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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

COUNTRY CLUB - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The COUNTRY CLUB, 2825 Lander Rd., PEPPER PIKE, one of Cleveland's most prestigious country clubs, dates from 1889, when a small, informal group of horseback riders, known as the Bit & Bridle Club, frequently rode from their mansions on Euclid Ave. out to open country along Lake Erie. They purchased a site near the intersection of Eddy Rd. and Lake Shore Blvd. in Glenville Twp. (now BRATENAHL), and the Country Club was formed as "a club in the country for picnics and parties," with membership limited to 100. The first officers included SAMUEL MATHER† as president and JEPTHA H. WADE II† as vice-president. A newly built clubhouse was dedicated in 1889. During the club's early years, Mather visited the St. Andrews Golf Club (Yonkers, NY) and became enthusiastic about the game; on 23 Mar. 1895 he held an organizational meeting to form a Cleveland golf club. The club was organized under his presidency, and subsequently a short 9-hole course was laid out near the lake, adjacent to the Country Club. The Cleveland Golf Club formally opened on 13 July 1895 as a subsidiary of the Country Club, but in 1898 was incorporated as a separate organization. The Clay home on Coit Rd. was rented as a clubhouse, and Joe Mitchell from Scotland was employed as the first professional. In 1902 the Cleveland Golf Club and the Country Club consolidated; the golfers gave up their Coit Rd. home and golf became an integral part of the Country Club's activities. After fire destroyed the Country Club's first clubhouse, and a second in 1906, architect and club member ABRAM GARFIELD† designed the club's third structure at 11405 Lake Shore Blvd., which opened in 1908. In 1928 the club accepted an offer from O. P. AND M. J. VAN SWERINGEN† to relocate on 200 acres of their Pepper Pike property, and ground was broken for the new clubhouse on Lander Rd. It was formally opened on 10 Aug. 1930. In 1935 the Natl. Amateur Tournament was held at the Country Club, and Lawson Little made golfing history by completing his "little slam," winning both the British and American titles in 2 successive seasons.

Arthur, Alan. The Country Club . . . Its First 75 Years, 1889-1964 (1964).

Last Modified: 15 Jul 1997 09:45:24 AM

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