Winner of a 2012 Preservation Achievement Award from Historic Fort Worth, Inc., this 544-page, coffee table book with more than 900 color illustrations is available in local libraries, archives and various state and national sports halls of fame. It is only sold through River Crest Country Club. To purchase a copy, arrange for a member of River Crest to buy it for you. The book is priced at $100.
River Crest Country Club, The First 100 Years is a veritable history of Fort Worth’s west side and the upper-crust families that launched the city’s major arts and charitable institutions. Chapter titles include “If These Greens Could Talk,” “River Crest Goes to War: When Camp Bowie was a Military Camp,” and “Art Imitates Life.” The latter profiles professional artists who grew up at the club. It also focuses on a locally-written novel, “The Inheritors,” that once scandalized Fort Worth with tales of trust-fund babies of the 1930s.
Golf chapters profile Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, with rare photos of the pros relaxing at their club. Olympian Babe Zaharias made her transition from track to golf thanks to a club tournament designed to boost her career. Also, a top NCAA swim coach, Don Easterling, got his start coaching the River Crest swim team and irrigating the golf course.
If the history of leisure in America is of interest to you, River Crest was the eighth country club club in Texas. It was the first in the state to include a residential development on its acreage. Its polo field doubled as a runway for the region’s first charter airline, which flew wildcatters to the oil fields. River Crest was the first club in Texas to host a state women’s golf tournament, a contest staged in 1916 after the ladies formed the Texas Women’s Golf Association. Almost forgotten, River Crest is the only country club to simultaneously send two golfers to the Curtis Cup competition, a contest between top female amateurs in the U.S. and Great Britain.
The book won a 2012 Preservation Achievement Award from Historic Fort Worth, Inc. Hollace stands at center in black-and-white dress. Bruce Weiner holds winner’s sign. Also pictured: proofreader Susan Kline (seated), book designer Garry Harman, illustrator Sandy Madison, book committee member Jon Kelly, longtime club member Frances Sutton, book committee chairman Bobby Brown, co-chair Lynda Shropshire.