Tavistock C.C.

Course Description

The history of Tavistock really began in 1896 when some residents of the Haddonfield area became interested in a new game called golf, which had recently attracted the attention of the socialites at Philadelphia Country Club. The Haddonfield group decided to lease some land and founded the first golf course in South Jersey. This course, ultimately located in Haddonfield, began by taking over the Haddonfield Cricket Club, which at that time, was located at the corner of Euclid Avenue and the Camden and Atlantic Railroad. The new club, which assumed all the Cricket Club's debts, was renamed Haddon Country Club.

Early in the 1900's, the new country club leased a plot of land known as the Hinchman Farm that was located in West Haddonfield, north of Kings Highway West, in the vicinity of North Hinchman, Homestead and Mt. Vernon Avenues. The land was transformed from a farm into an eighteen hole golf course with a clubhouse that occupied the 18th century Hinchman Homestead. Haddon Country Club provided its members with such activities as tennis, billiards, cards, dining, dancing, and of course, golf. A golf professional was hired and course construction was started. Haddon Country Club remained in existence until April 1, 1922 when with the opening of Tavistock Country Club, Haddon Country Club ceased operations.

In 1917, Frank Middleton made a fortuitous land purchase, probably with some thought towards its future use as asite for a golf course. He purchased the property then known as Tavistock Farm through an intermediary of Mary Gill Hopkins, the sixth and last generation of the Gill family who owned the property. Frank Middleton, Jr. having title to the property, continued to employ James Walker, who was a tenant of fifty years, as well as Martin Murphy. Both tenant farmers continued to work the land. Middleton was, apparently, waiting and probably working towards the eventual move of Haddon Country Club to this property. This goal was achieved on December 21, 1921 when Middleton sold 174 acres of the original 299 to twenty-eight members of the newly formed Tavistock Country Club and the defunct Haddon Country Club for $21,875. Records indicate that Middleton took the entire purchase amount in promissory notes. It is believed that Middleton kept the remaining 125 acres, which today’s the Lane of Acres tract, for his own future use.

On December 10, 1920, the club known as Tavistock Country Club was formally incorporated for the purpose of providing "opportunity for playing the game of golf and other kinds of beneficial games and sports and to maintain a clubhouse to promote social fellowship and to perform any other acts as may be deemed necessary to ... carry out the purposes of the club". The first five Tavistock trustees were Frank B. Middleton, Jr., David Baird, Jr., William M. Nash, George H. Hall and J. Edward Fagan.

The course was ready for play on June 22, 1921. The cornerstone was laid for a clubhouse, which was designed by Charles Peddle and stood on a knoll overlooking a large part of the course and surrounding countryside. The anticipated cost to build the clubhouse was $60,000. It was designed to provide the membership with everything they could reasonably desire. The original clubhouse had a dormitory on the second floor with six beds for use by the male members. This amenity was said to have been very popular.

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