In the year 1903 Frank Nicholson, superintendent of Sayre Electric Company, explored on foot the hills of the Shepard farm, owned by Prentiss Shepard. This farm comprised the area now owned by the club and lands across the river, reached by the White Wagon bridge. Being a man who loved outdoors sports, Mr. Nicholson was inspired with the idea of a country club on these hills.
The concept of a country club had become widespread in this part of the country during the years from 1885 to 1900.
Mr. Nicholson presented his idea first to Percy Lang, cashier of the First National Bank, and to Dr. Fish. These men were just as pleased with the idea as Mr. Nicholson. Dr. Fish recalled that as a school boy, on Saturdays he had explored these regions himself, going up the stage coach road to the top of Waverly hill where there was a stone quarry, This old stage coach road became the road to the clubhouse.
These three gentlemen combined their efforts to interest citizens of the Valley in the formation of a country club on this scenic spot. By May 13, 1914, enough interest had been aroused to form the Valley View Club. The members contributed to cover the cost of incorporation. The first clubhouse was erected shortly ( the porch - like part on the extreme left ) This had wooden lockers for storing golf equipment, not burglar - proof. About two years later the building on the right, consisting of rest rooms, shower baths and lockers, was constructed.
A problem facing these golfers was that of getting water to the greens. This was solved by members drawing lots as to which green they would " pipe to", the water mains being very close to numbers 1 and 8 along West Pine street.
Rent was paid to the Prentiss Shepards during the early years of the club. After the death of her husband, Mrs Shepard gave the land to the club - in memory of Prentiss Shepard - on condition that the name be changed to Shepard Hills Country Club and in event the club should disband, the property would become that of the Robert Packer Hospital. This change in name was made on Dec. 18, 1922.
There is a story that in the early days anyone who played golf had to observe a ground rule - he must pick up stones on number five fairway.
During the depression years the club continued, financially able to render good service to its members.
When the course of the highway was changed, a corner of the club property was cut off. When the state reimbursed the club for its loss, the money was used to pave the road from the highway to the clubhouse.
Improvements to the clubhouse continued in 1948 and have been continuing every year since. Today's clubhouse, with its elegent dining area, is a great source of pride to all members.
Shepard Hills moved from a 9 - hole course to 18 in the spring of 1971. A swimming pool was added and a constant maintenance program has made the greens and fairways some of the best in the Southern Tiers.
SHCC has a PGA pro and a very busy tournament schedule for both men and women. The women also are very active in upgrading the clubhouse and their current project is wall - papering the dining area and installing new rugs throughout.
The club has various categories that cover families, junior members, social, swimming pool, scholastic, non - residents, honorary and corporate memberships.
We congratulate Sayre on its 100th birthday and it will only be a few short years before Shepard Hills will have its own centennial celebration.
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Ernie Miles...... This page was updated Wednesday, 26-Mar-2008 06:35:55 PDT.