The City Pier was built in 1848, and the first boathouses were built during the 1850s. Simple wooden boathouses contained mostly small skiffs while larger ones housed sculling shells, sailing and steam yachts. By 1888, over eighty boathouses were along the pier and in the "stream" basin. In 1903, the pier was enlarged to accommodate train and trolley tracks to service the steamboats transporting farm produce and passengers along the lake. At that time the village built the finger piers to accommodate the boathouses, which were either moved across the ice or demolished and rebuilt in their present location. This was done in the winter of 1903-1904. Soon after, The Boathouse Owners' Association was formed to help protect and enforce the strict rules and regulations prohibiting people from living in the boathouses or using them as cottages. With their rustic nature, they are an attraction for artists, tourists and photographers and remain a unique and picturesque reminder of our heritage. In 1990, the City of Canandaigua added them to the Canandaigua Historic District to preserve their heritage.