The Malta Boat Club was founded as the Malta Barge Club on February 22, 1860 by members of the Minnehaha Lodge of the Sons of Malta. The Club initially used a house on Smith’s Island in the Delaware River, just off Chestnut Street. There the Club kept its first boat, a six-oared barge called the “Minnehaha.”
In 1863, the club underwent reorganization and moved to the east side of the Schuylkill just above the Spring Garden Street Dam. In 1865, Malta joined the Schuylkill Navy when it purchased the clubhouse of the Excelsior Club at #9 Boathouse Row, which stood on the site of our existing boathouse.
Malta’s current membership is comprised of prominent businessmen, doctors, lawyers, educators, priests and students. Former members include one of the original signers of the Schuylkill Navy Charter, a US Featherweight boxing champion, a US lightweight wrestling champion, a Congressman and Solicitor General of the United States, a Philadelphia District Attorney, Olympians and past commodores of the Schuylkill Navy.
The club’s colors are Royal Blue and White, it’s symbol is the Maltese Cross. The leafs of the cross stand for the virtues prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude while the eight points stand for beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.