With the Masters Tournament just completed, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on Lake Zurich's piece of golf history: the Lake Zurich Golf Club. The club is just a pitching wedge's shot from the lake at 564 N. Old Rand Rd.
The club was founded in 1895. Charles Wood is credited with doing the ground work to get it started. In the early days, the land was leased from Kate Goodwin, but she later accepted the huge some of $7,500 for the 70 acres of land that the golf course occupies.
Wood decided the property should be a golf course and retreat for men. In 1912, when the P.L.Z.&W. Railroad tried to condemn part of the property. Wood discovered that a cemetery cannot be condemned, so he had the club incorporated as a cemetery to prevent it.
Four bodies were moved to the property and a tombstone at the club bares their names as: Lathrop Washington, Terrence O'Brien, Irving Cohen and Jackson Washington Johnson.
By 1946, women and children were finally allowed into the clubhouse.
Most of the time, there have been about 30 members of the club. If a member dies or resigns, a relative or friend of another member can fill the vacancy.
Leo Burnett, who was club president in the early 1960s, boasted "that it was the oldest club on the same location west of the Allegheny Mountains."
The 9-hole golf course was laid out by James B. Fowlas from the St. Andrews Club in Scotland. Professors from the University of Chicago were the early members and backbone of the club.
Some prominent past members include:
- Daniel Burnham Jr. - designer of the 1933 World's Fair
- Chester Gould - creator of "Dick Tracy"
- Charles Dawes - nephew of Charles G. Dawes, who once served as vice president of the United States
- Dr. William Cole - former president of Lake Forest College
- Dr. Robert Lawson - Chief of Staff of Children's Memorial Hospital
- W. Don Maxwell - former editor of the Chicago Tribune
Take the Weekly History Mystery Quiz
Now, test your knowledge about Lake Zurich History and take the "History Mystery" quiz by viewing the photo to see if you know any information about it. The answer will be provided on Sunday.
If you have a question or contribution about Lake Zurich history, post them here and the Ela Historical Society will provide the answer. If you have your own historic information or photos about Lake Zurich's history to share, please do
The Ela Historical Society welcomes your questions, donations and participation in this column.
Bringing Back the Past appears every Saturday with the "History Mystery" photo contest and then on Sunday to provide the answer.