Golden Anniversary Booklet
Herbert G. Peterson wrote the following interesting account of the early history of golf in Mansfield. "Pete" was one of the pioneers who devoted so much of his time and talent to developing the course and he maintained his enthusiasm until his death in 1959.
We thought you might like to read some of this early history as he wrote it some years ago.
"The history of golf in Mansfield and vicinity might be traced back several years before the Corey Creek Golf Club was organized. The golf germ bit some Mansfield men soon after the First World War, when Dr. W. R. Straughn, President of Mansfield State Teachers College, suggested to a bunch of fellows that we lay out a sort of course in a pasture on the hill south of the College tennis courts. There was no attempt to build fairways, they took the ground as it lay, which was rough and stony. And greens were beyond our ken. The men merely drove the ball up to the top of the hill and down the other side, then diagonally back up the hill and over, and across to starting point. Crude as this was, it was sufficient to cause several to invest in a few clubs and try out the various shots. There was some interest shown in Wellsboro when they learned that Mansfield men were interested, and they suggested that we get together and build one between the two towns. They found nothing feasible between the towns, but they did find a farm just west of Wellsboro with a fine home that would make a good club house. About 25 or 30 Mansfield men joined with Wellsboro in building what was named the Tyoga Country Club. We played there for several years.
"But it took over a half hour to drive one way and the roads, although macadam, were none too good. Interest had increased in Mansfield and we though we could have one of our own. Even though it seemed like a big proposition Herbert Peterson began a serious study of the matter and in the winter of 1927 he began to contact Mansfield members of the Tyoga Country Club and others. With no ill feeling towards Wellsboro it was found that there was great enthusiasm for a club near Mansfield and a start was made. It was thought that if we could get 30 or more men signed up to buy stock at $100 a share, we could build up enough interest to get more members and go ahead. Some men from Troy and Blossburg also showed interest.
"Members of golf clubs in other communities were contacted for information about forming a golf club and building a course. We had cordial advice from Towanda, Waverly, Elmira, Corning, and even Skaneateles." The movement went along speedily and the following letter was sent out in March, 1927:
Golf Club Meeting
"In some quarters even now it is believed that the game of golf is an expensive one and to be afforded only by the rich. This is an erroneous belief. It is now known that the average community, such as Mansfield, can support a course, and that average people can afford a membership.
"In the past five years golf has gripped the American people. New enthusiasts are flocking every day to this pleasing recreation. The game is very popular because it is played out of doors, and can be played by women as well as men, and by young and old alike. It is a great game for exercise. A few years ago no one in Mansfield played golf. Last year about 35 people played the game and this year there will be more.
"How would you like to be a member and part owner of a golf course within a few mile of Mansfield. It is believed by some golfers in Mansfield that a course could be supported here. There are ideal sites available. Costs have been investigated and it is altogether possible to have a course here."
[Photo Caption] One of the early foursomes at Corey Creek, from left: Dr. E. A. Retan, Edwin Coles, Fred Ely and Frank Simmons.
Organization Meeting Held
During the fall and winter of 1926 many informal meetings were held debating the question of a golf course in Mansfield. Finally, Herbert G. Peterson, well-known business man, was named chairman of a committee to survey the situation and to come up with some specific recommendations.
The committee investigated various sites and finally found an ideal spot – 100 acres of land belonging to the Miss Edna Rose farm. It was three miles from Mansfield and twelve miles from Troy and easily accessible to the other small communities.
The first formal meeting was held in the St. James parish House on Thursday, April 14, 1927. At this meeting there was a general discussion of dues and memberships and it was decided to form a permanent organization. The following officers were nominated and duly elected by acclamation:
President – Herbert G. Peterson
Vice President – Percy A. Coles
Secretary – Wade W. Judge
Treasurer – Charles W. Ross
The name, Corey Creek Golf Club, was chosen for the creek which runs through the property. This was the name of the first white settler to take up residence in Mansfield, Benjamin Corey.
Stock is Sold
Initial studies showed that at least $10,000 was required to purchase the land and build the golf course. Stock in $100 shares was sold – and sold well. But when it became apparent that there were not enough persons able to take $100 shares, the rest was divided in $50 shares and the $10,000 was secured.
Work was started in the spring of 1927 with all volunteer help. The fairways and roughs were crowded with business men, professionals, and high school students armed with shovels, rakes, picks, and tractors as actual construction got underway. The work progressed so well during the summer that by the fall the greens were actually in fair shape.
At a special meeting of the Board of Directors on May 9, 1927 it was voted "to donate a dozen golf balls and a box of cigars to the gentlemen from Corning who aided in the layout of the golf course and to invite the high school boys, who helped trim the trees, to the supper Thursday evening." The development of the course was truly a labor of love.
At a meeting March 2, 1928 the board decided to build a caddy house and hire a caddy master. They appointed Louis Nares the first caddy master with responsibility for assigning caddies, taking in green fees, selling pop, candy, and golf equipment.
John Johnson was greenskeeper and Mannie Johnson, John’s brother-in-law was his assistant. They handled the work on the course since its opening including the installation of a water system around the course. Ernest Grauer was named pro and Herbert Grant and Walter Meade were hired to manage the pro shop.
Golf Club Opens
The official opening was scheduled for June 6, 1928 but a storm postponed it until June 13. A foursome consisting of Tom Bonnar, Elmira Country Club Pro, Harold P. Connelly, another Elmira golfer, D. B. Turner of Towanda and Herbert G. Peterson made an official round (sorry we have no results of the match).
The Corey Creek Golf Club was officially open for business.
[Photo Caption]: The Club Championship which is held annually on Labor Day weekend attracts a fine crowd.
Women Do Their Bit
A cozy clubhouse, unpretentious, but sufficient for immediate needs, was secured by renovating the old farmhouse on the property. The volunteers were again pressed into service and worked hard to improve, furnish, and equip the clubhouse. This clubhouse did not have a cook stove, but the ladies bought an oil stove which they used to keep hot the food that they brought from home. Mrs. Lew Nares, a local favorite cook and caterer, had moved into the house next door and started a tearoom. This was well patronized by golfers; she also served suppers for the matches with other teams. Senior golfers remember playing golf Sunday mornings, eating a chicken sandwich, served with iced tea and wild strawberry shortcake at noon, then going out for another round in the afternoon.
Mrs. Nares had to give up her tearoom and picnic suppers for the men, wives, children and guests soon became the vogue. Committees were appointed for monthly suppers during the season and these suppers usually attracted about 150 hearty eaters.
Profit Is Shown
In its first year, the caddy house was operated with a profit of $500. The second year showed an $1,800 balance on the profit side of the ledger. This included profit from the caddy house operation and green fees.
A deal made with Northern Penn Gas Co. in 1931 netted the club $2,750. This came in handy when the Mansfield bank was feeling the stress of the times and the Golf Club helped them out by subscribing $2,000 in stock.
An important ceremony was held in the fall of 1928 when the original
mortgage was burned meaning the Corey Creek Club no long had any indebtedness.
|Howard Kendrick, former Club Champion, holds the flag on old #2 for
Mrs. Herbert Grant [Sorry, her name not included].
Also in picture are Phyllis Grant (left) and Connie Belknap. Photo about 1937.
|Except fot this postcard that is in my collection, the photos in the scanned document are too faded and poor quality to include.|
Classes of Membership In Corey Creek Golf Club
June 24, 1929
All persons living within 25 miles of club house are required to purchase stock and pay dues according to following classifications:
A. For those living within 10 miles of club house.
$50 shareholders pay $35 per year.
$100 shareholders pay $30 per year.
B. For those living 10 to 25 miles from club house.
$50 shareholders pay $25 per year.
$100 shareholders pay $20 per year.
NOTE: The above are family memberships entitling man and wife but only dependent minor children to privileges of club.
Ladies Memberships (for individuals only)
C. For those living within 10 miles of club house.
$50 shareholders pay $20 per year.
$100 shareholders pay $15 per year.
D. For those living 10 to 25 miles from club house.
$50 shareholders pay $15 per year.
$100 shareholders pay $10 per year.
Non Stock Memberships.
For persons residing beyond 25 mile limit only.
Summer Membership (covers not to exceed 3 months)
For Men - $20 For Ladies - $15
Non Resident Membership
1. For those living 25 to 50 miles from club house.
$25 per year.
2. For those living more than 50 miles from club house.
$10 per year.
NOTE: If person in second classification spends more than one month per year in residential area or in the judgment of membership committee is not paying sufficient in proportion to amount he plays, he must take out another form of membership.
Reciprocal Membership. (with Wellsboro Club)
Members of either club may belong to the other club for $15 yearly. By mutual arrangement this includes man and wife.
Student Membership. $10 for school year.
This covered school year only – does not include summer session and does not cover Sunday playing.
Junior Membership. $20 per year.
For persons under 21 years of age whose parents are not members of club.
Please Note: All interpretations of above classifications and regulations are to be made by membership committee composed for 1929 of,
G. H. McNair, - Chairman,
E. B. Strait,
H. G. Strait,
D. F. Pomeroy, Jr.
Note: Children under 14 years not allowed to play except when accompanied by a member.
[Photo Caption]: The annual Member-Guest Tournament is the first and usually the most appreciated event of the year. This scene is from the 1976 Tournament.
Board Minutes 1927-1977
Organization meeting held in St. James Parish House, April 14, 1927. Annual dues of stockholders shall be reduced by an amount equivalent to 10% of the amount of their stock.
The rolls showed a charter membership of 94 on December 10, 1928. Constitution and By-Laws were adopted on motion of Ben Jones and seconded by Percy Coles. Mortgage was burned in the Fall. President Peterson reported on construction on the course and outlined work for the coming year.
Green fees for holidays and Sundays were raised from $1.00 to $1.50. Board agreed to build a shower house and add to the club house instead of adding nine new holes which was discussed.
Regular green fees will be $2.00 weekdays and $2.50 on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The Board voted to erect a shower house not to exceed $1,800.
A general discussion took place concerning the crowded conditions of the course. It was ruled that "beginners" must play mornings only and such players shall be classed as "beginners" until they satisfy the Committee of Arrangement and Rules that they are able to go on the course without hindering players. Jack Marsh started to work at the course while attending Mansfield Normal. Dr. Isaac Doughton won the Swan Trophy. No. 4 tee was moved to its present location making the hole a par 4.
Gas lease renewed with North Penn Gas Co. H. G. Peterson won the Lauer Cup and John Myers won the Swan Trophy. Motion carried that the price of Near Beer be reduced to 15 cents per bottle or two bottles for 25 cents. The club received several hundred seedlings free and most of them were planted east of No. 7 fairway. This planting was done to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington.
New water system was installed for the greens and the Club House and Caddy House were piped for natural gas. The Club joined the Finger Lakes Golf Association for $10.00
Following much discussion a shower house was installed for the ladies. The lighting system was changed from acetylene to natural gas.
A letter was read from G. Mason Owlett explaining the 4% Penna. state amusement tax applicable to dues beginning July 22, 1935. The membership was reported at 167 divided as follows: Mansfield 120, Troy 35, Canton 14, Blossburg 6 and Wellsboro 2.
A letter of sympathy was sent to Mrs. W. R. Straughn on the passing of a former pillar in the Club, Dr. Straughn. Considerable changes were reported in the locker room.
The building committee was asked to investigate the feasibility of and cost of building a swimming pool.
Chairman Morgan reported that the cost of a suitable swimming pool, at the present time, would be prohibitive. Reciprocal playing dates with Towanda on Tuesday of each week and with Wellsboro on Friday of each week were proposed.
Motion was made to buy a new International tractor for $750. A fund was also created for equipment replacement.
Because of the drought conditions it was recommended that an additional water tank be purchased and located near the No. 8 tee. The subject of trophy regulations was enthusiastically discussed and referred to the men’s and ladies’ committee.
The question of allowing minors to play golf without charge as a means of increasing future membership was discussed. No decisive action was taken. George Dyer gave a bid of $75 for all wiring, light and installation for the Club House.
A new flag pole has been installed, shade and apple trees have been planted near the Caddy House and several pine trees were planted on various roughs.
A motion was made that service men be allowed to play free and that stockholders in the service have their dues remitted. The Club remained opened with limited activity due to gasoline rationing.
A membership drive was initiated involving visits to neighboring communities. The following schedule of dues was adopted: persons living within a ten to twenty-five mile radius, $20 plus 20% tax per year; persons living over twenty-five miles from the club, $10 plus 20% tax.
A motion by Coles and seconded by Ross that the Club hire J. R. Johnson for 1946 on a yearly basis at a salary of $100 per month was carried.
Meade and Preston were appointed to investigate the possibility of drilling a well to furnish drinking water for the Club. Negotiations for land behind the fourth tee belonging to C. J. Avery were discussed. Howard Kendrick was hired to manage the Club.
Garrison and Myers donated a Championship Trophy which was presented to Don Benson for winning the 1946 championship. A motion by Coles and seconded by Cook that the Club give Leland Shaw a season membership for 1947 for painting the Club House. The motion carried.
[Photo Caption]: Pictured above is an early scorecard of Corey Creek Golf Club. the card is that of George Retan, L. B. Shaw and Dr. A. T. Belknap on July 18, 1934. Note the hole-in-one scored by Shaw and the resulting action.
Robert E. Farr resigned as Club President because of business pressure. Walter Meade was nominated to fill the vacancy. M. E. Decker recommended that club championships be started early enough to allow the Championship Match to be played on Labor Day.
Cruttenden and Rose were appointed to check on the possibility of building a new Club House or remodeling the old one. Certificates of indebtedness were sold to members to finance the Club House.
A low bid of $14,500 was received from E. F. Messner for building a new Club House. New Club House was opened October 25, 1950.
Albert E. Page reported on the sale of bonds as being $10,900. The condition of the picnic grounds was discussed and it was resolved to do the necessary repairs.
The question of coin machines was discussed and their continued use was left to the Board of Managers. Dunkle and Strong were appointed to decide on the increase of dues.
A motion by Parsons and seconded by Rush that the Club levy a 25 cent charge against the members for each day’s play, excluding ladies from the charge. A motion was passed that the Club charge a fee of $25 minimum or 50 cents per person per play, whichever is greater.
Social membership for ladies was discussed. It was decided that ladies could use the facilities of the Club for $15 per year plus tax. Plans were discussed to construct an addition to the Club House to be used as a locker and shower room for the ladies.
Board voted to borrow money from the bank for improving the shower room and the social room. Armco donated pipes to be used to construct sluice pipes on the course. The championship plaque was made and placed on the wall of the social room.
O. M. Lutes was engaged to take care of the pro-shop. Jack Marsh reported that other clubs aren’t too eager to play summer rules.
Rain shelters and tee benches were constructed and added to the course. Page reported that matting had been ordered for the locker room, tile laid in the pro shop, and a new bar is being installed. The greens on Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 were enlarged.
Mansfield won the inter-club championship with an average of 80 strokes for the ten men. Charles White donated a periscope to be used to see down No. 1 fairway.
Peterson reported that four of the original charter members of the Club are still actively playing the course. Landscaping the grounds around the Club House was discussed; it was decided to do the south and east sides and spend $100 on this project. In the inter-club matches Corey Creek won seven and lost one. Jack Marsh shot a 30 for nine holes during the Monday night matches. Corey Creek won the four club tournament with a team consisting of Gibson, McClure, E. Page, W. McKenzie, Nares, White, Stanton, Inman and S. C. Rush. Four members had "hole-in-one" scores on the 5th hole – Ellery Beagle, Merritt Dunkle, Lynn McConnell and Ruth Gillings. Peg Strange won the putting tournament for ladies with a season average of 16 putts for nine holes.
Bob Messinger reported for the building committee as follows: enlarged the ladies locker-room and refinished same; new steel doors were installed on downstairs entrances; new outside chairs were purchased; T.V. receiver installed and working well. O. M. Stanton reported for the men’s tournament committee as follows: eight inter-club matches, won 6, lost 2, both losses to Mark Twain. Four club tournament was won by Mansfield for the fourth consecutive year in a row. Bill Gibson had a "hole-in-one" on No. 3.
Ladies 10 women team competed against Towanda, Wellsboro, Shepard Hills at Towanda and brought back the "little brown jug". Four players had "hole-in-ones" on No. 5: Eisenhart, W. McClure, Bruce O’Dell and Delos Northrop. The ten-man team again won the four club tournament.
John Zellner won the Senior Tournament with Ernest Chamberlain runner-up. Hap Page reported on the completion of the new club house addition.
First member-guest ever held at Corey Creek was won by Bob Buchler and guest. Corey Creek lost the four club tournament for the first time in ten years, a five stroke loss to Towanda. Merle Garrison and John Zellner tied for the Seniors Championship. A pond was built in the elbow of number seven fairway and a macadam walk was built to number five green.
Seniors Tournament was won by Ernest Chamberlain and the Peterson Cup was captured by Loren Judson. Hap Page reported that both bridges had to be rebuilt because of the spring flood. Charles Pollock donated used lumber for a storage garage for equipment. He also discussed plans for laying a watering system for the fairways.
The Peterson Cup was won by Dr. Jake Young and the Senior Cup by Merle Garrison. Dr. Sanford stated that a planning committee was appointed to map out a five year plan.
George Tomlinson won the Armco Medal Trophy; John McNaney, Sr. won the Peterson Handicap, and Lee Preston won the Senior Cup. The Monday night league was won by Lyman Inman’s team and his golfing buddies from Troy.
Senior champ was Ted Miller, Armco winner and Peterson, Howard Kendrick. The building committee reported new carpeting throughout the club. They also discussed the possibility of buying more land for another nine holes.
Lyman Inman won the Armco Trophy; Dr. Young won the Peterson Cup; and Walt Packard won the Senior Trophy. Hap Page reported the purchase of adjoining land from the Brown family. After the house and lots on Route 6 were sold, the club acquired about 55 acres at a net cost of about $7,200. In order to expedite the expansion to 18 holes it was decided to finance from the Federal Government or any other source available.
A special meeting of the Board of Directors was held September 17, 1969 for the purpose of adopting a resolution to obtain a loan from the Farmer’s Home Administration in a sum not to exceed $108,000 and authorizing the execution of all necessary documents and the pledging of property of the club to assure payment. Hap Page reported on the progress of the new nine holes. He was given a big hand for his work on this project. Peterson trophy was won by Phil Metzger; Armco Trophy won by John McNaney, Jr.; and the Seniors Champion was Ernest Chamberlain.
Dave Cummings won the Peterson Cup; Armco Trophy won by John McNaney, Jr., Seniors Champion was Lynn McConnell. New rugs have been laid and Jack Marsh was commended for the fine condition of the course.
The year 1971 saw the opening of the new nine holes. Much effort and work was put into this project by Albert "Hap" Page and Jack Marsh. Two new tees were built on No. 2 and No. 5. Renovation of the dining room and kitchen were completed and a new cart shed constructed.
The year of the great flood. The Agnes Flood caused over $75,000 in damage to the course. Immediate replacement of bridges on No. 5 and No. 10 was completed and a new bridge on No. 14. Repair was made to No. 3 and No. 6 greens. The picnic grove and No. 18 tee were badly eroded. The grounds crew worked hard all summer to get the course in playing condition.
New signs were placed at the entrances to the club grounds. Finances were a continuing concern.
Course recovery after the Agnes and Eloise floods progressing well. New verticut machine purchased. Additional parking now available with the construction of the new parking area. The club has a new logo, designed by Ernest Frombach. John McNaney, Sr. organizes Social Club. Purpose is to provide more social events for club members.
Sun deck was repaired. New mower-sharpener purchased. Repair work on course continuing due to the Eloise flood. New yellow and white tees being constructed.
Jack Marsh to retire at the end of the year. Art Connelly named as new pro. The clubhouse got a new roof and eight gas carts were purchased. Wick Booth, Membership Chairman, reported a total of 253 members as of November.
Jack Marsh retires. Jack started as Caddy Master in 1930, while still a student at Mansfield State Normal and assumed a full time position upon his graduation. From that time until his retirement on March 31, 1977 his life and talents have been directed toward the betterment of the club. A booklet commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Club is to be published and a celebration is planned for July 1-4.
1972 Agnes Flood
One of the worst floods in the history of Mansfield and Pennsylvania occurred in June of 1972. Corey Creek Golf Club was not spared; an estimated $75,000 in damages to the course was the result. Major havoc was done to the fairways, tee areas, bridges and the picnic grove and adjacent buildings were inundated and badly eroded.
The club ground crew began repairs to the course immediately with the replacement of the bridges on No. 5 and No. 10. Repairs were made to No. 3, No. 6 and No. 18 greens. Despite the damage play was soon resumed for the remainder of the season. Today few remnants remain of that terrible weekend in June.
[Photo Caption]: Aerial view showing the club house and some of the new holes added – especially the 14th green and 15th tee.
Layout of 18 Holes
On September 17, 1969 a special meeting of the Board of Directors was held to authorize the building of an additional nine holes. Application for funding of this project was made to the Farmers’ Home Administration. Upon meeting the requirements for eligibility, a loan not to exceed $108,000 was authorized by the directors.
The responsibility for laying out the nine holes was carried out by Jack Marsh, John McNaney, Ben Inman, Jim Merritt, Sr. and Wick Booth. Hap Page, Chairman of the Greens Committee, supervised the construction, which was accomplished by Joe Andrews, a local contractor.
The new nine holes were integrated into the original nine to come up with the beautiful 18-hole course we have today. Improvement of the course has been continuous with the adding of trees every year; a fertilization program for the tees, fairways and greens; the purchase of machinery and equipment; and the solving of the myriad problems of maintaining an excellent course.
The course was officially opened for play in 1971 with the playing of the Member-Guest Tournament.
[Photo Caption]: Corey Creek Golf Club
Corey Creek Golf Club
Another feature of which Mansfield may be proud is also the result of community enterprise, and this is the Corey Creek Golf Club. In the 1920s there were a dozen or so golfers in Mansfield, most of whom had been members of the Tyoga Country Club at Wellsboro. This was about 17 miles each way, and the men in 1926 began to talk about a golf course nearer Mansfield. This got under way and several sites were investigated before the old Rose homestead 3 miles east of Mansfield was chosen.
It was decided that $10,000 was needed to finance the proposition and shares were sold at $100 to all who would buy, and then more were sold at $50 until the amount was raised. The first work was started in May, 1927, with many of the members going out to run tractor, pick stone, etc. Various suggestions as to the lay-out of the course were considered, and finally the present lay out was chosen, which has since been said to have been inspired, because it has made one of the sportiest courses around.
Most attention was paid to building the greens and the reputation of "good greens" has remained with the club ever since. As rapidly as finances would permit money was spent in seeding and fertilizing the fairways, which are now in excellent shape.
The course was formally opened June 5, 1928, although many of the members had been playing on temporary greens and under other handicaps the fall before.
There are 100 acres in the property and the old farm house was used as a club house until the new club house was built in 1950. The ladies of the club planned various social events, among which were the suppers at 50 cents each they served every two weeks during the season. Different groups were chosen for the committee, and the men helped with the heavy work. Over 200 suppers were served on several occasions, and rarely less than 150. They were served on the flagstone terrace outside the club house, and there were only a few occasions when there was a rainstorm to drive them inside.
The club has maintained a membership between 150 and 175 all during these years. Some of the members are residents of Troy, Canton, Blossburg, Elkland, Westfield, etc. There are summer residents from New York and other cities who hold memberships year after year.
The course attracts a large number of transient players each year, and especially on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays there are large crowds playing. Matches have been arranged each year with Wellsboro, Towanda, Shepard Hills and Coudersport, and have proved enjoyable to all.
The membership dues are low so that the club has afforded the people of Mansfield and vicinity the opportunity of learning and enjoying the popular sport of golf.
Ed Van Dyke, writing in the Elmira Telegram in 1935, said: "The story of the Corey Creek Golf Club, located on the Mansfield-Troy highway, three miles from the former place, is one of both daring enterprise and a lesson in sound, constructive finance."
The Corey Creek Golf Club, while primarily conceived by Mansfield, serves recreational and social purposes of Mansfield, Troy, Canton, and Blossburg. As in the case of the Memorial Swimming Pool, which is one of the grandest assets of the community – it was thought to be beyond the means of the community to build and support. After 20 years of operation it still remains a sound, constructive and self-supporting enterprise.
The evergreen trees alongside No. 7 fairway were set out in 1932 as a memorial of the George Washington Sesqui-Centennial. There were 5,000 seedlings, about six inches long, set out in barren spots on the course, and many of them have lived. Later, we were given some larger trees by the Water Company, which were set out along the road.
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