Current building dates from the post-war 1940s. Parts of the orginial building, including the bar area, were incorporated into structure.
Eldredge Bicycle Club
17 Broad Street, Tonawanda
Open Monday-Saturdays; Sunday during football season only.
New members pay $50 for the year, plus a $25 initiation fee, which provides them with use of the facilities and special rates on club events, although the bar is open to the public.
During the late 1800s, bicycles were all the rage in America. Thousands of companies, including Buffalo’s Pierce Arrow, produced bikes to feed a demanding consumer need. Across the country, clubs were formed to center on the pastime, just as automobile clubs would organize a few years later. Tonawanda’s Eldredge Bicycle club was formed in 1898 and named after the “Eldredge” model of bike produced by the National Sewing Machine Company of Belvidere, Illinois. The model was named after the company’s founder, Barnabas Eldredge.
In 1898, 12 men who rode bikes decided that wanted a place to meet. They purchased a former residence at Broad Street near Delaware. For years the Club held annual bicycle races under the auspices of the amateur Bicycle League of America that drew cyclists from across the country and from such places at Belgium, Australia, Canada and England. At their annual race in 1951, Francois Mertens, a 19-year-old from Belgium, set a new national record time of 1 hour, 19 minutes & 15 seconds when he came across the finish line of the 35 mile race that snaked around Niagara County. In 1955, the club’s membership peaked at 2400. Current membership is around 300 with many members able to trace their family’s involvement in the club back for generations. At one time the Eldredge had a cross-canal softball and basketball rivalry with another Forgotten Buffalo featured club, the 3rd Warders in North Tonawanda
The goal of the Club is to promote athletic competition and activities that enhance the moral and physical development of participants and encourages a healthy living. They strive to instill the vales of confidence, good sportsmanship, honor and achievement. Above that, the Eldredge features fresh Genny Cream Ale on tap and Friday fish frys!
Hours of operation and membership requirements change without notice. Many clubs host private, member only events at which time clubrooms are not open to the public. Please call ahead before visiting. Enjoy
The famous Eldredge bike produced by the National Sewing Machine Company
Longtime club members are eager to share stories
Fresh.... and on tap!
Club room at the Eldredge
One of the regulars behind the bar is Alfred Henningham. Al joined the club in 1959 at the age of 25 after spending a few years as a pitching prospect for the Detroit Tigers (1956-1959). The Eldredge is where he took his honey on dates every weekend before marrying her in 1961—the club’s gymnasium serving as the reception hall for their 300 guests.
The club features a very active athletic component
gym is used daily by club membes and local sports teams.
Club building in the 1920s. Part of this structure make up the current building on Broad Street.
An Eldredge cycle on the right.
During the Club's history....athletics was not the only pastime.