The Golden Age of American Country Clubs

Please join us on April 27 as the Springfield Township Historical Society will take the show on the road to the Sandy Run Country Club for a program on the history of the golden age of the American country club. Guest speaker Anne Krulikowski, a former curator at Rockwood Museum in Wilmington, Delaware who now teaches at West Chester University, will examine the social, cultural, and architectural history of the American country club, which extended from 1890s until the Great Crash of 1929.

The Philadelphia region led the country in the development of these suburban institutions, which extended from sources such as men’s city clubs and resort casinos. The great suburban migration beginning in the 1890s increased the popularity of the sporting life for entire families desiring to lead a more active physical and social life all year round. Country club design became a notable part of some architectural practices and national architectural journals began featuring clubhouse designs and plans.

Among the country clubs discussed at the program will be Sandy Run Country Club, which was founded in 1923 under the name of Edgehill Country Club. Founder was J. Franklin Meehan, an architect and entrepreneur who enjoyed conceiving the idea for a club, finding the property, laying out the golf course, bringing together a number of kindred souls, and running the club during its formative years. The club subsequently acquired a part of the former I.D.H. Ralph estate, 115 acres at the southeast corner of Valley Green and Walnut Rds. The club took its current name in 1927 from the stream that runs through the property.

Krulikowski obtained her Ph.D. in American History and Material Culture from the University of Delaware. For five years she worked as Curator of Education and directed the docent program at Rockwood Museum. She now teaches material culture, public history, consumerism, and urban/suburban history in the History Department of West Chester University. Her publications include articles on working class suburbs, oral history, the serpentine stone quarry in Chester County, and urban grocery stores.

The program is open to the public. We suggest a $5 minimum donation to help with the cost of the special venue. Light refreshments will be provided and a cash bar will be available. For more information call the historical society at 215-233-4600.

Archives Update

Over the past few months we have received the following donations:

  • A watercolor painting of the back of the Black Horse Inn, donated by Bob Cutler.
  • A poster from the Whitemarsh Valley Hunt Races from 1951, donated by Joanne Cisco Olszewski

Our staff and volunteers have been busy working on the following projects:

  • Cataloging maps, atlases and blueprints
  • Cataloging our library collection
  • Sorting through the Springfield Township Historical Society records
  • Processing and cataloging photographs of local estates

We are extremely thankful for all of our dedicated volunteers, without whom these projects would not be accomplished! We are currently looking for archival and social media volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at archives@springfieldhistory.org