Greenacres Country Club
Arthur L. Finkle
The progress club, founded in the 1920’s, included the more prosperous Jewish families in Trenton. A purely social body, headquartered at the Alhambra Building on North Warren Street, moved to the Brougton Estate. Merging with the Sphinx Club in 1925, its members formed a country club was formed on Lawrenceville road, near Lawrenceville School. It opened with a clambake and golf picnic in 1925. Peter Kreuger was a driving force.
In the 1920’s, Country Clubs in Mercer County and in the United States notoriously restricted Jews. Longacres Country Club, a country club in Lawrenceville across from the municipal complex, belonged to this discriminatory fraternity.
Longacres was an exclusive (no Jews, among others, allowed) private country club. A Longacres member invited Chick Bash, a the Mercer Country Golf District Champion golfer in the 1930’s, to play at his Country Club (Longacres). When Chick arrived by car, An attendant summarily instructed him NOT to take his golf clubs out of his car. A short time after this incident, a group of Trenton businessmen formed Greenacres Country Club to accommodate members of the Jewish community with a golf club because they were denied membership at all other private clubs in the area. Longacres had gone into bankruptcy and it was bought out of the bankruptcy court by a group of Trenton business men with the help of three local banks.
Operated by John and Mary Gaug, the Progress Club was a public golf course in Lawrenceville on the northern side of the Lawrenceville School golf course, John and Mary Gaug later were employed to run the club house at Greenacres . The Gaug’s son, Gaug son, John Gaug Jr. taught history at Junior Three.
The Progress Club, most of its members prosperous Jewish businessmen and professionals, was a public golf course in Lawrenceville on the northern side of the Lawrenceville School golf course, did accommodate Jewish golfers. A number of the former members of Longacres country club were original members of the new club and several members of the Progress Club became members.
To accommodate Jewish and non-Jewish golfers, Greenacres Country Club incorporated as a nonsectarian club. Nothing in the certificate of incorporation indicates that it was an exclusively Jewish club. The charitable requirement of Greenacres, in fact, indicated that Jewish members were required to give annual donations to the Trenton Jewish Federation;, non-Jewish members could give their charitable contribution to the United Way.
Harry Friedman, the owner of the Horseman Doll Factory with the assistance of three banks (Trenton Trust, Broad Street Bank and First Mechanics) largely provided financing for the Greenacres Club, (originally secured from the bankruptcy court). Trenton Trust managed the mortgage.
In order to protect the equity in the land from any losses in the operations of the country club, the members formed the Greenacres County Club Holding Company and transferred all lands to this holding company. Subsequently, led by Leon Levy, Esq. the early members donated cash to the holding company in exchange for shares. Thereupon the members donated almost 100% of the holding company stock to the Greenacres Foundation, a charitable foundation to hold the stock of the holding company in perpetuity so there would always be a country club that would not discriminate against Jews.
Founded in 1938, Greenacres Country Club remains true to the vision of a Club committed to the principles of family and fellowship. Greenacres Members share a common bond of social, civic and charitable
Greenacres Country Club has been a social and recreational haven for members residing in Mercer County, NJ, Bucks County, PA, Princeton and north for three quarters of a century. The Membership and Management are intertwined by their common goal to provide a gracious and welcoming environment in which members and their guests may come together for sport and social gatherings.
The Club encompasses over 150-acres and includes a pristine 18-hole golf course and a full service golf professional shop. A complete tennis facility with eight courts and pro shop sit near the pool facilities with pool house and snack bar close by.
The Club has a very active social calendar, a junior recreation day camp program and daily food and beverage service for members, family and guests in our grille room, sun room and outdoor deck and patio areas. The banquet room seats approximately 220 guests for a typical event, and boasts a beautiful lounge/bar area.
The culture of the Club is an active, family friendly environment serving an active membership of varying ages. The membership anuualy contributed more than $300,000 collectively to charitable organizations..
My grateful thanks to Victor Walcoff, Esq.