation Volunteer, July 1970."
    MNHS call number: VK200.M6 A55 1970

Film & Video

Gerry Spiess, videotape (19 min.) & teacher's guide
Produced by Independent School District No. 279.  Osseo, Minn.: 1981.
Gerry Spiess recounts his 1979 solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in "Yankee Girl" and discusses the emotional and physical preparation required for such a voyage.
MNHS call number:  Videotape 51

Lonely Voyage, videotape (30 min.)
Written and produced by Jason Davis, KSTP. Saint Paul, Minn.: 1979.
Gerry Spiess, White Bear Lake, Minn., designs and builds the 10-foot Yankee Girl for a solo voyage across the north Atlantic Ocean, 1979.
MNHS call number:  Videotape 93

The Greatest Adventure, videotape (52 min.)
Written and produced by Jason Davis, KSTP. Saint Paul, Minn.: 1981.
Gerry Spiess, White Bear Lake, Minn., sails the 10-foot Yankee Girl 8000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in 1981.
MNHS call number: Videotape 94

1930s White Bear Yacht Club, motion picture (22 min.)
Produced by White Bear Yacht Club, White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Film of the White Bear Yacht Club in the 1930s. Footage includes activities of club members on July 4th 1933. Shows the clubhouse, views of homes on the shoreline, pictures of former commodores, members playing golf and tennis, sailing, an evening dance, and fireworks.
MNHS call number: Videotape 991

Wartime Aquatennial, 1943, motion picture (28 min.)
Produced by Minneapolis Aquatennial Association.  MInneapolis, Minn.: 1943.
Includes footage of the Lake Calhoun sailing regatta.
MNHS call number:  Film A-114

Father & Kids, motion picture (17 min. b&w)
1929-1934.
Film footage showing children playing outdoors, children and adults boating and sailing on White Bear Lake.
MNHS call number:  Film D-99

Search for Primary Sources at MNHS

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Currently open by appointment only.