Berkshire Community Rowing:
A Timeline

1995 – In the spring of 1995 Berkshire Sculling Association was incorporated as a 501(c)3 Not for Profit Organization. Founded by Lewis Cuyler of Pittsfield, MA — a rower, coach and former coxswain — Berkshire Sculling rowed primarily on Stockbridge Bowl in the town of Lenox and b rought rowing to the people of Berkshire County. In addition to giving lessons and coaching, Berkshire Sculling began servicing the guests of Canyon Ranch in Lenox, an All-Inclusive Health Resort & Luxury Spa, our first corporate account which continues to be the only spa in the area to offer sculling.

1999 – Cuyler established the Board of Trustees in 1999, giving voice to club members and to explore the club’s future.  This led to the discovery of an unused life guard shack on Onota Lake in Pittsfield.  The following year permission was given to rehabilitate the building and a license agreement was secured to occupy the premises. 

2001- With support from the Taconic High School vocational education department, Petricca Industries, Steve Nieratka, Lew’s father Craig, and the club’s members, the life guard shack was transformed into the “Cuyler Boathouse” and all operations were moved to Pittsfield in 2001.  The club also adopted the acronym BRASS, Berkshire Rowing And Sculling Society.

With a goal of expanding it’s reach, the club rebranded as Berkshire Community Rowing. The new name emphasizes the club’s commitment to making rowing accessible to all people in Berkshire county – and beyond – who want to enjoy the beauty, magic, and camaraderie of rowing.

Today – Berkshire Community Rowing is a busy little club! We offer programs for juniors (youth) and masters (and up), experienced and beginner rowers, and those who want to row recreationally or for exercise and those who wish to compete (we still compete under the BRASS name). Our programs run all year; when the weather is bad we row indoors on rowing machines (ergometers, or ergs). In 2023, we established a partnership with the Berkshire Family YMCA – Pittsfield Branch so that we have a space to train when we can’t get on the water. Our partnership with the Y reflects the community-based values of our recent rebrand.