This article came into being thanks to e-mail queries and comments from Mark Perullo, who grew up in Cheshire and rode his bicycle through the abandoned course. Additional research by Diane Calabro, Mary Ellen Kania, Bob Larkin, and Beth Shutts.
This article came into being thanks to e-mail queries and comments from Mark Perullo, who grew up in Cheshire and rode his bicycle through the abandoned course. Additional research by Diane Calabro, Mary Ellen Kania, Bob Larkin, and Beth Shutts.On Sept. 4, 1929, the stock market rose to new heights encouraging investors to buy, invest, and start new ventures – like a golf course in Cheshire! On Sept. 30, 1929 seven men filed a certificate of incorporation, under the name Honey Pot Country Club, Inc. a corporation with capital stock of $50,000. Signing that day, in the presence of Bernard Pellegrino (Notary Public) were: J. Raymond Cummings, 1266 Townsend Avenue, New Haven; Arthur N. Sheriff, Church Lane, Cheshire; Carl Schmidt, 2844 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden; Joseph C. Hinds, 847 Woodward Avenue, New Haven; Leonard S. Schutte, 285 Edgewood Avenue, New Haven; J. R. Mcgowan, the Roxbury School, Cheshire; and George A. Atwater, R.R.D. West Cheshire. The nature of their business was stated as “Purchasing, taking or leasing or otherwise acquiring land and buildings for the purpose of providing a country club, to lay out and prepare such grounds for golf links and other athletic sports, and to provide pavilions, club house, refreshment rooms, and other conveniences in connection therewith…” Also “to raise money by subscriptions and to grant any rights and privileges to the members of such club.”
FORMER HONEY POT COUNTRY CLUB clubhouse, 290 Country Club Rd. , now a private home.
On Oct. 7, 1929 the Honey Pot Country Club, Inc. leased 36 acres from George E. Atwater, one of the members of the new corporation. They signed a five-year lease for the use of 35 acres of land that Atwater owned along Town Farm Road (later Country Club Road), near Honey Pot Brook. The lease was for only 35 acres but included an agreement that they could lease or buy for $12,500 another adjoining parcel of 40 acres, bounded on the north by land of Louis E. Payne and on the west by the first tract of land described in the lease.
On Oct. 29, the stock market crashed, but the golf club survived. In the spring of 1930 the investors went ahead and bought a small parcel of adjacent land containing a house (originally built in the 1790s), which became the red clubhouse, complete with a pair of lions out front. (This house, now white but still numbered 290, is in its same location on what is now Country Club Road.)
In 1934, Honey Pot Country Club, Inc. extended their lease on the land. The golf club evidently was thriving because, on Sept.20, 1934, two golfers playing at Honey Pot competed in the first annual invitation best-ball tournament for the John D. Chapman Memorial Trophy. The contestants played at various courses. As reported by the New York Times, Honey Pot golfers J. Sinnott, Jr. and F. J. Head, whose combined score was 81, came in 14th. The winners, William Meany and Charles Munson of Waterbury, playing at the Greenwich Country Club, scored 70, one point lower than the next three pairs. The names of the caddies on that day are not listed, but some kids had fun doing that job. As Warren S. Jones wrote in “I Remember: Cheshire in the Twentieth Century by Judith Boynton: “Farther up the road was the Honey Pot Country Club. A caddy could make 50 cents for 18 holes and maybe a 25-cent tip.”
An article which appeared in the Southington News and Times (August 9, 1940) was titled “Country Club Started in 1922.” This article, about the Southington course (still in operation on South End Road) stated that, “The 1940 membership in the (Southington) club is probably the largest active group ever to be enrolled since its organization. Discontinuance of the Honey Pot Country Club of Cheshire caused a number of Cheshire residents, some of whom were former members of the Southington Club, to rejoin (the Southington club).” What this article did not say was that the golf club in Cheshire continued, but under a different name and ownership. During the 1940s, the golf course continued as the Cheshire Golf Club. Doris Black, now a resident of Elim Park retirement community, remembers seeing the lions outside the red clubhouse. She recalls that she had great fun playing the small nine-hole course. One tee, down in a hollow with little visibility, had a bell on a post that had to be rung before teeing off because you couldn’t see the golfers ahead!