Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Second Golf Course at Sturgeon Point?

Gavin Lucas' Historical Sketch of the Village of Sturgeon Point 1640-1940 has the most fascinating nuggets of information about the Village.  In putting together the Heritage Boards for the Golf Course for Doors Open, I came across one of those nuggets on page 18:

Some members incuding Messrs. Barr, Grace and Wood feeling doubtful of the possibilities of such a stoney course developed another Golf Links called "Merryland" on the open fields north of Irene Avenue and also built an excellent tennis court on this land at the head of First Street.  This area was abandoned after a few years as the other course was gradually improved.
Merryland?  This was a brand new one for me.  In all the discussions I've had with Village residents, this one never came up. In speaking with the Barr, Phipps, Graham and Roberts families, I learned that the golf course was on the Graham Farm between the Leaf Dump and the original road* into the Village.   All agreed that there were 3 or 4 holes and that they went up and down the hill.  Babe has some memories of the course but the others all say that it was no longer in use by the mid-1920s.  Butchie said that use of the tennis court continued after the the golf course fell out of favour.

Have you any information or pictures about Merryland or about the Sturgeon Point Golf Course?  We would love to learn more about the early history of our golf courses.

Golf at Sturgeon Point
courtsesy of the Hopkins family
 * Note: The original road into Sturgeon Point ran from the corner of the Graham & Rutherford farms, through the woods, past the Shea's log house, across Irene Avenue - which originally only ran from the Upper Wharf to 1st Street - through the woods, past the Crightons, across the back of the Swan, between the buldings of The Sturgeon Point Hotel, coming out between the Lower Warf and the Sandbar. This road appears on the 1871 and 1877 maps.  The current road is dotted in on the 1884 subdivision map done to show the Village lots.  A good portion of the road can still be walked but please remember that it is private property and permission to walk it is required.

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