Our History

Mercantile's first Championship four in 1895
Photo taken in Brickmakers Swamp which was later reclaimed by rowers to build their boatsheds at Princes Bridge

Born in September 1880 during a meeting at Young & Jacksons, the Club was initially called The Junior Warehouseman’s Rowing Club. The group which formed the club had a common interest in their association with the various mercantile warehouses established in Melbourne around Flinders Street and Flinders Lane, and a year later, the name was changed to Mercantile Rowing Club.

Over the last 135 years, Mercantile has grown in stature and is recognised globally for producing some of the finest athletes the rowing world has ever seen.

A complete history of Mercantile Rowing Club is available here.


Since the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Mercantile has seen our athletes represent Australia at the highest level. Many Mercantilians have completed at the Olympic level, including the famous Oarsome Foursome, which brought home Olympic gold in 1992 and 1996.