EATON — On Saturday, July 23, the Eaton Country Club celebrated its centennial anniversary with a special tournament followed by an open house for the public.
Following the scramble, entertainment which included Scottish Bagpipe music, and an open house welcomed the public in to help celebrate.
Several proclamations recognizing the club’s centennial were presented, including presentations from Eaton Mayor Joe Renner, State Rep. Rodney Creech. Preble County Historical Society Executive Director Lisa White also recognized the 100-year anniversary.
Longtime ECC member John Kramer welcomed everyone to the open house and introduced the members of the committee who helped make the event possible.
White presented ECC President Barry Harper with a plaque recognizing the club’s centennial.
“We started the historic plaque program to dedicate plaques to important historic buildings in our county,” White said. “Those that are not on the National Registry, that are not major museums, but just buildings in the county that are really important and have a lot of historical relevance.”
Mayor Renner presented a proclamation recognizing the history of the club. “I told a few people earlier, growing up in this town, I’ve lived within two blocks of this course basically my whole life – I never played, but spent a lot of time on the grounds, and when I grew up and got a job in law enforcement, I realized I probably should have been arrested for trespassing,” Renner joked before presenting the proclamation. “We’d like to congratulate the Country Club on their anniversary. It has been a mainstay of Eaton entertainment for years,” he added.
“What an honor it is to be here at the 100-year anniversary,” Rep. Creech noted before presenting a proclamation on behalf of the Ohio House of Representatives. “So many memories of this place and I couldn’t imagine Eaton without it.”
In sharing the club’s extensive history, Kramer highlighted Nipper Campbell’s role. “Nipper Campbell is given credit for designing Eaton Country Club, and rightfully so,” Kramer explained. “He came over from Dayton and rebuilt our greens to the present elevation and seeded them with bent grass. It was mostly done in 1928 and Nipper’s job was to build up the greens.”
Campbell’s grandson, Colin Campbell was in attendance and also spoke during the open house.
“Nipper would really be proud of this, just the tradition and enthusiasm that everyone has,” Colin Campbell said in sharing his grandfather’s story. “What a legacy to have something like this.”
Born in Troon, Scotland in 1879, Alec “Nipper” Campbell came to the U.S. at the age of 19 to become the head professional at Brookline, Massachusetts’ The Country Club. In 1919 he became the head professional at Losantiville Country Club in Cincinnati, and from there moved on to the same position at Dayton’s Miami Valley Golf Club in 1925.
In 1927, Campbell directed construction of Meadowbrook Country Club and Fairmont’s Madden course. He is credited with designing the Moraine Country Club in Dayton as well. According to the Ohio Golf Association Hall of Fame, Campbell was also a very accomplished player having missed qualifying for the U.S. Open only four times in the 34-year period from 1900-1934.
The event closed with a members-only reception Saturday evening to celebrate the members’ many years of dedication.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr.