Playing golf first began in 1898, when three men, prompted by Mrs. McKenzie, prepared three holes in a pasture between the Town Hall and the lake. Improvement the next year increased the course to five holes, each provided with a tomato can hole. Not satisfied with this progress Arthur Wheeler and his loyal friends laid out a new course on Tolman farm land where the club is today. It had been, and continued to be, pasture for cows. Furthermore, the surface was rough with hundreds of rocks, moss and shrubs of substantial size. These provided numerous devilish hazards. Nevertheless, by 1903 there were twenty-six stalwart members. They built a small clubhouse in 1906 with a small fund of $50. Members are said to have played every day but Sunday.
Soon came a time when their skills were such that they sought outside competition. The first match was scheduled with St. Johnsbury reached by walking to Greensboro Bend, taking a train to St. Johnsbury, and a bus to the golf course. Later matches were with Barre and Montpelier. All of this was great fun and stimulated camaraderie lasting until today.
It was not until 1908 that the club built a tennis court, and added a second in 1914. Better courts around the lake made tennis at the club of little consequence until a renewed effort in the mid 1930’s brought the game in near popularity with golf. But this occurred only after winning a battle with reluctant golfers. Since the War both sports have thrived along with numerous other activities provided for children, and social gatherings for everyone – picnics, dances, card parties, and of course the Annual Meeting. With all of this it naturally occurred to many that the club needed a much larger clubhouse.
During the latter part of the century the membership became so large that there were tournaments in tennis and golf almost every week, so that the pioneering spirit of competitive games played elsewhere has tended to cease. Even so, all outsiders are welcome to play on club facilities (with modest charges). In the past decade the golf course has greatly improved in quality under the care of professionals, and this is true of the tennis facility. New land purchases have provided space for practicing golf, and the tennis courts now number seven. There are currently 350 club memberships.
No club is perfect, but Mountain View comes closer to it than most. Its good quality arises from an honest desire to have a friendly atmosphere undisturbed by overbearing regulations, a reasonable code of conduct, informal attire, and a genuine desire of all members to help in carrying on the numerous summer events. It would surprise the founders if they could see what their early efforts brought forth after 100 years.
In 2005, the club built a new clubhouse with cedar clapboards and deep porches.
For further information about the History of the Club, its Regulations, and its entry requirements: inquire at the Pro Shop or call 802-533-7477.
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