With the Birchbank Golf Club now open and under a new owner, it’s a good time to look back on the history of this treasured location for this week’s Trail Blazers feature.
Sarah Benson-Lord of the Trail Museum and Archives explains where it all started.
The Birchbank land was first owned by famous Trail surveyor JD Anderson, whose ranch and orchards occupied the landscape between 1910 and the 1930s.
The property eventually went to Cominco and was leased by the Rossland-Trail Country Club until about 20 years ago.
The Birchbank course itself was first developed in 1963.
Two years later, on Friday April 9, 1965, the members of the Rossland-Trail Country Club celebrated the opening of their new clubhouse at Birchbank.
This contemporary structure was designed by Trail architect Allan McCulloch. For the big day, management made sure the pro shop was well stocked for all to admire.
Welcoming 300 members to the event, Club President JB Biker and Ladies President Ms. JM Cameron congratulated the many locals who have worked tirelessly to see the ‘ultra-modern’ clubhouse come to fruition, with special mention to Reg Stone, Chairman of the Construction Committee.
At the time of the occurrence, the dining room furniture and lockers were not yet in place.
Despite these omissions, Ms Cameron said: “There is an air of excitement here tonight as the members meet for the first time. All members feel a personal pride in its completion.
The famous Stone brothers, Reg and Roy, although known for their curling exploits, were also active members of the club.
After 10 years as a greens keeper and pro on the course, Reg left his post in 1949 to assume the role of arena manager and eventually superintendent of the Trail-Tadanac park council.
Despite his busy work, Reg found time to design the Birchbank course, while Roy became the resident golf professional.
Reg’s contribution to golf in the community was recognized on April 30, 1969, when the second nine-hole section of the course was officially opened.
The evening, dubbed “Reg Stone Appreciation Night,” was a tribute to his 30 years of dedication to the golf community and to the Rossland-Trail Country Club.
In April 2022, the Rossland-Trail Country Club will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Benson-Lord encourages anyone with organizational documents or photos to contact the Trail Museum or Rossland.
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