KASLO GOLF CLUB HISTORICAL NOTES / RAINBOW GOLF TOURNAMENT
Sources: Newspapers: The Vancouver Daily Province, The Vancouver Sun, The Nelson Daily News, and The Creston Review. Book: Kaslo The First 100 Years by George McCuaig. We did not have access to the Kootenanian News published in Kaslo. The local Kaslo newspaper would definitely supply valuable information not found in the other publications.
This article does not intend to provide a one hundred year history of the nine- hole Kaslo Golf Club. Rather the article intends to pay tribute to the small group of golfers who formed the Kaslo GC in 1923. This dedicated group managed to raise the funds and create the enthusiasm in the town to survive the Great Depression years. Many golf courses in BC were not as fortunate. In the Kootenays, for example, Balfour New Denver, Windermere, and Invermere failed due to financial difficulties in the late 1930’s.
In the early 1920’s as the British Columbia economy flourished, the citizens had more disposable income to spend. Many began to purchase automobiles enabling them to travel throughout the province. To accommodate the travelling public auto parks appeared in many small villages. To encourage the travellers to remain in their village one more night enterprising citizens encouraged their village councils to construct a golf course. “We wish to encourage tourists to remain in our town for one more day so they could enjoy our beautiful golf course.”
In 1922 a group gathered to investigate the possibility of introducing golf to Kaslo. Led by James Anderson, the mayor, and Frank Rouleau, the editor of the Kootenanian News with encouragement from members of the Nelson Golf & Country Club, a small group decided to proceed with the idea. Publisher Rouleau, and John Bunyan, a Nelson customs agent, pointed out the benefits a golf course would be to the City of Kaslo. The Kaslo group quickly laid out a rudimentary course. “Golf enthusiasts are spending much time practicing on the lake shore these days and it is quite possible that when the Kaslo GC links are ready for use there will be some stars in the new club” Nelson Daily Times April 6, 1922. Research indicates this rudimentary course existed until the new Kaslo course opened in 1923.
The Kaslo Golf & Country Club Ltd. officially formed on December 3rd, 1922 with a $25,000 capitalization and shares selling for $100 each. The original Board of Directors included: James Anderson, the Kaslo Mayor, President; Dr. D. Barclay, local physician, Vice President; Frank Rouleau, owner of the Kootenanian News, Secretary/ Treasurer; and W.H. Burgess, accountant, Auditor. Other directors are: Henry Giegerich, mine owner, mine manager and hardware owner; A.J. Curie, Shepherd Mines manger; E.H. Latham, hotel owner; S.H. Green, Silver Bell Mine manager and hardware partner; and Ronald Hewat, government agent.”
The golf addicts approached the city for permission to construct a nine-hole golf course on twenty acres of bench land on the south side of the Kaslo River. Because the land formed part of the park reserve, the City needed to pass a formal bylaw granting permission to use the land to the golfing enthusiasts. City Council drafted Bylaw 198 “for permission to grant a 10- year lease to the golf group”. Bylaw 198 passed on October 1, 1923 but was backdated to December 31, 1922. “The lease extended for ten years, rent $1 per year with an option to purchase for $1250.”In a letter to the Canadian Golfer Magazine May 1928 Secretary A.W. Anderson described their course; “We are justly proud of our delightful town. It is a fisherman’s paradise, and the famous Kaslo cherries are grown here. Our golf course is very well situated on a rise above the town, giving a splendid view of the surrounding country and is on the main highway from Nelson.”
The course is constructed on bench land over looking the lake
Simultaneously the golfers formed the Kaslo Golf Club Ltd. The organizers hoped to sell 250 shares at $100 each to finance the endeavour. By Sept 7, 1922 seventy subscribers had joined the company. With growing confidence the Bylaw would eventually pass, the Directors employed Mr. William Dunn, the superintendent of Burns and Sons in Nelson, to survey the fairways. Perhaps he had Scottish roots. Edward Latham, owner of the King Edward Hotel in Kaslo, supervised the construction. Even though no lease existed for the property the organizers commenced clearing in July 1923. When work ceased in November 1923 workers had completed five fairways and partially prepared four more. “Work has been completed for the year on the Kaslo course. Robert McBride, the local manger for the Wood Valance Hardware Store in Nelson and active member of the Nelson G&CC, voiced high praise for the course at Kaslo. The fairways are cut right through the small trees. Five holes have been ploughed, harrowed, and seeded for a total distance of 1600 yards. Another four fairways have been cut, slashed, and burned. The new course is only a ten-minute walk from town and situated on a bench about 200 feet higher with a remarkable fine view of the main lake. McBride believes the course is very much like the famous Burquitlam course at the coast. Credit must be given to the local golfer John G. Bunyan the local golfer who two years ago pointed out the great opportunities afforded Kaslo for the construction of a golf course.” Nelson Daily News October 26, 1923.
This scorecard is from the 1960’s. It is unclear how the course expanded from the original 5 hole layout. Our guess is the horizontal holes were added to the orignal 5 holes. Also the club house may have been moved to the present location in the 1940’s
At the Annual General Meeting on March 21, 1924 President Anderson reported: “The club planned to fence property and erect a clubhouse.” Because the success of the venture depended largely on the quality of the fairways and greens “the club installed a watering system.” The course officially opened on July 9th, 1924. Club President James Anderson presented an overview of the scope of the project to the sixty guests. The guest list included visitors from Boston, Lethbridge, Cranbrook, Victoria and various towns in the vicinity. He outlined how “the growth of the club from a mere idea in the minds of a few citizens to the present well laid out course and the clubhouse with every convenience. He pointed out the undertaking, reviewing the magnitude of the work and the high cost to the original shareholders. He outlined the work still to be done before the course could be considered complete.” Nelson Daily News July 16, 1924. Mrs James Anderson drove the first ball. “Dues $15 for men and $10 for ladies. A green fee for visitors was $1 per day”
On October 24, 1924 using five playable fairways, the Kaslo Golf Club conducted its first official tournament. Twenty members participated. A large black bear followed the golfers during their four-day tournament. The winners of the three events included: men’s singles J. Kent; women’s singles Mrs James Anderson, and doubles J Kent and Mrs. Anderson. (Notice the correlation with the tennis terminology.)
On April 19th, 1925 the grounds committee let a contract to a group of twenty-five local Doukobors to finish the balance of the four fairways. Two holes opened in 1925 and the remaining two in 1926. To finance the additional work for up maintaining the four new holes, the Board raised the dues $20 men, $15 ladies. and daily 50 cent green fees.
Shortly after his arrival, on June 12, 1925 Bob Smith, BC and Calgary professional golfer, recorded the first hole-in-one for the new course. It appears Smith only remained for one season. The did not hire another professional until the 1950’s. The club did hire a caretaker/greenskeeper to work in the clubhouse and on the course. In August 1925 Col H.H. Armstead, an American mining engineer with claims near Kaslo, donated “two handsome sterling silver trophies – 18-hole match play for the men’s club championship and 9-hole match play for the women’s club championship. The first winners included – Mr. E.H. Latham and Mrs. J Hamilton.
In April 1926 James Anderson, the club’s guiding light, donated a trophy for annual competition between the Kaslo, Trail, and Nelson golf clubs. For many years this event opened the golfing season at Kaslo. In April 1928 R.H. Graves recorded the first hole in one by a member on Hole # 2.In 1928 Kaslo joined the Nelson and Trail golf clubs to form the West Kootenay Men’s Golf Association. The James Anderson trophy formerly used for interclub competition became the Men’s Individual Championship trophy for the West Kootenay Men’s Golf Association. Similarly in 1933 the women of these clubs united to form the West Kootenay Ladies Golf Association. New Denver and Slocan golf clubs joined the association in 1933.
It is unclear exactly when the golf club purchased the neighbouring Holmes Orchard comprising 7.4 acres. In a letter from founder James Anderson, he believed the club purchased the property in a quick claim deed when the property came on the market as a tax sale. This probably occurred in the late 1920’s. In 1928 the women’s group donated $50 for the additional upkeep for the course. The club quickly purchased the additional property to expand the length of the holes. Unfortunately the research does not provide any hole descriptions with yardages and pars for each hole. The 1960’s scorecard provided for this article shows the layout for the course, the yardages, and the par for each hole. The cross holes for #4 and #5 probably existed from the original layout.
The yardages from the 1960’s scorecard.
From the 1940’s under the supervision of Edward Latham the club undertook several renovations and improvements to the sand greens, the approaches to the new greens and a new watering system. The upgrade to the water system showed the close relationship between the club and the town council. The fact Lathom served as Kaslo’s Mayor from 1941 – 1945 probably assisted the club. The town supplied the labour and the club supplied the materials for the new three-inch line from the school connection to the golf course. Members and volunteers supplied the piping and labour to install the new water system on the course.
The Dedicated Members
The Kaslo GC can trace their longevity to a group of dedicated golfers from the 1920’s. These early members occupied prominent positions in the community in all facets of daily life. The club’s survival through the challenging thirties can be directly related with the partnership James Anderson created between the club and the town council. The list of early members included: James and Hattie Anderson, Frank Rouleau, Henry and Nora Giegerich plus daughter Elizabeth, Ronald and Mary Hewat, John Skillicorn, Edward Latham and brother Francis, Hamilton Stubbs, F.S. Chandler and Allen and Electra Anderson. Except for James Anderson these residents resided in the area until their deaths. Many are buried in the local Kaslo cemetery.
James and Hattie Anderson arrived in Kaslo around 1902. Within one year James assumed the managerial position for the Ruth Mines until the family left for Vancouver in December 1929. During this period James served the community as Mayor for seven years (1916, 1917,1918, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1929). Although James had Scottish roots there is no indication he played golf before he arrived in Kaslo. When the Anderson’s moved to Vancouver they did not play golf. In Vancouver, James acted as the secretary for the Sheep Creek Gold Mines Limited until he retired in the early 1950’s.
Henry Giegerich arrived in Kaslo in the early 1896. He opened hardware stores in Kaslo, Sandon, Ainsworth and Three Flats. At the same time Hamilton Byers opened his similar store. Around 1905 Samual Byers, Hamilton Byers and Henry Grier joined into a partnership to operate the Hardware/ grocery stores. The family spent their entire lives living in the region. He along with partners Green and Byers they opened the local hardware store. Over the many years Henry owned Montezuma mines and managed Maetstrreo Mines. Daughter Elizabeth served the hardware/general stores as their bookkeeper. Ronald and Mary Hewat served the club in all facets of the operation. Ronald worked for the BC Government as their agent, tax collector, magistrate and administrator. John Skillicorn formed a partnership with Clarke. Mrs. Skillicorn and Mrs. FS Chandler dominated the women’s championships prior to 1940. Fred Chandler managed the local city power plant. Edward Lathom and Sebastian Reuter arrived in the early around 1902. The two partners during their lifetime owned the Maze Hotel, the Central Hotel and the King George Hotel. Several of their employees became active members in the golf club. John Hamilton Stubbs and Dorothy immigrated to Canada in 1907 and immediately purchased a farm in the Kaslo region. In the 1930’s he became the Kootenay Customs agent. The census document list Allen as a “sub mining recorder”.
Congratulations to the Kaslo Golf Club and the many dedicated members and volunteers who have enabled the nine hole golf course to survive for one hundred years. The museum is constantly searching for memorabilia associated with our early golf clubs.
Contact us at email: firstname.lastname@example.org
KASLO RAINBOW FESTIVAL/RAINBOW CUP CHAMPIONS
Rainbow Trophy (1948)
Tournament usually held Mid July.
When the West Kootenay golf clubs began holding local tournament in their towns such as the Nelson Open, the Slocan Open at New Denver, the Trail Open, and the Wood Valance Open at Kimberley, the Kaslo Golf Club began hosting the Rainbow Cup competition in 1948.
YEAR MEN’S CHAMPION WOMEN’S CHAMPION
1948 Roy Stone
1949 Harry Donaldson
1950 Reg Stone
1951 Roy Stone
1952 Reg Stone
1953 John Leschuk Mrs. TH Weldon
1955 Art Donaldson Mrs. E.E. Perkins
1956 Roy Stone Mrs. Jack Salter
1960 Bill Taylor Mrs. Ruby Stone
1961 Roy Stone Nancy Sutherland
1962 Vern Miller Mrs. Ruby Stone
1963 Bernie Clarkson Wanda Johnson
1964 Roy Stone Wanda Johnson
1966 Verne Miller Elsie Bavington
1967 Reg Stone Rene Perkins
1968 W. Apostoliuk Elsie Bavington
1969 Reg Stone
We would like to complete this champions list.
Kaslo Golf Club Tournament Records
Kaslo Golf Club Presidents
James Anderson 1922 – 1929
Henry Giegerich 1930 – 1934
E.H. Latham 1935 – 1938
Ronald Hewat 1939 – 1940
E.H. Latham 1941 – 1945
Dr. Paul Kumagel 1946 – 1947
E.S. Aldous 1948 – 1952
Roy E. Green 1953
L.H. Garland 1954
William V. Drayton 1955
Bob Jones 1962 1963
Colonel H.H. Armstead Trophies (2)
Men’s Club Championship
1925 E. H. Latham
1926 A.W. Anderson
1927 A.W. Anderson
1929 R.H. Graves
1931 R.L. Skillicorn
1932 James A. Fraser
1933 E.H. Latham
1934 J.A. Fraser
1935 V.C. Fields
1936 C.J. White
1937 C.J. White
1938 C.J. White
1948 B. Clark
1949 George Norton
1953 Louis Garland
Women’s Club Champion
1925 Mrs. J.H. Stubbs
1926 Mrs. J. H. Stubbs
1927 Mrs. James Anderson
1928 Mrs. F.S. Chandler
1929 Mrs. F. S. Chandler
1931 Mrs. F.S. Chandler
1932 Mrs F.S. Chandler
1933 Mrs. J.J. Skillicorn
1934 Mrs. F.S. Chandler
1935 Mrs. J. J. Skillicorn
1936 Mrs. J.J. Skillicorn
1937 Mrs. J.J. Skillicorn
1938 Mrs. A.W. Bavington
1948 Mrs. C. R. Fahrni
1949 Mrs. Eleanor South
1953 Mrs. Eleanor South
Men’s Handicap Championship
Kootenanian Cup donated by Frank Rouleau, the newspaper owner
1929 Roy Skillicorn
1931 Frank S. Rouleau
1932 Ernie Hacking
1933 H. Giegerich
1934 Gus Carney Jr. (14 years old)
1935 R. Fraser
1936 C.J. White
1937 R.H. Graves
1938 Donald Roy
1939 C.J. White
1949 C.J. White
1954 J.G. Sinclair
Women’s Handicap Championship
Gordon Bowker Rose Bowl Cup
1929 Miss Giegerich
1931 Mrs. F.S. Chandler
1932 Miss Elizabeth Giegerich
1933 Miss Margaret Smith
1934 Mrs. J.J. Skillicorn
1935 Mrs. J. H. Stubbs
1936 Miss Elizabeth Giegerich
1937 Mrs. F.S. Chandler
1938 Miss Sutherland
1948 Mrs. Eleanor South
1949 Mrs. Eleanor South
1954 Mrs. Eleanor South
Graves Cup Chandler Cup
1934 Mrs. F.S. Chandler & E. H. Latham
1935 Mrs. J. J.Skillicorn & R. H. Graves
1936 Mrs. F.S. Chandler & G. Carney
1937 Mrs. E.M. Sandilands & F.S. Chandler
1938 Miss Katherine Gillis & R.H. Graves
1948 Mrs. R.D. Gardner & C.J. White
John Keen Memorial Trophy
1934 Archie Reuter
1935 Archie Reuter
1936 Charles Webster
1937 Archie Reuter
Irwin Cup Men’s Best Ball
1949 C.J. White & G.M. Doan