Monday, June 11, 2012

The Roaring Twenties - The History Of The Kirtland Country Club

The Twenties were the heyday of the summer people of Lake County.  Prosperity flourished during this decade.  Waite Hill Village was incorporated, as was Kirtland Hills.  Mentor Harbor Yacht Club was founded.  Mentor Headlands Golf and Tennis Club flourished.  Madison's Golf Lake-lands were laid out.  Painesville Township Park (est. 1906) was thriving.  Golf Courses, public and private, were the rage.

In 1920 David Z. Norton and Edward W. Moore met with Mrs. Henry Everett.  Their discussions centered around her estate "Leo Doro Farms".  Norton and Moore  wanted to purchase the farm which consisted of 580 acres, 25 out-buildings, and her 1910 stone mansion.  Norton, Moore and colleagues John Sherwin and C.A. Otis garnered 78 friends and raised over $500,000 for the group.  In early October of that same year, the group bought the Everett estate for $350,000.  Some of the 155 new members of this original select purchase group are well known to local residents.  They include Arthur Baldwin, Elton Hoyt II, Howard M. Hanna, and Laurence H. Norton.

In 1921 with 233 charter members the Kirtland Country Club opened.  The Everett residence was converted into a clubhouse.  A dam was erected to provide a water supply.  Four tennis courts were constructed.  A polo field was laid out.  Bridle paths were put in.  Finally a noted English Designer was brought over to lay out an 18 hole golf course.  1922 was the year that the 'links' officially opened.  A swimming pool was added that same season.  A second polo field was needed by 1923.  The private club was a resounding Lake County success.

The Kirtland Country Club still exists today.  Located at 39438 Kirtland Road, Willoughby near the main entrance to Lakeland Community  College just off Rt. 306, the spirit of the Gilded Age and Roaring 20's can still be witnessed today.

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