Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Golf Come To Rehoboth 1926

During the end of the 1880's Rehoboth Beach was one of the leading ocean side resorts, railroads were bringing vacationers from cities such as Washington, D.C, Baltimore and Philadelphia to the center of town, within a block or two of the grandiose hotels, the Atlantic, the Henlopen and the Townsend, among other smaller ones, all of which had spacious and airy rooms, and fine restaurants. The wide sandy beach and gentle surf was guarded by hired surfmen or lifeguards which looked after bathing sections which had safety ropes tethered on shore running to an anchored buoy out in the surf . A boardwalk was popular for strolling and enjoying the cool ocean breeze. Other sports or activities were fishing, crabbing, digging for clams or oysters and sailing in the breeze of the sea. A stable of horses was near by and many 'bridal paths' were found through the pine forest for the enjoyment of those who desired more adventuresome sport.

It was well after World War II , 1925 to be exact, that Golf came to Rehoboth. Golf was a British Isles sport and was not popular in America until the late 1890's . Scribner's Magazine in 1894 described golf as being a sport that was fit for the well preserved, the stout, the thin and not too violent. A true sportsman game. At this time there were less than 100 golf links in America but growing at a rapid rate.

In 1926, 'Rehoboth Heights' was being developed by Henry Conant who came up from Chincoteague Island, Virginia and developed land between the south side of Rehoboth and Silver Lake. On the north edge of this development he had the golf course built as were other nearby resorts. The Rehoboth Beach country Club was well kept, had it's own tournaments and even fielded a team which played in a league on the Delmarva Peninsula,

Scribners Magazine wrote “ once seen, golf cannot be forgoten, once experienced it will not be neglected, it has fairly got us now and it may be trusted to keep us”.

Michael Morgan Collection, Delaware Diary, Delaware Coast News

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