Fonds consists of scrapbooks documenting the history of Wallacetown Minor Soccer from 1977 to 2000. Soccer teams were sponsored by the Wallacetown Optimist Club and mostly played against other teams from southwest Elgin. They also played against Optimist-sponsored soccer teams from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, in an annual tournament which saw players from each town travel to the other in alternating years. The scrapbooks were likely compiled and maintained by Helen Van Brenk or other members of the Wallacetown Minor Soccer Assocation or the Wallacetown Soccer Mothers.
The St. Thomas Golf and Country Club is one of the earliest golf clubs to form in Ontario. The club began with a meeting held on April 6th 1899 in a farmhouse on the Yarwood grounds west of the entrance gate of the new Pinafore Park. From this meeting the decision was made to build and operate a golf course at the new park and to use the old farmhouse as a member’s clubhouse. The group leased land from the Street Railway and a nine-hole course was completed. The initial course was highly successful with an early membership consisting of 30 members and an associate ladies club of 20. In 1908, St. Thomas city council approved plans to place a racetrack within Pinafore Park, prompting the golf club to move to a new location.
There were several options concerning where the new club should be located, including the Doyle Farm, the Ellwood Farm, the Parish Farm, the estate of the late Charles Spohn (now V.A. Barrie Park) and the Hughes property. Faced with making a decision on which would be the best option, the club enlisted the help of Mr. George Cummings, golf professional for the Toronto Golf Club and expert on course development. Ultimately, Cummings decided that the best option would be the Hughes property and on January 8th, 1909 the first by-law of the newly formed Elgin Golf and Country Club was passed and the new club assumed ownership.
In order to finance the new course, the club set up a joint-stock company, which raised four thousand dollars of the total ten thousand dollar expenditure on the new course. Twelve hundred and fifty dollars was raised for clubhouse improvements as well as a four thousand dollar mortgage made up the remainder of the capital. The new course officially opened up to members on July 1st 1909.
A 1912 bylaw limited the membership to 80. However, the steadily increasing popularity of the game and an interest in expanding to an 18-hole layout, forced the club to again rethink their location by 1920. The noted golf and landscape engineering firm of Stanley Thompson and Company Limited were consulted concerning the prospects for a new course, and in May of 1922 they presented a report along with recommendations which was subsequently accepted.. The Whaley Farm at Union was purchased for twelve thousand dollars. The new charter incorporating the St. Thomas Golf and Country Club, under the Ontario Companies Act, was issued by the province of Ontario on January 2nd, 1923 and the first 9 holes of the new club were in play as of June of the same year.
Over the years membership with the club has fluctuated dramatically, though has steadily grown from the initial 30 members and 20 associate ladies members to more than 803 as of 2001. The present course has a par of 72 from all tees and measures 6795 yards with a slope of 128 from the championship tees and an Ontario Golf Association rating of 73.0. In 1999, the St. Thomas Golf and Country Club became the 8th course in Ontario, and the 15th in Canada to be recognized for environmental excellence with the designation of “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.” It has consistently been rated as one of the Top 100 golf courses in Canada as determined by Score Golf Magazine.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of correspondence, documents, ledgers, notebooks, blueprints, small artifacts and other items. Fonds presents a picture of the evolution of the St. Thomas Golf and Country Club from the point of its inception, in 1908, up to and including the 1970s. The fonds exhibits some of the major changes that have occurred to the St. Thomas Golf and Country Club during this timeframe, including major organizational changes and the two physical moves of the club, its operations, budget, leadership, infrastructure, and its activities as a business. As well, the fonds includes evidence concerning the members and the community of St. Thomas. Finally, the fonds contributes greatly to creating a picture concerning the inception of golf and country clubs in Southern Ontario, their popularity, and interclub relationships.
This fonds is arranged into the following series:
1. Club Administration records, 1909-1979
2. Financial records, 1909-1975
3. Maintenance and Infrastructure records, 1908-1923