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Meeting at Town Hall to Preserve a Piece of History

Joseph Stanley Kurp Jr.

Sunday, August 18, 2013 • 5:32pm

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Scotch Plains City Hall, located on 430 Park Avenue will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday August 20th at 7:00PM to take action to save the Scotch Hills Country Club, located on 820 Jerusalem Road in Scotch Plains from being demolished.

The Scotch Hills Country Club, formerly known as the Shady Rest Country Club opened in 1879. It is known for being the first documented country club to be owned by African Americans and currently has nine golf holes, two thousand two hundred and forty seven yards of golf for a par of 33, a course rating of 33.3, and a slope rating of 106 on Blue grass. After African Americans owned the country club from 1921-1963, it was renamed the Scotch Hills Country Club and became a public facility/.

Scotch Hills Country Club also was home to John Matthew Shippen Jr., the first American Born African American Golf Professional and the first to compete in the United States Open Championship in 1896. Shippen Jr. held the position of "Head Golf Pro" at Scotch Hills Country Club from 1931-1960.

The country club also held live entertainment acts, especially Jazz and Blues artists. Some famous musical acts that performed at Scotch Hills Country Club included Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Cab Calloway.

Currently, the Scotch Hills Country Club is in disrepair because the roof is leaking, there are problems in the basement, and the second floor is not used. If preserved and repaired, the country club is hoping to become eligible for placement on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

"We're trying to make people aware of how important the Scotch Hills Country Club is" said Joanne Glover, a Real Estate agent at Prudential NJ Properties. "Our goal is to educate people, let them know what's going on, and get together to save this historic landmark".

For more information, call 908-322-6700 or visit http://scotchplainsnj.gov/

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