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The Bayer Family Collection

submitted by Bill Miller - December, 2002

We received a wonderful collection of significant rowing memorabilia. The collection is from Mr. Ernest Bayer, Mrs. Ernestine and daughter, Tina Bayer. Big Ernie or Papa Bayer as he was affectionately known, had a life-long association with rowing including the 1928 Olympic Games, NAAO Official, and past NAAO President & Treasurer. Mrs. Ernestine ("Ernie" or "Momma") Bayer is generally known as Mother of Women's Rowing. She has demonstrated a decades-long commitment to women's rowing including the founding of the Philadelphia Girls Rowing Club in 1938, competing in every event she could enter during the 1940s - 50s, and continued competition through masters rowing championships. Tina Bayer was a competitor at the first National Women's Rowing Association championship regatta in 1966 and a member of the first US Women's Rowing Team in 1967. She also represented the U.S. in the Women's Single at the 1969 European Championships in Klagenfurt, Austria.

On behalf of the Friends Of Rowing History and the National Rowing Foundation we wish to thank Ernestine and Tina Bayer for the donation of their family's great rowing memorabilia. We are happy to share their rowing memories here on this web page. The materials will be stored in the climate-controlled facility at Mystic Seaport Museum.

A Photo Essay
Ernie, Ernestine and Tina Bayer

Ernestine & Ernie, newly-weds - 1928


1928 Penn. Barge Club Olympic Coxless-Four seated
(Ernie Bayer - above: seated far right - below:  bow seat)


The SS Roosevelt

The Schuylkill Olympians

Coxless-four training onboard

Heading to the race course

U.S. Coxless-Four defeating Italy in semifinal

Departing Amsterdam with the Olympic Silver Medal

Ernestine - 1928

Ernestine & Ernie - 1931

Ernestine - "Why don't women row?"

Ernestine founded the Philadelphia Girl's Rowing Club - 1938

The PGRC girls (Ernestine back row-right)

Ernestine (bow) and Jeanette Waetjen Hoover (stroke)
Winning women's race on the Schuylkill - July 4, 1939

PGRC Tenth Anniversary Banquet - 1948
Ernestine & Ernie, Mr. & Mrs. John Kelly standing center-rear


A few of Ernestine's medals

1948 Olympic Rowing Team Officials
Back row (l-r): Coach Allen Walz, Coach John Kelly, Mgr. Ernest Bayer, Hd. Mgr. John Carlin
Front row (l-r): Boatman George Pocock, Coach Ky Ebright, Chief Tip Goes, Asst. Mgr. James Yost

Penn. Barge Club 1928 Olympians Reunion - 1953

Tina Bayer - Identification card at European Championships, 1967

PGRC - First U.S. Women's Team arriving in France
(organized by Ernestine Bayer with Ernie Bayer and competitor, Tina Bayer)

The Mayor of Philadelphia honors the PGRC with the "Key to the City"
Ernestine center, Jack Kelly left, Mayor right, and PGRC members standing

Lake Washington Women's Eight & Tina (right) head to Austria - 1969

Tina Bayer, U.S. Women's Sculler
European Championships - Klagenfurt, Austria
- Lane 1 -

1928 Olympic Coxless-Four inducted into National Hall of Fame - 1974

Ernestine, Ernie & Tina at 1984 Hall of Fame induction for Ernestine

Ernestine was asked to fill the #2 seat of the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Women's Eight
"The thrill of my life"


Ernest Bayer's last row on the Schuylkill - 1997
Bruce Lalond, Ernestine and Tina spread his ashes

"Momma" is honored as founder of women's crew at Univ. New Hampshire

Ernestine and Tina row across the Nile and back

New England Sports Women of the Year

U.S. National Championship trophy
Water Dancer
In Honor of Ernestine Bayer
The Mother of Women's Rowing
Without Whom This Award Would Not Be Possible

Jeannie Friedman & Ernestine
race in the 1999 Head of the Charles Regatta

Bobby Orr surprises Ernestine

2000 World Champion

2001 World Masters Championship in Montreal

1909 - 2006
Woman of the Century

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