Former site of Michigan Shores Club Golf Course

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911 Michigan Ave,
East Wilmette,
Courses Nearby:
Canal Shores Golf Course
Indian Hill Club
Westmoreland Country Club
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Sitting high atop the lakeside bluffs of East Wilmette, Michigan Shores Club has been creating history since 1898. Early settlers of the village circulated the idea of a country club (1897), and by the following April, Wilmette’s first family club was born. Complete with a six-hole golf course, lawn tennis courts, and archery range, the Club would continue to thrive and grow, over the next century. Early golf course designer, Herbert J. Tweedie, arranged the heavily-wooded links.

During those days, the Club was known as the Ouilmette Country Club, having been named for Wilmette’s founding family. Originally, the clubhouse was located near 9th Street and Ashland Avenue, surrounded by thick deciduous forest. By 1905, the small clubhouse in the woods had faded into history. Land was acquired and a larger clubhouse constructed at our current location. The board selected this setting for its beautiful vistas and significance to the history of Wilmette. The site chosen was directly adjacent to the old Ouilmette family home on Lake Michigan (even then lost to the waves of time).

Athletic pursuits including golf, tennis, billiards, bowling, ice skating and archery remained popular in the early years. The Club joined the Western Golf Association (1907). However, the Wilmette landscape was rapidly changing. Sheridan Road had opened (1900), and this began the paving of the Village streets. Less than ten years after the Club’s founding, the land comprising the golf course had been surrounded by road construction, and sub-division planning was accelerating. Finally, the golf course was abandoned (1909). Despite this loss, sporting functions remained paramount and the club continued to flourish. Bowling was introduced through a clubhouse expansion (1910). As well, clay tennis courts were added alongside the traditional lawn courts (1912). Each winter, ice skating and hockey were enjoyed on a rink set atop the tennis courts.

Via the Michigan Shores Club