Thursday, 18 September 2014

Brightwood Golf and Country Club 100th

Old Brightwood Clubhouse postcard:
Photo Courtesy of Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, 2014.
This year, 2014, marks the 100th Anniversary of  Dartmouth's Brightwood Golf & Country Club. Brightwood is located on old Mount Thom farmland, smack-dab in the middle of our beautiful city and features wonderful views of Halifax Harbour. Even if you are not a golfer, you may have explored some of Brightwood's hilly 18 holes to go skating, tobogganing, dog-walking, fireworks watching, etc. The current clubhouse hosts numerous social events including wedding receptions, NYE parties, book launches (my father, Martin Jones, chose Brightwood as the venue for the release of Hockey's Home), silent auctions, you name it. For those of you who do golf at Brightwood, this course is convenient (I used to carry my clubs home down Maple Street and many people live or work nearby), challenging (don't get me started...) and classic (you feel that you are playing somewhere with a real history, minus the modern clubhouse). Since I am definitely more of a historian than a golfer, I am writing to provide you with background information on early Brightwood. Be sure to also consult Official Brightwood Website - brief club history,Brightwood's 100th Anniversary Video) and these two Chronicle Herald articles (;


In August 1914, then Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden hit the first ball opening the Brightwood Golf & Country Club, a nine hole course at that time. . . .
The original nine hole course was designed by Willie Park Jr, a Scotsman and a two time British Open Champion. In Canada, he designed several golf courses including the Royal Montreal Golf Club.In 1921, the legendary Donald Ross considered one of the best and most influential architects of all-time had a plan that he presented to the Brightwood Golf & Country Club that included a second nine holes as well as a redesign of the original nine holes. This plan was adopted and completed in the mid 1920’s and the design changes remain the same today.
Page 131, John Martin's Story of Dartmouth: In 1818 John Wolfe purchased from the Creighton heirs, the 36-acre farm in the wilderness of Mount Thom, whither he had hewn a trail on settling there in 1806. The family cleared and cultivated that land for over 60 years. Adjoining their farm on the on the east was that of Henry Keeler, who had come there in 1801. The Wolfe homestead stood quite near the location of the present No. 12 green on Brightwood golf links.

Page 172, Story of Dartmouth (discussing the year 1830): There was also for sale a 50-acre Tremain lot bordering Dartmouth Common on what is now the upper side of Victoria Road extending from about Brightwood Avenue to Boland Road. A plan of the area shows that School Street divides the property which has one lone house standing near the present southeast corner of Slayter Street and Gladstone Avenue. The description says that the land was "partly improved, but mostly studded with a growth of spruce, birch, beech and oak trees".
The plan divides the land on the southern side of School Street into four oblong-shaped lots of about five acres each, while four others on the opposite side contain about seven acres. The whole of the estate, which comprised a great part of the present golf greens, was called "Abbeville" probably after Mrs. Tremain whose Christian name was Abigail.

Page 304, Story of Dartmouth (discussing 1846): Michael Lahie purchased for (pounds)60 a five-acre section of Tremain's Abbeville estate. (The dwelling opposite Brightwood at 222 School St., is thought to be the original Lahey house).

Page 379, Story of Dartmouth (discussing 1869): Mount Thom near the present Brightwood Club continued to be a popular spot for picnics of Halifax Sunday School classes.

Page 511, Story of Dartmouth (discussing 1914): The Brightwood Golf Club under President I. W. Vidito opened a 9-hole golf course with a grand celebration in July. Unaware of any impending peril, the Banook Club Committee went ahead with plans for a Natal Day celebration (which was never held), and already had ordered the regular supply of fireworks.

Photo (Brightwood Score Card) Courtesy Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, 2014.

Photo (Brightwood Golf and Country Club, circa 1920) Courtesy Nova Scotia Archives, 2014.

Photo (Golfing at Brightwood, Dartmouth) Courtesy Nova Scotia Archives, 2014.

Photo (Jeanette Shatford and caddies at Brightwood, circa. 1920) Courtesy Nova Scotia Archives, 2014.

Photo (Golfing at Brightwood) Courtesy Nova Scotia Archives, 2014.

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