THE HISTORY OF ARCOLA: Foreword
By Jim Craffey
On Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2000, I had lunch at Arcola with Fritz Behnke (81 years old and author of “Paramus: 1922-1960”). He was very helpful in pinpointing the various parcels of land that will come into play (in the history I started to put together) and the area he knew so well from his youth.
He recalled that a trolley line ran from Fort Lee/Edgewater on the Hudson River through Bogota, across the meadows into Hackensack, up Passaic Street to the station/stop on the Easton Estate adjoining the present Mack Office Building, continuing on Paramus Rd. to the present Route 4 and across the Saddle River Bridge, then paralleling the present Route 4, past the Barbour Estate to the Passaic River and across the trolley trestle into Paterson.
The 23 acres purchased by Denison M. Easton (Edward Denison Easton’s father) was in the vicinity of where the replica of the Arcola Mill now stands. The additional 46 acres was purchased around 1898 by Edward Easton and later known as the Arcola Gardens was east of the 23 acres. A white house across from the Mack Building and near the Arcola church was the dwelling of Denison Easton and his wife. Edward Easton built a larger house across the road, adding to the acreage to incorporate his gardens. Edward Easton gave his parents the right to reside on the property (the 23 acres) until their death.
To the east of the Mack Building and the Garden State Parkway, practically the site on which the Rama-da Inn now stands, was an amusement park. A little farther east, at the bend on Passaic St., was where Trautwein Field (airport) was located. This Trautwein was the uncle of Arcola member Ted Trautwein who was the Bergen County Assignment Judge (since deceased) in the 1970s-80s.
Mr. Behnke’s family owned a farm bordered by Rt. 17 (at Century Rd.), the Ridgewood Country Club and Sprout Brook. He often used the Arcola property as a short-cut in the late 1920s early 1930s to visit friends in the area. He said the Zabriskie family grew corn and melons on the land that was sold to Arcola, and they rotated the crops with potatoes to ward off disease.
The Arcola minutes of June 17, 1909, recognize this farming activity by stating that “land-owners be allowed to take this year’s crop off the land.” Behnke said farmers of that day somewhat disregarded property boundary lines. He also noted that Sprout Brook was diverted from its original course to prevent flooding. The Saddle River was much wider then than it is now; it also flooded the area from time to time.
Interestingly, the aerial photo of Arcola taken around 1930 and hanging in the Grill/TV Room shows golf course activity south of Route 4 in at least two places, according to Fritz. This reflects the various notations in the minutes covering the property south of Route 4 that Arcola eventually sold. The lease of land for a golf driving range offers one example.
Arcola also sold property east of the Garden State Parkway on the west side of Sprout Brook. Arcola still owns property along Route 4 next to the Parkway entrance, a strip of about 172 feet wide which provides access to the property in the future should commercial development or new housing invade club property.
Arcola’s goal in the 1940s was to ward off higher real estate taxes on highway frontage and assess-ments for highway improvements such as sanitary sewers Selling off this property was the only defense, according to the minutes.
The property purchased from Martha Kinsella Van Riper, a relation of former Arcola president John Bolton, was approximately where the Paramus Road-Route 4 East jughandle is located. Jules DeVuyst, the greenkeeper at the time, lived in a house at the intersection that was leveled to make way for the jughandle.
The Easton property, some say the Brevoort Tract, that Arcola purchased, was loaded with trees. This is borne out looking at a 1930 aerial photo showing the golf course layout north and south of Route 4. Apparently, the heavily wooded area wasn’t touched to any great extent for the golf course while the Zabriskie land to the south, which extended over Rt. 4 to Sprout Brook, comprised the primary acreage for the golf course.
The property north and west of the Easton tract along Paramus Road that comprised the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th holes of the original (1912) course was approximately 63 acres in size. The Zabriskies sold Arcola this land. Arcola later sold it to Buitoni for its planned headquarters, which never materialized. A developer is now leveling the land for about 40 single family homes at prices ranging from $750,000 and up. The condos and town houses along Century Road start at $400,000.
ARCOLA: The Beginning
1702 Land patent (grant) to Albert Zabriskie; 1,200 acre grant ran from Saddle River on the west to Town of Saddle River on the north to Rochelle Park on the south and to Linwood Avenue on the east - three sons built houses in the area - Jacob, Christian and Hendrick. The area was part of the original Royal Province under the British Crown
The History of Bergen County, Vol. 1, Page 298, (in Paramus Library on Century Road)
provides this account: The Indians gave Albert Zabriskie a “New Paramus patent” (Paramus is Anglicized here from the Dutch or Indian spelling) for 1,977 acres as evidence of good faith in the kidnapping and then return, of Jacob Zabriskie, son of Albert. - Also, on this page is the notation: The Arcola district is in a rich, farming community. On page 401 it notes: Arcola is an ancient settlement and was originally known as Red Mills for the many saw and grist mills in the area. (A bit cryptic!)
1745 Steven Baldwin built a water-powered mill in 1745 on the site that was to be the Easton Estate. The mill stood for over 150 years just north of the Rt. 4 bridge that spans the Saddle River. The waters of this river were dammed, and the land now traversed by Rt. 4 was for many years a gleaming expanse of water that extended from Paramus Road to Saddle River Road. Title to the Old Red Mill and its Mill Pond stems from an English Crown grant.
For many years the Old Red Mill was a grist mill, and there is a legend that it was once used as a jail for an Indian accused of murder. One morning he was found missing, and it was supposed that he had escaped. When the water was turned on and the wheel began to move, his crushed body was discovered. He had hidden himself on the cross bar of the big wheel.
1752 Steven Baldwin, miller, of Peremes (Paramus) sold to David D. Ackerman for 700 pounds - 18 December 1752 (unrecorded deed) - a grist mill sawmill, mill dam, lying in the State of New Jersey and County of Bergen at a place called “Hamborough.”
1771 Jacob Christian Zabriskie (King Jacob) bought the saw and grist mill from William Bayard for 1,500 pounds at a place called Hamborough at the time of the Revolutionary War. It later became the Red Mill textile factory. It became a landmark because of its location near the crossroads of the Goshen and Paterson stage coach route (which originated in New York City and crossed the river by ferry). The stop also served as a relay point for mail.
1790 Jacob Zabriskie sold the mill to his daughter, Leah Slutt (Sloat).
1820 Albert A. Westervelt bought the “red” mill on Jan. 17. The second of two known references to the area as Red Mill was in John D. Berdan’s survey book, the farm and pond being referred to in 1856 as the “Red Mill property at New Hamburg.”
1821 A public school was established in an old dwelling on the farm that would be purchased by Denison M. Easton, father of Edward Denison Easton.
1824 An old red schoolhouse was purchased, removed and placed on a high stone wall in what would become known as the Arcola section (of the Township of Midland; Paramus wasn’t incorporated until 1922); the building was 14 ft. x 24 ft. and cost a total of $200 including moving. The little school house was located on what is now the southwesterly corner of Paramus Road and Route 4. A service station now (1999) occupies the site.
1836 The mill was painted “red,” and the area around it began being referred to as Red Mills.
1838 The will of Albert A. Westervelt, dated June 28, 1838, bequeathed the property to his daughter, Margaret, “one equal, undivided half of all the farm where I now live called “The Red Mill...” This is the first recorded mention of the name “Red Mill,” which eventually identified the entire area due to many other farms with “red” mills springing up on them.
1840 Edward B. Force owned a farm of 60 acres south of the Old Red Mill which included land on both sides of Paramus Road and extended from the Saddle River on the west to the property now (1945) owned by the Arcola Country Club on the east. Around 1840 he installed seats in a barn on the property, and church services were held there.
1843 Edward B. Force donated a tract of land for the church building, and in that year his brother, the Reverend Manning Force, laid its cornerstone. This first Arcola church stood almost directly opposite where the present one is located on Paramus Road. (Paramus Road goes up to the Garden State Parkway; Passaic St. starts on the east side of the Parkway.) It was a simple frame building that was re-modeled around 1900 when a spire was added and an organ installed. The $1,000 cost of the organ was shared by Andrew Carnegie. On Feb. 14, 1911, the church, together with its parsonage, was totally destroyed by fire. Religious services were continued in a temporary location. Plans for a new church were pushed so energetically that the cornerstone for the present stone church was laid in the same year, on Sunday, Oct. 22, 1911. By perhaps an appropriate coincidence, the architect of this beautiful structure bore the name U. C. Light.
1846 The first school of official record was at Paramus Road and Route 4 on .04 acres of family property belonging to Edward B. Force, a prominent citizen of the area in the 19th Century. (Check Bogert’s book further on George W. Zabriskie who is connected somehow. The site is now covered by the jughandle ramp leading from Paramus Road to Route 4 East - from Paramus - A Chronicle of Four Centuries by Frederick W. Bogert, 1961.)
1853 George Graham bought the Red Mill in 1853. During the Civil Way, Graham had a subcontract from the Beatty Mill in Little Falls to make thousands of blankets for the Union Army. He did a thriving business. The mill produced its own power. It carded, spinned, reeled and dyed various colors of woolen yarn which was woven into different kinds of blankets, the principal being printed blankets. These were in heavy, full stocks, drawn over massive rollers for printing calico and other printed goods.In addition, there were hand and power looms, and a sawmill. After the war there was a depression, and the mill became vacant. It was demolished in 1894. Other mills, all painted the ubiquitous red, survived along the Saddle River.
1868, May 1 By deed, farm property of Mary H. Robinson, wife of Benjamin, covering 23 1/2 acres, conveyed to Mary L. Easton, wife of Denison Easton, both parties resident of City of Brooklyn, Kings County, State of New York., for $10,000. “Being the same lands and premises conveyed to Silean F. Sasson by deed of Joshua O. Hoyt and Eliza, his wife, dated July 5, 1855, and have recently conveyed to Mary H. Robinson for sum of $3,700.” The Mack Corp. office building on Paramus Road is on part of the 23 1/2 acre farm site.
Edward D. Easton was 12 years old when his family moved over from Brooklyn to Red Mills, as the area was then called. Edward D. went to school in Paterson and then left home to make his fortune in Washington, DC, where he was a court stenographer. He made a reputation as a stenographer and was the stenographer at the trial of President James Garfield’s assassin.
1870 The name “Arcola” was given to Red Mills about 1870, and the decision to adopt it was taken in the little red schoolhouse where the town fathers assembled for meetings. The new name was suggested by Denison M. Easton, a former school principal, who had moved to the area in 1867 and acquired the farm formerly owned by Edward B. Force.
Arcola and the nearby town of Lodi were named after towns in Italy which were the scenes of Napoleon’s greatest victories. The Arc de Triumph in Paris is inscribed with their names as well. A famous painting by Gros that hangs in the Louvre immortalizes “Napoleon At the Bridge of Arcola.”
Denison Easton, being a school teacher, undoubtedly studied Napoleon Bonaparte and was familiar with his victorious campaigns against the Austrians at Arcola and Lodi. With Lodi, NJ, not too far away, it’s easy to understand how he came upon the name “Arcola” for the area. No doubt he felt that “Arcola” was a name more suited to the area because all the red mills in “Red Mills” had dis-appeared. To this day, though, no one seems to know the exact boundaries of Arcola, where they started or ended. Many do agree, however, that it encompassed Rochelle Park, Paramus and Fair Lawn.
1876 An Atlas is published showing a map of “Arcola” and the names of the farm owners: Brevoort, Budlong, Board, de Groot, Hartwell, Henry, Howard, Hopper, Leswing, Lutkins, McNab, Mason, McQuaid, Naugle, Oldis, Ochs, Pell, Sprigg, Taylor, Terhune, Van Dien, Voorhis, Vreeland, Zabriskie and Young.
1881 On July 22 Mary L. Easton and Denison M. Easton conveyed the same lands and premises described above to their son Edward Denison Easton, widower, of Arcola, NJ, for the same $10,000 that they paid for it back in 1868. The sellers held a $5,000 mortgage. He gave his parents the right to live in the “Dwelling House” free of all costs during their natural lives.
1882 “A resident of Saddle River has samples of apple cider that distilled by the late Benjamin G. Oldis at Red Mill 40 years ago. It is taken in sacramental doses, and none but Christians need apply.” (The Bergen County Index, May 6)
1885 Edward D. Easton was the stenographer and reporter of national events for the Hack-ensack “Republican.” He was 29 years old in 1885 when he founded the American Gramophone Co. which successfully developed a new technology to make the early cylindrical phonograph machines. In 1889 he organized the Columbia Graphophone Company to make the dictating machines and records at a factory in Bridgeport, CT.
His initial venture had modest beginnings in one room of an office building on E Street in Washington, DC. Twenty years later he had sales offices in every major city in the United States and Europe. Business soared, and he became a very wealthy man. The company relocated its headquarters to New York City in 1897. With his family he moved back to his boyhood home in Arcola to become a gentleman landowner.
1894 The original, 2 1/2 story “Red Mill” was demolished in December 1894. The site was leveled to make the land more attractive to buyers. The new mill that Easton had built in 1899 was never a mill. It was only used to pump water to Easton’s gardens. This structure fell into disrepair, and was turned over to the Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation which deeded it over to the Bergen County Park Commission in 1956. It was damaged in a fire in 1958. The Park Commission restored it in 1967.
1897 Easton commissioned Architect William A. Lambert, designer of many buildings around Hackensack at the time, to draw plans for a mansion to be built on the east side of Paramus Rd. facing the park on the bank of the Saddle River. Its wide porch was protected by Ionic columns and an elabor-ate balustrade. Heavy cornices and pediments enclosed round openings. It had 21 rooms and six baths.
The ground floor contained a Reception Hall, Library, Billiard Hall, Music and Ball Room, Living Room, Dining Room, Lavatory, Sun Parlor, Kitchen, Servants’ Dining Room, and two Pantries; the 2d floor had eight Bed Rooms, five Baths; the 3d floor four Servants’ Bed Rooms and one Servant’s Bath.
It was built on the site where the Arcola Motor Lodge stood in 1981. (The County of Bergen used the motor lodge as a temporary residence for drug addicts and welfare recipients until it was torn down.).
1899 In 1899 Edward D. indulged himself and bought the adjacent, 48-acre Red Mill property on Nov. 10 from William M. and Maria Johnson. It adjoined the 23 1/2 acres he had bought from his parents.
The mill itself had been razed in 1894. Easton commissioned Henry S. Ihnen, a New York City architect and resident of Arcola, to build the “Easton Tower,” a replica of the old Red Mill, and an extensive 26 acre garden. The sandstone and frame tower had a wooden waterwheel that pumped water through underground pipes to large, rotund stone fountains in the spacious, landscaped park. The splashing fountains had brass, lion-head spouts with shell-shaped basins. Numerous fountains were located throughout the 26 acre park.
From 1900 until 1930 the beautifully landscaped park was dotted with lakes where swans migrated to add a picturesque touch. The Easton Gardens, according to James L. Peck of the Bergen County Historical Society, were the most photographed scenic areas in the county. Its walkways were a very popular place to stroll on Sunday afternoons.
A frequent visitor was U.S. Vice President Garret A. Hobart who, on at least one occasion, brought with him President McKinley, also a friend of Easton. The gardens served as a setting for silent motion pictures in the early 1900s when the film industry was centered in Fort Lee.
The Initial Steps To A Golf Course
1908 President W.D. Moffat and former President F. R. Long of the Hackensack Golf Club and President Goodbody and George (Francis) Scott of the North (Jersey) Country Club met yesterday afternoon (Sunday, April 26) and inspected a large tract of ground running from Paramus Road on the Saddle River to Sprout Brook with an eye to making an ideal golf course in the not too distant future. The tract gone over by the representatives of the Hackensack and Paterson clubs comprises 235 acres. If a golf course is built there about 150 acres will be used. Most of the property is owned by E.D. Easton, and an option has been secured.
The property is considered particularly desirable for a golf course. About one-third of the land is covered with woods, but the course could be blazed through this and its beauty and sporty character enhanced thereby. Much of the soil has been cultivated and by using the plow and harrow and sowing some seed, a turf would be made in bogle (record) time.
It is the plan of those who are interested in starting a new golf club to invite participation in the scheme from Englewood, Ridgewood, Paterson and Hackensack. No doubt New York golfers will be interested also.
The course will be easy of access by trolley and it is believed that it will not be hard to get four or five hundred members as soon as it is decided to go ahead with the project. The new club would not necessarily do away with the present Hackensack Golf Club at once, though it might eventu-ally result in the abandonment of the local course.
There is a perfect spot for the location of a club house on the proposed Arcola course. From a point almost 1,000 feet east of Paramus Road is possible to see Paterson, Passaic, Englewood and the Palisade ridge as far as Jersey City. No finer view exists anywhere in these parts. The ground provides ample opportunity for up and down hill work with plenty of variety in the makeup.
It is expected that some day this week there will be a meeting of Ridgewood, Paterson, Hackensack and Englewood golfers for the purpose of discussing further the scheme to form the Arcola Golf Club. (The Evening Record and Bergen County Herald, April 27, 1908)
1909 The transition from farming community to residential began early in this century. Many homes were built by former residents of Paterson whose names would be inscribed on the roster of the soon-to-be Arcola Country Club: C. E. Bradburn, John T. Cade, C. Frank Kireker, Hunziker, Ted Bunker, Van Valer, Barnes, to name a few.
Certification of Incorporation papers are filed on April 7 by three incorporators before Archibald C. Hart, Master in Chancery of New Jersey, County of Bergen; by two incorporators on April 18 before Archibald Graham, Master in Chancery of New Jersey, County of Bergen; in Clerk’s Office, County of Passaic, on April 19; and with Secretary of State S. D. Dickinson on April 22.
Incorporators ( John W. Griggs, William D. Moffat, Edward D. Easton, C. William Woddrop, and Robert Goodbody, each owning two shares of stock valued at $100 each) hold first meet-ing in law offices of John W. Griggs, 152 Market St., Paterson. Notice of meeting is waived and consent is given to act on any transactions to come before the meeting. Mr. Moffat was elected Chairman and Mr. Goodbody was appointed Secretary of the meeting.
Let’s take a good look at the organizers. John W. Griggs was Governor of the State of New Jersey in 1898 when he was recruited by U. S. Vice President Garret A. Hobart to become Attorney General of the United States in President’s McKinley’s administration. Edward D. Easton was the retir-ed founder of the “talking machine” industry. William D. Moffat was an investment banker in New York City, where he lived, and was president of Hackensack Golf Club. C. William Woddrop was Edward D. Easton’s son-in-law. Robert Goodbody was a principal with his brother in the investment banking firm of Goodbody & Goodbody.
The Chairman reported that the Certificate of Incorporation was recorded in the office of the clerk of Passaic County on the 19th day of April 1909 and was filed and recorded in the Office of the Secretary of State on the 22d day of April 1909.
The Secretary presented a form of by-laws for the regulation of the affairs of the com-pany, which were read article by article. Upon motion duly made, said by-laws were unanimously adopted and the Secretary was instructed to cause the same to be inserted in the minute book immed-iately following the incorporation papers.
The incorporators were nominated and elected as Directors to hold office until the annual meeting in the year 1910.
The first meeting of directors occurred on May 10 in the law offices of John W. Griggs, in Paterson. Mr. Easton was chosen temporary Chairman and Mr. Goodbody was appointed temporary Secretary. The Secretary read a waiver of notice of the meeting. Upon nomination the following were elected officers: John W. Griggs, President; William D. Moffat, Vice President; Robert Goodbody, Secretary; and C. William Woddrop, Treasurer.
Messrs. Moffat, Goodbody and Woddrop were designated as members of the Executive Committee with Mr. Moffat as Chairman and with authority to exercise all the powers of the board in the current business of the company when the board was not in session.
Under business, the directors authorized the procurement of the proper corporate books, the opening of a bank account with the Paterson National Bank of Paterson, authorized the Treasurer to sign checks, appointed John Leavitt Griggs the Registered Agent, and filed with the Secretary of State the report of officers, directors etc. required by Section 3 (as amended) of an “Act Concerning Corporations (Revision of 1896)” of New Jersey.
NOTE: The company was organized under the commercial business laws of the state. This would change in 1945 when the by-laws were amended to change to a non-profit company organ-ized for social, recreational purposes under a different law.
On June 17, 1909, at North Jersey Country Club, the board exercised options to purchase lands from Mr. Easton and the Zabriskie brothers, namely: 106 acres from Mr. Easton for property north by land of Jacob Yeomans, easterly by Sprout Brook, southerly by lands of Arcola CC, westerly by Par-amus Road; and 97 acres from the Zabriskie brothers for lands bounded northerly by Arcola CC and Edward D. Easton, easterly by Sprout Brook, southerly by properties of Edward D. Easton, Albert Voorhis, J. Corkery (Corkery’s Tavern) and E.D. Easton, and westerly by Paramus Road, except for 63 acres along Paramus Road already sold to Arcola CC by the Zabriskie brothers.
The Grounds Committee was authorized to procure blue prints of the property and to conduct the necessary title searches. The board also approved restrictions on use of lands purchased from Mr. Easton, as follows: “shall not at any time erect, make, carry on, permit or suffer upon any part of the premises hereby conveyed, any slaughter house, butcher shop, meat market, tallow chandler, smithshop, forge, furnace, steam engine, brass foundry, or any manufacturing for the making of gunpowder, glue, varnish, vitriol, ink, or turpentine, or for the tanning, dressing or preparing skins, hides or leather, or any brewery, distillery, or any dangerous or noxious or unwholesome or nauseous or offensive establishment or trade or business.
At the June 17 board meeting it was reported that invitations were sent to 275 men inviting them to take shares in the corporation. Seventy-five shares of stock were subscribed for with 37 shares paid for. The Treasurer received authorization to borrow $4,000, a payment of $1,000 was made on the Zabriskie option and $1,902.95 on the Easton option, $9.35 was okayed for stationery and stamps, leaving a cash balance of $787.70.
Mr. William’s bill for surveying the property was considered excessive so the board left it in the hands of the Executive Committee to get back to him with their concern.
The charter was amended to establish three classes of Directors and their terms of office. The first election was scheduled for the 1910 annual meeting. The first class would serve for one year, the second for two years and the third for three years.
The board formed a Grounds Committee but quite emphatically instructed the committee not to cut down trees of more than six inches in diameter without its approval. Landowners also were allowed to take this year’s crop (melons, corn and tomatoes) off the land.
Laying Out the Course
On September 21, Herbert H. Barker, Golf Architect and pro at the Garden City Golf Club, was appointed to lay out grounds for an 18 hole golf course at a rate of $25 per day. Barker was a talented young golfer from Huddersfield, England, who played on the British International Team as well as in Amateur Championships in the late 1890s. He turned pro in 1900 and left England to take the Head Pro job at Garden City.
Barker also dabbled in golf course design and construction. He soon became known as one of the best authorities in the United States on that subject. His services were in great demand for laying out new courses along with the modification and improvement of existing courses. He designed three courses in New Jersey: Arcola, Rumson CC in 1910, and Raritan Valley CC in 1911. He did not restrict himself to New Jersey, however. In 1909-1910 he was working on Newport (RI) GC, Richmond (VA) CC, Waverly (OR) GC, Spokane (WA) CC, and many others.
Herbert Barker was no slouch on the golf course. He competed in the U.S. Open a number of times. He won the Southern Open in 1920 with a record score of 298 on the East Lake course in Atlanta, home of Bobby Jones. He was a talented writer. An extensive article under his byline in The American Golfer (April 1909) compared the styles of the American versus British golfers. “The English looked better swinging,” he claimed, “but the Americans drove the ball farther and were much better putters.” He was a disciple of Devereux Emmett, who built many courses on Long Island and who was a student of the punitive school of golf course architecture: an infinitesimal number of bunkers and fast, sloping greens. Barker left Garden City in 1913 to become pro at the Roe Buck Club in Alabama.
The board also appropriated $1,500 to put the grounds in condition. And Messrs. Easton and Moffat were appointed to a committee to get the lands along Paramus Road plotted for villa sites.
As of Sept. 18 it was reported that 122 shares were sold to 93 subscribers with $9,910 paid in and $2,290 remaining to be paid.
1910 Robert Goodbody resigned as a Director and Secretary at the March 16 board meeting and was replaced by John S. Cooke. The board authorized borrowing $50,000.
At the April 12 session Theodore Bunker was elected assistant treasurer with authority to sign notes, checks and stock certificates.
The April 27 meeting at North Jersey CC was adjourned until March 3 for lack of a quorum. The Treasurer reported a cash balance of $827.22. Discussion ensued on employing a Super-intendent of Grounds.
The Grounds Committee received authorization at the May 31 meeting at North Jersey CC to employ Henry Stark (Englewood CC Greenkeeper) at $4.00 per day for as many days as he works until Dec. 10. The committee requests $10,000 to put grounds in condition for seeding to start by the last of August. The committee was instructed to pipe two greens with underground tiling as an experi-ment. The estimated costs to complete 18 holes: Stark, 5 mos., $600; (Jacob) Zabriskie, 5 mos., $325; three teams of five men, $5.00 day each, $500 each; 30 men, 4 months., $4,500; tools, $100; seed, $3,000; fertilizer and manure, $750; total $9,775
Also, the club borrowed $8,000 more and appointed a Building Committee to get started on a Club House.
Following the election of nine Directors at the annual meeting, the board elected its officers on Nov. 7, namely John W. Griggs, President; Edward D. Easton, Vice President; C. William Woddrop, Treasurer; John S. Cooke, Secretary. The Grounds Committee was also authorized to get a topographical survey of a portion of the property. At the Dec. 10 meeting $10,000 more was borrowed.
1911 On Jan. 23 at North Jersey CC the board authorized the Grounds Committee to engage the services of a grass expert, and to purchase one power grass cutter, one horse grass cutter, two farm horses and harness, and such quantity of grass seed as may be necessary.
The Building Committee was given authority to obtain sketches from two or more architects and then to select an architect and have the firm submit estimates of the cost of a Club House as early as possible.
The Arcola Methodist Church together with its parsonage on Paramus Road was totally destroyed by fire on Feb. 14, 1911. Religious services were continued in a temporary location but plans for a new church were pushed so energetically that the cornerstone for the present stone church was laid nine months later on Oct. 22. The architect of this beautiful structure coincidentally bore the name U. C. Light. As a mainstay and trustee of the church that bordered his property, Easton deeded the church its present site in exchange for the old property on the other side of Paramus Road.
On Mar. 31 at North Jersey CC the board paid for a survey of the property adjacent to Sprout Brook and authorized additional borrowing of up to $20,000.
The Building Committee requested submission of sketches for a proposed Club House from Architects Jackson, Parsons, Stoddard and Nash. Each are to be paid $100 to submit the sketches.
At a May 6 meeting on the grounds of Arcola, the board approved the clubhouse design of Floyd Y. Parsons and authorized his employment as Architect.
The architect was instructed to bring the cost of the Club House to within $40,000. Five Grounds people, including Jake Zabriskie, were employed. J. Edwards Barbour was elected a Director, all at the May 26 meeting at North Jersey CC.
The board gave the go-ahead to Architect Floyd Parsons to submit clubhouse plans for bid at the June 30 meeting. The club borrows $75,000 for erection of the Club House, construction of water works, building of a road, grading of grounds and other necessary expenses. It is reported that Edward D. Easton accepted a second mortgage at 5%.
A big day looms on the horizon. Stockholders are invited to inspect and play over the links on Saturday, Oct. 7. (The Evening Record and Bergen County Herald (Mon. Oct. 9, 1911) reports: Saturday afternoon members of the Arcola Country Club tried out the 18 hole course. Everyone was delighted with the evidence of coming excellence in golfing opportunities. Robert Cunningham of Paterson won low gross honors while Geo. A. Brinkerhoff of Hackensack was first in net score.
The interest rate on Easton’s second mortgage is changed to 6%. In another frugal move, the board instructs the architect to draw plans for a $30,000 Club House. The Grounds Committee is given authority to employ Mr. Ihnen (Henry S.) as advisable. All at Sept. 28 meeting.
At the Oct. 26 meeting at North Jersey CC, the board elected as officers: John W. Griggs, President; William. D. Moffat, Vice President; C. William Woddrop, Treasurer; and John S. Cooke, Secretary. This followed the election of three Directors at the annual meeting on Oct. 9.
Dues is set at $60 per year and 100 lockers are purchased for the Club House @ $2.75 each. This comes from the Nov. 24 meeting at North Jersey CC.
At the Dec. 29 meeting at Mr. Woddrop’s residence, bids are received on the Club House and referred to the Building Committee with power. The Grounds Committee receives approval to have a well dug at a cost of $2.00 per foot.
1912 Club awards contract to build the Club House to Mr. Whyte. At the same time it rejects the architect’s demands for a 3% fee on the original estimated cost of the building. Vice President Moffat receives the go-ahead to print a two-color prospectus at a cost of $98 for 1,000 copies. At the Feb. 29 meeting at Mr. Hobart’s residence, the board authorized changing the date on the mortgage bonds to Jan. 1 from Sep. 1 and approved payment of $116.80 to Peterson, Wild & Co.
Jake Zabriskie’s compensation is raised to $75 per month effective April 1 and the coal bin in the Club House was enlarged for an additional cost of $325.
Elmer W. Loving is appointed Golf Pro effective April 1.
On April 26 at North Jersey CC, the Grounds Committee reports the golf course in fine condition and will be ready for play on Opening Day, Saturday, May 4th. Dues is set at $60 per annum with dues for women playing tennis or golf set at $15 a year. All dues is payable quarterly in advance. Guests or family members will pay $1.00 for tennis or golf
Members of the immediate family of stockholding members are entitled to all privileges except tennis and golf. Junior (15-21) members of immediate family will pay $10 per year for tennis and golf, except golf on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays, and tennis on Sundays
The initiation fee for women applying for membership who are not attached to any stockholding member shall pay an initiation fee of $15.
As a courtesy, the facilities are made available free of charge to members of the Amer-ican Locomotive Co. on May 4. Next meeting at Mr. Easton’s on Friday, May 24.
Work on the Club House proceeds rapidly. At May 24 meeting at the residence of Mr. Easton, the board awarded the following contracts: heating, plumbing, sheet metal contract to W.H. Moore for $5,500; electrical work to Watson, Flagg Engineering Co.; painting to Davis for $870. Also authorized is about $2,000 to buy pipe and fittings and install them to carry water to the greens.
A Special Meeting is held on Sep. 10 at North Jersey CC to appoint a committee on furnishings for the Club House. H. Otto Wittpenn, former Mayor of Jersey City and gubernatorial primary opponent of Woodrow Wilson, is elected to membership. At Sep. 27 meeting Bernard M. Baruch, sponsored by Garret A. Hobart Jr., is elected a member.
(A story was circulated early in the century that anyone desiring to be Governor of New Jersey must do so first by attending a dinner meeting at the Arcola Country Club. This undoubtedly was because John Griggs was a former Governor and still active politically, Otto Wittpenn lost to Woodrow Wilson in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 1910 and Vivian M. Lewis lost to Wilson in the General Election that year.)
At the Annual Meeting John W. Ferguson of Paterson was elected a Director along with William Moffat and John Cooke. Resolution is approved to advance the price of the stock at such time and at such amount as the board may determine. At reorganization meeting Griggs, Moffat, Woddrop and Cooke continue as officers.
At Nov. 29 meeting at North Jersey CC, Charles H. and Charles P. Eddy, renowned amateur golfers in the area, are elected members. Approval is given to heat the garage and to get bids on screens for the Club House doors and windows.
1913 Board meets on Jan. 3. Treasurer reports cash balance on hand of $179.78. President Griggs receives approval to borrow $3,000. At end of the month meeting the bid of Porter Manufact-uring Co. of $540 for screens was accepted. The buildings were insured for 90% of their value with co-insurance of 80% excluding the foundations. President Griggs submits rules and regulations for review and eventual adoption.
At Feb. 27 meeting at North Jersey CC in Paterson, the loan from the Paterson National Bank is increased to $20,000. A liquor license is secured for the Club House. Stock is limited to 250 shares and a transfer fee of $25 per share is set.
The board approves joining the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association at a fee of $10 and authorizes use of the course for women’s play on the second Wednesday of each month.
The Club House
The Club House is christened Mar. 28 when the board holds its first meeting there. The running feud with the architect continues as the board approves charging the boiler room alterations to the architect, Floyd Parson. A six-inch thick road to the Club House is authorized on the best terms possible. The board okays Miss Graham’s inclusion as a member of the immediate family of Mr. Archie Graham and not subject to an initiation fee. Robert Barbour, Paterson, and Mortimer D. Easton, Arcola, son of Edward D., elected members.
Henry Ihnen is authorized to grade four tennis courts using the workers doing the road. F. J. Morley receives contract to build and surface the road to the Club House. John S. Cooke reports spending $5,295 for clubhouse furnishings. Locker rental set at $4.00 with larger ones costing $5.00. The amount of stock issued is limited to $27,500. Arcola is elected a member of the USGA.
NEW CLUB HOUSE AT ARCOLA OPENED Handicap Match, Dinner, Music and Dancing on Program The handsome clubhouse and links of the Arcola Country Club will be formally opened today (Saturday, May 17) and the house committee has arranged a fine program for the entertainment of members and friends. A handicap match has been arranged for the afternoon and for those who do not care to play there will be music at the clubhouse. Arrangements have been made to entertain a large company at dinner and in the evening there will be dancing at the clubhouse from 8:30 to midnight. An auto bus will meet all trolleys at the Arcola station at ten minute intervals to convey visitors to the clubhouse. Altogether the day will be a gala one and a large attendance is expected. (The Evening Record and Bergen County Herald, Sat., May 17, 1913)
NEW COUNTRY CLUB HAS SOCIAL OPENING Press Agent Says Arcola Club Only One In State Owning Its Club House and Grounds, Which Is An Error - The press agent of the Arcola Country Club seems to be an energetic gentleman, and the club is to be congratulated on that score, but when he makes the statement that the Arcola club has the distinction of being the only one in the state to own its own club house and grounds he puts forth wrong information, for the Hackensack Golf Club is particularly proud of the fact that a few months ago they paid $73,690 for their grounds and own them outright. Previous to that the club had an owning in some of the property to the extent of $25,000, making their investment reach a total of nearly $99,000, for which they have a deed.
“So, if the Arcola Club considers their ownership a distinction, then they must share the honors with the Hackensack Golf Club.
“Former Governor John W. Griggs of Paterson is president of the new club and William D. Moffat of Hackensack is vice president.
“On Saturday the officers and members of the American Locomotive Works engaged in a handicap match on the new grounds. Music was provided in the club during the afternoon followed by a dinner and dance. About 185 enjoyed the dinner.
“The formal opening of the club house is scheduled for Decoration Day (now called Memorial Day). The Evening Record and Bergen County Herald, Mon., May 19, 1913.
A whirlwind of activity met the already busy board at its June 5 meeting. C. William Woddrop replaced John Cooke as Secretary, subscriptions were accepted for eight $500 debenture bonds, approval was granted to build an ice house and the Grounds Committee was asked to seek cost estimates for trap shooting and two to four tennis courts. The disciplinary problem brought on by a member whose conduct was somewhat indiscreet at the opening night party was settled with a severe reprimand. Thanks went to Garret A. Hobart for donating a $6.25 sideboard to the club, to William H. Watt for his $10 towards an awning and to George A. Brinkerhoff for his $50 donation towards an awning. And Miss Gertrude Van Blarcom of Paterson was elected a member.
The meeting on June 27 proved to be momentous. The Paterson Bank loan was increased to $25,000, the architect’s bill for $97.73 was paid and Henry S. Ihnen received a contract to build two tennis courts.
The ladies of Arcola shared in this largess when the board reserved Oct. 14 as a golf date for the Women’s Met Golf Association. The board even donated $25 for prizes for the event.
A net loss of $728.15 was incurred for the first four months (Apr. 1-Jul.1) of operations. Income was $7,837.30 against $8,565.45 in expenses. Yet, the board voted to pay $506 as the first installment on an ice maker and also appropriated funds to restore the frame pergola which blew off the patio in a wind storm. Henry Ihnen reported two tennis courts would be ready for play by Sept. 20. And A.. J. Van Riper was appointed to the Sports & Games Committee.
H. N. Baruch, Bernard Baruch’s brother, and W. H. Hendrickson were elected to membership on Sep. 25. A Life Membership was initiated for those 50 years of age and under who put up $1,000, for those 50 to 59 who pay $750 and for those 60 and over who pay $600, all exempt from paying annual dues. Col. Emerson McMillan. William H. Johnson, John W. Griggs, Edward D. Easton and Edmund Le B. Gardner are the first ones to sign up. An auto bus to run between the Arcola trolley stop and the Club House is purchased for $1,000 in debenture bonds.
Approval is given to purchase linens, dishes, and silverware for the Club House. Garret A. Hobart and Lewis Levi sign up for Life Memberships. Wayne Dumont, father of future N.J. State Senator and Senate President Wayne Dumont, elected a member.
Mrs. J. Leavitt Griggs and Mrs. C. W. Abbott thanked for securing funds to buy a rug. John W. Ferguson becomes Life Member. Resolution approved whereby board members cannot sign or proposals for membership. The Building Committee (Johnson, Easton, Barbour and Ferguson) is discharged with a vote of thanks.
1915 Edward D. Easton, who was a very religious man and a teetotaler, was not enthralled with the presence of a nearby tavern, known as Corkery’s Tavern or the Arcola House. Shortly before he died he bought and closed the tavern. He had it rebuilt as a home for his son, Mortimer and his family. The house was later deeded to the Arcola Methodist Church as a parsonage. Easton’s deed to Arcola in 1909 included the provision that a saloon was not permitted to operate anywhere on the property.
1922 Paramus and Rochelle Park comprised the Township of Midland. When Rochelle Park wanted to build a school by the railroad tracks (NY Susquehanna & Western) the people of Paramus felt the distance to the school was too far for their children to travel. They decided to split and incorporate, with the dividing line to be the trolley tracks at Passaic St. and Paramus Road (Plaza Way, the entrance to Garden State Plaza Shopping Mall)
1930 The Easton Estate was sold to the Tamburelli Management Co.of Englewood. Tambur-elli built Tammy Brook, Tamcrest and Montammy golf courses in east Bergen County because golf clubs in the area did not admit him or other Italians to membership. On the Easton property he proposed to build (1981) a 5-story 250,000 sq. ft. aluminum and glass office building located on the westbound side of Paramus Rd. and a 3-story, 75,000 sq.ft. building on the Arcola Motor Lodge tract (next to the Arcola Methodist Church).