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Old York Road Country Club records

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Held at: Old York Road Historical Society [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Old York Road Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

"In 1909, a small group of Jenkintown residents, many of who were Quakers, began meeting to discuss forming a local golf club. On Feb. 17, 1910 the first officially recorded meeting of this new Club was held and a group of seven men were empowered to obtain an option on 67 acres of land, on Old York Road in Jenkintown, from Abington Friends Meeting. Buttonholing their friends and acquaintances in Jenkintown, Wyncote, Ogontz, Glenside, Melrose, Elkins Park and Oak Lane, the group committed to the formation of a club that would include a nine-hole, 3,000-yard golf course, designed by Jimmy Lang, former professional at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. Exclusive of seed and fertilizer the cost to build the [nine-hole course] was $648.

"Old York Road Country Club officially opened on June 4, 1910 with putting and driving contests for men and ladies, a baseball game, a reception and tea, and a dinner dance. After one year the Club had 250 members and 30 on the waiting list. In 1912, an additional 35 acres were leased to create an 18-hole layout that opened in 1913.

"The first Old York Road Invitational was held in July of 1920. E.C. Clarey of Bala captured the inaugural two-day event. Over the years other winners of the Invitational, one of the oldest tournaments of its kind in the region, included J. Wood Platt, William Hyndman III and Jay Sigel, to name just a few.

"In 1962, the Club faced its most daunting challenge ever. Under obligation to put its land to the most profitable use in order to support its expanding school, the Trustees of Abington Friends Meeting requested that Old York Road CC relocate. Forced to start over after 52 years, 57 properties were inspected by the Club's search committee before selecting the 126 acre Bennerbrook Farm, located in Spring House Montgomery County. A sum of $250,000 was spent to acquire the land and $500,000 was spent to renovate the Manor House, Cannon House and Barn, as well as convert the cornfields into an 18-hole golf course.

"William and David Gordon were contracted to design and construct the course. One hundred and sixty-four members committed to make the move to Spring House and the first ball was struck from the first tee of the new course on July 4, 1963. Measuring 6,600 yards from the back tees, the Gordons created a great walking course that is a demanding test of golf. Length is not the challenge. The course difficulty lies in hitting precise approach shots and putting the fast, severely sloped, undulating greens."

Bibliography:

Golf Association of Philadelphia. "Old York Road Country Club." Accessed November 22, 2011. http://www.gapgolf.org/clubs.asp?cid=80.

This collection is a varied assortment of records from the Old York Road Country Club, 1913-1989. There are 2 linear feet of scrapbooks of programs and ephemera, 1948-1963. There is also a binder of board minutes, 1973-1978, and two binders of committee records, circa 1985. In addition, there are about 2 linear feet of miscellaneous items, including: meeting minutes, newsletters, correspondence (mostly outgoing mass-mailings), newspaper clippings, photographs, building inventories, blueprints, and receipts. Of special interest is a petition regarding women's right to use the golf course, 1985.

Gift of Carl Berlinger, February 18, 2004.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR), using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society. The HCI-PSAR project was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was done in the HCI-PSAR project.

Publisher
Old York Road Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
Sponsor
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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