Government

Shady Rest Clubhouse Reopens to the Community in Scotch Plains

Thurman SImmons, Sylvia Hicks and Charles Green celebrated the reopening of the Shady Rest on Friday, Oct. 9. Credits: John Mooney
Scotch Plains Mayor Kevon Glover, Township Manager Al Mirabella and supporters cut the ribbon to officially reopened the Shady Rest Clubhouse to the public. Credits: John Mooney
Shady Rest Clubhouse Credits: John Mooney
Mayor Kevin Glover with Portia Checchio and her son, Dr. James Checchio, at the reopening of the Shady Rest. Credits: John Mooney
Caroline Perkins, Steve Steinbergher and Bill McClintock at the reopening of the Shady Rest Clubhouse for use by the Scotch Plains Golden Agers. Credits: John Mooney
Preservation architect Barton Ross presented a detailed report on the Shady Rest to the Scotch Plains Township Council in August 2014. Credits: John Mooney
John Shippen, America's first golf pro.

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- After years of debate about its future, the Shady Rest Clubhouse at Scotch Hills Golf Course reopened to the Scotch Plains Golden Agers and other groups on Friday, Oct. 9.

Among the attendees (pictured) at the ribbon-cutting event were David Bierman, president of the Scotch Plains Historical Society, Nina and Tom Donatelli, Dr. James Checchio, Judy and Pete Terry, Thurman Simmons, Mayor Kevin Glover, Township Manager Al Mirabella, Councilwoman Rose Checchio, Steve Steinbergher, Charles Green, and Sylvia Hicks.

The clubhouse, originally a farm house built before the American Revolution, has fallen into disrepair during the past decade. In 2013, the Scotch Plains Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance appropriating $138,163 for the “Undertaking of Professional Studies of and Various Repairs and Improvements to the Scotch Hills Golf Clubhouse."

Sign Up for E-News

During that meeting, the late former Mayor Mauro Checchio spoke of how the property needed to be “treated with reverence” and informed the council that when he was mayor in the 50s and 60s there was a conscious move to preserve it.  “You have a jewel here,” he said.

In August 2014, architect Barton Ross made a presentation at a Council meeting to update on the extent of damages caused by a leaky roof and severe weather during the past few winters.

In his remarks on Friday, Mayor Kevin Glover credited Mauro Checchio, who passed away earlier this year, with educating him about the rich history of the Shady Rest and said that on his deathbed the former mayor told him, "Don't quit on this."

"A promise made is a promise kept," Glover proudly exclaimed.

"I'm overjoyed," said Sylvia Hicks, a leader in the effort to preserve the Shady Rest. "With all the political opposition, I never thought I'd see a new roof. There are no more patches or band aids."

Hicks looks forward to bringing important memorabilia, including John Shippen's trophies and golf clubs back to the building. They are currently in the possession of the PGA, which will give the treasures back to Scotch Plains, where they will be permanently on display. Hicks also looks forward to hosting jazz nights and other music programs at the Shady Rest in a nod to the building's rich heritage.

"We are standing on a foundation of history that cannot be replaced," said Hicks.

The Shady Rest was America's first black-owned golf course and was also a popular social club for some of the biggest entertainers of the Jazz Age, including Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. For many years was the home of John Shippen, America's first golf pro.

To learn more about the history of the Shady Rest, click here

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

VIDEO: Union County Freeholders Recognize Westfield Family for 'Wall of Love'

March 25, 2017

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Freeholders held their regular meeting tonight, and a special resolution was introduced to recognize and commend Westfield residents Valerie Latona and David Contract for building their "Wall of Love".

Latona had posted her first “Love trumps hate” sign before the Presidential election, and it was vandalized.  Her family put up a ...

Photos: NHL’s Centennial Fan Exhibit Makes Stop in Newark

March 25, 2017

NEWARK, NJ –  Hockey fans of all ages enjoyed the first day of a two-day event on Saturday afternoon by participating in a variety of festivities at The Prudential Center’s Championship Plaza, at the corner of Mulberry and Market Streets in Newark as the NHL celebrates its centennial with an interactive traveling fan experience prior to the New Jersey Devils’ home game ...

Bright Lights, Big Difference

Every home has its own distinct personality and style. If the way we paint, furnish and treat windows in a home are like its clothing, then light fixtures are the jewelry. They sparkle and shine, set the mood, and help us to see everything else.

Light fixtures can add great impact as the focal point of a room. They can be as creative and interesting as works of art. Some truly ARE works of ...

In Opposition to the American Health Care Act

March 26, 2017

Dear Editor:

For over 48 years I have protested unfairness, war and inequality.  Over the years I have rarely felt as horrified as I do when contemplating the American Health Care Act. After seven years of promising us a better, more comprehensive, less expensive alternative to the ACA, the GOP has presented the American people with a bill that potentially leaves millions uninsured ...

How Can I Build a Better Relationship with My Child?

March 20, 2017

One way to help children belong is to focus on building positive relationships with them. Strong positive relationships can go a long way toward helping children learn to cooperate and be responsible. Four ingredients of strong relationships are:

Showing respect
Having fun
Giving encouragement
Showing love

Parents often complain that their children do not respect them.

Greta's Run Early Registration Ends 3/28

March 27, 2017

Greta’s Run early registration is $25 and ends March 28. Only early registrants are guaranteed race shirts. The entry fee becomes $30 on March 29. Register online for Greta’s Run or learn more here.

Greta’s Run is Sunday, April 23, 2017, at Roosevelt Intermediate School on 301 Clark St. in Westfield, NJ. The course is USATF certified and sanctioned. Prizes and ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, March 28, 7:00 PM

Clark Public Library, Clark

The Italian American Museum

Arts & Entertainment Government

Wed, March 29, 2:00 PM

Temple Emanu-El, Westfield

National "This is Hunger" Exhibit Tour in ...

Education Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_da7af9902b013e70ea14_raw_bar_wednesday

Wed, March 29, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant Bar Private Event Space, Scotch Plains

Raw Bar Wednesday

Food & Drink