History of the Boathouse

The original Riverside Boathouse opened in the late 1890s and was located near the intersection of Murdock and Waco. Featuring boat rentals and a swimming area, the original Boathouse served as a valuable entertainment option for Wichita’s citizens. Eventually interest in the Boathouse declined and in 1968 the Riverside Boathouse was torn down as part of an urban renewal project.

The current Boathouse was built in the 1920s for the Marland Oil Company, which became Continental Oil and then eventually Conoco Oil during the 1930s.  In the 1990s, the building was remolded, adding veranda-style porches, replicating the original Riverside Boathouse and served as a visitor’s center for the city of Wichita and a rental facility. Following his 1992 America’s Cup victory, Bill Koch donated The Jayhawk, his qualifying yacht and it is now on permanent display outside of the Boathouse.

In 2010, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame moved into the Wichita Boathouse with the first floor housing the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Gallery of Inductees and the second floor being open to renters for events such as weddings, birthday parties, and corporate meetings.

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