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Veteran boat racer Jim Thompson earned a perpetual trophy for winning three consecutive years in Maple Valley boat racing competition. He recently donated his trophy to the museum.  ~Photo by D’Ann Tedford

Cedar River Boat Racers May Soon Be Celebrated

From the 1940s through the 1990s, Cedar River offered its unique gift to Maple Valley. It was a paradise for Cedar River boat racing. Boat racing on the Cedar originally began as “endurance” competition in the 1940s. Those hearty souls traveled from a starting point under Maple Valley’s train trestle to Renton. To offer the community more viewing opportunities, the course was lengthened in 1962. Starting at Landsburg with the finish line at Cedar Grove bridge, the new 11-mile route created at least 10 vantage points with riverside viewing.  

Maple Valley Historical Society (MVHS) would like to celebrate this unique boat racing history that was considered “the outstanding sport.” It brought the community together for roughly half a century. An event titled “Celebrate Them” is in the planning stages at the historical society. Those involved in the sport are being asked to provide the historical society with contact information so that participants can be invited and kept informed on the celebration’s progress. Contact information along with a description of one’s association with boat racing can be emailed, using “boat racers” in the subject line, to: Information can also be mailed to: Boat Race Committee, 25123 Roberts Dr. #507, Black Diamond, 98010. 

If you were a racer, a boat builder, an oar or paddle designer; a sponsor, a time-keeper, or a committed viewer standing on the shores of Cedar River, “Celebrate Them” committee would like to hear from you.

Upcoming Events

The museums are open the first Saturday of each month from 10am - 2pm or by appointment.

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