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Joe Bausch

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Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« on: November 25, 2008, 04:07:18 PM »
It was in early 1925 that J.E. Ford of the North American newspaper did a rather long review of Pine Valley.  I present this to GCA now as many people have hunkered down for the season and might like a really long, excellent article.  There are many things of note in the article, particularly about how the land was discovered, which is in the first column about 2/3 of the way down.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 06:13:18 PM by Joe Bausch »
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:  https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Joe Bausch

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Re: early (March 1925) comprehensive review of PV by J.E. Ford
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 04:22:07 PM »
Just today I received a copy of "Pine Valley Golf Club.  A Chronicle", from 1982, written by long time PV member Warner Shelly.  Near the very beginning of the book there is a section called "The Beginning" which includes these three paragraphs:

Like most great achievements, Pine Valley is the result of a very simple idea, in this case:  "Let us have a golf course within easy distance of Philadelphia where we will be able to play almost any month in the year."  That called for soil, water and weather conditions similar to that of the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey rather than the topographical and climate conditions on the other side of the Delaware River in Pennsylvania.

     In the fall of 1912 a few enthusiastic golfing men of the Philadelphia district got together to discuss the building of just such a course.  Fortunately, George Crump, of Merchantville, New Jersey, was one of that group.  He accepted the assignment of finding a suitable site.  It was not long after that he wrote to his friends:  "I think I have landed on something pretty fine.  It is 14 miles below Camden, at a stop called Sumner, on the Reading R.R. to Atlantic City a sandy soil, with rolling ground, among the Pines."

     Within a few days a committee was sent to inspect the site.  At once, it approved Crump's selection enthusiastically.  Some reporting by the press at the time mentioned Crump had seen the property from the train.  But there is proof that in fact he knew the grounds by tramping through them with his gun and dogs while hunting for small game with which the property was well blessed.  A photo of Crump resting amid the pines in 1909 is testimony of that fact.  It could be that, in tramping through the grounds, he saw more of the trees and shrubs than the forest and perhaps only realized the rolling nature and the possibilities when he saw it at a greater distance from the train.  In any case, he found a great location for the building of a golf course, no matter how.
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:  https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Mike_Cirba

Re: early (March 1925) comprehensive review of PV by J.E. Ford
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 04:46:07 PM »
Joe,

Both of these versions seem to indicate that Crump originally found the land hunting on horseback, which is also what "Joe Bunker" originally wrote in the Philly paper when the first 11 holes opened.

Yet, Tillinghast's version initial version of the story is that Crump saw the land via train ride to Atlantic City.

I've never seen these two accounts to be necessarily mutually exclusive...more likely it was a sequence of events where perhaps he saw the land hunting first and then realized the larger scope and possibilities stepping out of the forest and looking at the trees from the train, as the article suggested.

There is also no reason I can see that Tillinghast couldn't have reported both accounts at different times if they were both true.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 04:55:29 PM by MikeCirba »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 06:24:35 PM »
Joe,

Awesome story with an even better title!  ;)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 09:37:16 PM by MikeCirba »

TEPaul

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 07:42:31 PM »
Joe:

I'll go over that Ford article again but in my opinion that article is very likely off a really in-depth interview with Perrin by Ford (which was over seven years after Crump's death).

As to when Crump first discovered the site, I'm not sure how important that really is. What probably is important to us is when he first began to look at it with the idea of building a course there. From Tillinghast, one might conclude that Crump began looking at it for a course in early 1912 or even earlier because fairly early in 1913 Tillinghast reported that he had known about it (apparently for a potential golf course) for over a year but not until then (early 1913) did Crump tell him he could report it.

Crump apparently returned from abroad in Dec 1910 with every intention of building a golf course but he did look at some other sites other than Pine Valley's.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 08:05:32 PM by TEPaul »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 08:47:12 PM »
Tom,

It's been awhile since I looked at it but I don't recall Jim Finegan's PV book going into that level of detail about how the land was found.   Does the Shelley book?

You're likely correct about Perrin...he seems to be a running theme through much of the origins of both Merion and Pine Valley, as well as the "press" accounts, as he played the "new" Merion course with "Far and Sure" during his inagural visit.   Strangely, the pictures of what seemed to be Perrin and Hugh Willougby also seemed to show up in the American Cricketer article by Tillinghast!  ;)

TEPaul

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 09:49:21 PM »
"Tom,
It's been awhile since I looked at it but I don't recall Jim Finegan's PV book going into that level of detail about how the land was found.   Does the Shelley book?"

Mike Cirba:

Not even close. Neither of those books even attempts to go into any kind of comparative analysis of the various newspaper and periodical reports of when or how Crump found Pine Valley's site for a golf course. And if one really thinks about it, it probably isn't that important anyway. What it's about on here is just another investigative research game on this website. Crump hadn't even considered architecturally what to do with that site that became Pine Valley at that point anyway. What is important, or at least what's important, in my opinion, is what he did when he first began trying to plan a golf course on that site.

Another thing I think is extremely important to consider with Pine Valley and its site and Crump back then is that he initially bought about 185 acres but Sumner Ireland owned about a thousand acres there and Crump could have bought or swapped or added to it any way he wanted to. It's also instructive to know that in 1917 Crump bought an additional 400 acres of Sumner Ireland's land!  ;) The reason he gave for buying that additional land would probably blow some people's minds. I've put that on here before but most seem to miss it!  ;)

Mike_Cirba

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 10:09:39 PM »
Tom,

I'm not sure I'd phrase it as an "investigative research game";  I think what we're trying to do is piece together a number of accounts to see how they interrelate and also see what stories coincide by what players of the time and see what conclusions might be drawn, if any.

I also think that a number of these stories add fleshy persona to dry facts.

For instance, I'd never heard or read prior that Crump and Perrin took a train ride over there, and then literally hacked their way up the hill to the present 8th tee, or how Crump examined his surroundings and then relayed to a somewhat skeptical Perrin that THIS WAS THE PLACE!

Not since Joseph Smith crossed over the Wasatch Mountain range and saw a flat high-desert plain with a big lake full of undrinkable saline water was such a seemingly incredulous statement so prophetic!  ;D


btw...Joe had a much more understated title to this thread, but I didn't think anyone would read it based on his understated Hoosier presentation, so the screaming Citizen Kane, Yellow Journalism, New York Post-like title is my doing.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 10:12:38 PM by MikeCirba »

Kalen Braley

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Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 10:15:49 PM »
MIke,

Get your fact straights...Joe Smith got killed back in Missouri.  Brigham Young did the march to Salt Lake and announced this is the place!!  ;D

Mike_Cirba

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 10:22:40 PM »
Dammit, Kalen...I'm trying to tell an interesting story here...stop interjecting inconvenient facts!    >:( ;)

TEPaul

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2008, 10:50:44 PM »
"For instance, I'd never heard or read prior that Crump and Perrin took a train ride over there, and then literally hacked their way up the hill to the present 8th tee, or how Crump examined his surroundings and then relayed to a somewhat skeptical Perrin that THIS WAS THE PLACE!"


Mike:

That sort of detail is interesting but I think what is most important to keep in mind here with Pine Valley is even though Crump and his friends had been thinking of something like this for perhaps 3-4 years previous, it really was Crump who pretty much did all the legwork to prepare for this project and maybe for up to three or so years pretty much on his own before actually introducing his friends to what he had found with the site of Pine Valley which he alone had probably been looking at on his own (among a few others) very carefully for perhaps as much as a year or two. It's also important to remember that he was the one who bought it. The basic idea was a collective one but the actual searching, learning abroad and vetting was pretty much Crump alone, I believe, and maybe for a few years. He introduced the site to his friends who'd been party to this general idea for a few years but when he did introduce them to the site, probably in the late summer or early fall of 1912, he was sure, not necessarily "them", that this was it.

"I think I have found something pretty fine."

Mike_Cirba

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2008, 10:52:54 PM »
Tom,

I would agree completely.

This was Crump's vision, singularly, even if it was germinated in some collective fashion.

The cool thing about the article from my perspective is how vividly the narrative makes that exact point!

TEPaul

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 11:03:50 PM »
"The cool thing about the article from my perspective is how vividly the narrative makes that exact point!"

That is precisely why I believe Ford's article was a really indepth interview with Perrin. If it wasn't I really don't believe Perrin would have allowed it to be printed. A reporter would not produce that kind of verbatim account without a really indepth interview with, and permission from the subject----in this case Perrin.

Mike_Cirba

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 11:19:00 PM »
Tom,

I'm wanting to throw a half-baked idea by you and wanted to hear your thoughts, but I've wondered in the case of Merion why a Robert Lesley or Howard Perrin were not part of the design committee.

Both of these men were connected at the highest levels of not only the Philadelphia golf world, but the US golf world.   They certainly both had travelled abroad and almost certainly had visited the best courses abroad.

From a business and industry perspective, both men were at the top echelon of American Society.

Yet, despite their collective experience(s), they were not directly involved in the design and construction of the new golf course at their club, Merion.

I have to wonder given the social mores and protocols of the time, if their elevated positions didn't put them in a class where such work would be somehow slightly beneath their attained stature?   I ask that mindful of the fact that industry-giants HG Lloyd and Rodman Griscom were also part of the golf committee with Wilson, Toulmin, and Francis, yet it also seems to me that perhaps neither had yet climbed to the preeminent social and/or golf-related status that Lesley and Perrin had already attained.

Could it be that much like a presidential administration, where the overall strategic direction is set at the top level, the detailed tactical work was handled just a notch below, so that the Merion Committee was actually made up of a team of potential heir apparents, but not the top accomplished royalty?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 11:20:53 PM by MikeCirba »

Tom Naccarato

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 11:34:58 PM »
S-P-E-C-U-L-A-T-E! S-P-E-C-U-L-A-T-E! S-P-E-C-U-L-A-T-E! S-P-E-C-U-L-A-T-E!

Now that I got that off of my chest....... ;)

Big Love,
Isn't it true that there are in fact sand dunes on the Idaho/Utah border?

Better take a train ride....

TEPaul

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2008, 08:44:12 AM »
"I have to wonder given the social mores and protocols of the time, if their elevated positions didn't put them in a class where such work would be somehow slightly beneath their attained stature?   I ask that mindful of the fact that industry-giants HG Lloyd and Rodman Griscom were also part of the golf committee with Wilson, Toulmin, and Francis, yet it also seems to me that perhaps neither had yet climbed to the preeminent social and/or golf-related status that Lesley and Perrin had already attained.

Could it be that much like a presidential administration, where the overall strategic direction is set at the top level, the detailed tactical work was handled just a notch below, so that the Merion Committee was actually made up of a team of potential heir apparents, but not the top accomplished royalty?"


Mike:

In my opinion, not at all; not in the slightest. Amongst those type of people back then I feel there was a remarkable amount of equalitarianism, certainly amongst themselves and within and through their clubs and its mentality. That in a sense was sort of the ethos of their culture---eg the idea of the gentleman and whatall that meant to them. If there were divisions of who performed various tasks I think the idea was that an entire group of them not sort of overload some important committee or whatever, if you get my drift. Lesley was the Golf Chairman at MCC when MCC moved their course to Ardmore, and this idea can be clearly seen in a few letters of both Hugh Wilson and Alan, his brother. They were both asked to serve on the same committees from time to time whether it was the USGA, the Green Committee of the USGA, Pine Valley, probably Merion and each always said it would not look right if two brothers overloaded the same committee and so they virtually never did serve on the same committee. I think that's the way it was in those club structures and their boards and committees et al. Lesley and Perrin did become powerful men in local and national golf administration but the likes of Lloyd and Griscom were incredibly powerful men in the board scheme of things. As such I think both served a particular purpose on the committees they served on and what they were responsible for on those committees. Lloyd was a truly powerful man in the world of finance and obviously he filled that bill for MCC in spades. Griscom was the best connection to his father's largese with MCC which is very well known.

Why did Hugh Wilson get tapped for that Committee he headed? He probably showed a willingness to do it and they understood that and obviously they felt he had the talent to do the job, despite what some today might think about what they call the fact he was a novice. Crump had to start somewhere too, so did Fownes and Leeds and others like them, and so they just did.

It may not be much different than why they told me or got me to do the Ardrossan project for GMGC----eg I showed the willingness to do it and apparently the president and the board felt I could do it as well as anyone in the club and so they were OK with that without feeling they had to join me in doing it in the way I did. But I had to report to them from time to time just as Wilson and his committee did through Lesley's MCC Golf Committee and to the board. It is also probably instructive that I had to work with our club's lawyer constantly as MCC, Lloyd and Wilson's committee did with MCC's T. DeWitt Cuyler.

Originally, I thought the way Merion went about their move to Ardmore and the structuring of the whole thing was pretty unique but as I look at other clubs like it I see the very same pattern in that particular day and age and ethos/culture.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:05:52 AM by TEPaul »

Rich Goodale

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2008, 09:12:27 AM »
Apologies in advance if this has been covered above, but was it common knowledge that Harry Colt visited Merion in 1912 (as per Joe's original article)?  If so, did he meet with Wilson and the Construction Committee?  Any idea what input Colt might have made to that work-in-progress design effort at that time?

thanks

Rich

john_stiles

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Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2008, 09:15:18 AM »

One of my favorite PV articles is the one in Golf Illustrated, January 1915 by Simon Carr.

Has a photo of the 3rd, 5th, and 8th and some general descriptions of a few holes.

Just mention as it is an interesting holiday read.


The article mentions Colt's visit to Pine Valley in May 1913.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:31:22 AM by john_stiles »

Mike_Cirba

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2008, 09:20:47 AM »
Tom,

Thanks...that makes sense to me.


Tommy,

Do you have an issue with speculation that is clearly marked as such?   I believe I stated right up front that my thoughts and questions were "half-baked".  

If so, I don't understand you sudden opposition to speculation here.   If some of us, including yourself, didn't have intellectual curiosity and hadn't speculated about a lot of things related to golf architectural history I doubt we would have individually and collectively taken the time and energies to unearth the significant amount of important materials that we have in the past decade.

I also don't recall you previously objecting to a wholly speculative, historically revisionist paper published here that was based on some newly discovered facts by a certain public course golfer from your neighborhood.  ;)

So while I don't mind you calling BS on me if I present supposition as fact, I would ask that you at least be more fair and balanced in your criticisms than Fox News.  ;D
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:45:32 AM by MikeCirba »

TEPaul

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2008, 09:23:53 AM »
"If so, did he meet with Wilson and the Construction Committee?  Any idea what input Colt might have made to that work-in-progress design effort at that time?"


Rich:

As far as I know noboby knows what the details may've been when Colt visited Merion (neither Wilson or anyone else mentioned it in those voluminous "agronomy letters"). If he did visit Merion (and it appears very likely he did) it would've been in 1913 (the same time he visited PV and Seaview). He also brought Mrs Colt with him and that had to be the time and place she got to know Mrs Wilson (remember in about a 1920 letter Colt asked Wilson to remember Mrs Colt to Mrs Wilson). I also believe Wilson stayed at Colt's place when he was in the heathlands in the spring of 1912 but I don't believe Mrs Wilson made that 1912 trip abroad with Hugh.

Some really experienced people in architecture have wondered where the basic bunker look and style of Merion came from. If you asked me I'd have to say if it came from someone other than Wilson it must've come from Colt a whole lot more than from a man like Macdonald.

Actually, I'm quite surprised that noboby picked up on my contention in that other thread that for various remarkably interesting reasons the real "Missing Face" behind not just Merion but apparently the entire Golden Age of Golf Course Architecture was none other than MRS Hugh Wilson!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:31:36 AM by TEPaul »

TEPaul

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2008, 09:50:32 AM »
"The article mentions Colt's visit to Pine Valley in May 1913."


JohnS:

I've mentioned this before on this website and it's never popular with the Colt fans on here but almost simultaneous to that Simon Carr article about Colt and Pine Valley a few other articles appeared in periodicals that were pretty similar to Carr's article about Pine Valley and Colt. I'm referring to both a Travis article and another from one of the pen name writers who was probably Tillinghast.

My supposition is Crump was behind the whole thing and probably engineered it, and why wouldn't he?

First of all, it sure isn't hard to tell that Crump was about the polar opposite of a man out to promote himself at every turn, and he sure did realize Colt was perhaps the world's most respected architect at that time for the type of thing Crump was trying to do. And I'm also pretty sure that Crump sure did understand, at that point, that he and his reputation sure hadn't come close to reaching a point like that (even if it did later for what he accomplished with Pine Valley).

It's also not lost on me that those very similar articles appearing in different periodicals were right around the time Pine Valley first opened for play.

One also needs to understand that Simon Carr was Crump's best friend down there when it came to building the course (along with his other close friend closely connected to the goings-on of the architecture, W.P. Smith). Travis was also getting closely connected with his proposed reverse routing scheme at that time and we all sure do know that Tillinghast was a very close friend of Crump's. It is just totally illogical to me that those writers would have written what they did about Pine Valley and Colt without the total permission of Crump if not actually doing it with him!

I can tell you right now when I had Bill Coore hanging around our Ardrossan project for GMGC in the beginning the way Colt did at PV that one time in 1913 I sure as shit did not hide that fact. Matter of fact I mercilessly promoted that fact and why wouldn't I?  ;) I think the very same thing was true at that time with Crump and Colt and those very similar articles that all came out at about the same time and probably for the very same reason----eg to promote the opening for play of the golf course (even if only eleven holes were in play at that time). It would take basically another seven years before the entire 18 holes finally opened for play!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 10:01:07 AM by TEPaul »

TEPaul

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2008, 10:06:14 AM »
Mike Cirba:

Just give all the credit to the inspiration of Moriarty and MacWood for what you and Joe Bausch and some of the rest of us have done around here with additional research information and he will probably gladly accept it all as a marvelous research all around!   

This research game is inherently and highly competitive with some. You understand that, don't you Mike?  ;)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 10:08:39 AM by TEPaul »

john_stiles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2008, 10:25:28 AM »
TomP,

I remember your thoughts and conclusion on the whole GI Jan 1915 article from a few years back.
It makes perfect sense, given all of Crump's extensive early work, long term commitment, and vision.

I still enjoy the article, the photos, seeing how much was completed by 1914, and then trying to grasp the difficluties and length of time before completion.

Paul_Turner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2008, 10:30:01 AM »
"The article mentions Colt's visit to Pine Valley in May 1913."


JohnS:

I've mentioned this before on this website and it's never popular with the Colt fans on here but almost simultaneous to that Simon Carr article about Colt and Pine Valley a few other articles appeared in periodicals that were pretty similar to Carr's article about Pine Valley and Colt. I'm referring to both a Travis article and another from one of the pen name writers who was probably Tillinghast.

My supposition is Crump was behind the whole thing and probably engineered it, and why wouldn't he?

First of all, it sure isn't hard to tell that Crump was about the polar opposite of a man out to promote himself at every turn, and he sure did realize Colt was perhaps the world's most respected architect at that time for the type of thing Crump was trying to do. And I'm also pretty sure that Crump sure did understand, at that point, that he and his reputation sure hadn't come close to reaching a point like that (even if it did later for what he accomplished with Pine Valley).

It's also not lost on me that those very similar articles appearing in different periodicals were right around the time Pine Valley first opened for play.

One also needs to understand that Simon Carr was Crump's best friend down there when it came to building the course (along with his other close friend closely connected to the goings-on of the architecture, W.P. Smith). Travis was also getting closely connected with his proposed reverse routing scheme at that time and we all sure do know that Tillinghast was a very close friend of Crump's. It is just totally illogical to me that those writers would have written what they did about Pine Valley and Colt without the total permission of Crump if not actually doing it with him!

I can tell you right now when I had Bill Coore hanging around our Ardrossan project for GMGC in the beginning the way Colt did at PV that one time in 1913 I sure as shit did not hide that fact. Matter of fact I mercilessly promoted that fact and why wouldn't I?  ;) I think the very same thing was true at that time with Crump and Colt and those very similar articles that all came out at about the same time and probably for the very same reason----eg to promote the opening for play of the golf course (even if only eleven holes were in play at that time). It would take basically another seven years before the entire 18 holes finally opened for play!

Now that's speculation in a nut shell.
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Mike_Cirba

Re: Pine Valley's Mystery Origins/Early Course Review UNEARTHED!
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2008, 11:38:51 AM »
Paul,

Yes it is, and it's clearly marked as "supposition".   

I don't think simply because something is speculative that it's necesarily untrue, wholly or in part. 

I believe people can read evidence and judge for themselves, as long as we make clear where we are speculating, the evidence we're basing it on, any other basis of our beliefs, and go from there.

I believe that it's when blanket, positivist statements are portrayed as proven historical fact instead of hypothesized intellectual speculation that we begin to go off the tracks...
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 11:48:31 AM by MikeCirba »

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