Washtenaw CC Clubhouse 1937

Washtenaw Country Club Clubhouse 1937

This year — 2024 — Washtenaw Golf Club Celebrates its 125th anniversary.

The photographs above are of the Washtenaw Country Club Clubhouse in 1937. The photos were submitted by Dennis Norton to the Ypsilanti history Facebook Group.

This is the second clubhouse that Washtenaw Country Club built. The first was a very modest structure that was reminiscent of a small stationhouse.

In the lower photo, you can see Paint Creek, which runs through the north end of the property. Today, the area in front of the clubhouse is a driving range, and Paint Creek has expanded to become a couple of connected ponds.

Article in the Detroit Free Press about the 1987 fire. March 17, 1987

The clubhouse shown in the photos opened in 1929 at a cost of $90,000 ($1.6 million in today’s dollars). Unfortunately, the stock market crashed soon after and the club ultimately found itself facing bankruptcy.

The club survived by going public from 1933 to 1945. It was not the only club forced to open to private play during the Depression: Oakland Hills and Tam O’Shanter also did so.

The Washtenaw golf clubhouse suffered fires in 1951 and 1952, but survived. Those fires were blamed on chimneys. In 1987, however, a blaze gutted the main section of the old clubhouse. It took 70 firefighters and a dozen trucks to get it under control. The kitchen was the source of that fire.

The central portion of the clubhouse was rebuilt in 1988 and 1989 at a cost of $1.45 million ($3.8 million in today’s dollars). That rebuild is the clubhouse at Washtenaw Golf Club today.


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2 thoughts on “Washtenaw CC Clubhouse 1937”

  1. I recall the WCC fire. The insurance agency for whom I worked placed the coverage. I always thought the fire started in the roof line. The roof was undergoing repair/replacement and it is common to use blow torches to soften the shingles. At the time, it was thought something was left smoldering after the day’s work was completed.

    The current structure was made 1-story to avoid the cost of adding an elevator under ADA rules. The insurance would not pay for the upgrade.

    Reply

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