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Black History Month: Shady Rest, first African-American golf course in U.S.

A Place For US


A documentary film on the Shady Rest Country Club in Scotch Plains NJ, America’s first African-American Golf Course. Produced and directed by Lawrence Londino.

Documentary features Scotch Plains’ Shady Rest, first African-American golf course in U.S.

timthumb.phpSCOTCH PLAINS — Shady Rest, the first African-American golf and country club in the United States, was right here in Scotch Plains.

A free screening of a documentary film about Shady Rest was held Wednesday evening, Aug. 21, at Scotch Hills Country Club, 820 Jerusalem Road.

In 1964, Scotch Pains Township took over operations of Shady Rest and renamed it Scotch Hills Country Club.

The film, titled “A Place for Us,” also features legendary golfer John Matthew Shippen (1879-1968) — the first American-born and first African-American professional golfer, who also served as Shady Rest’s longtime golf professional and greens supervisor.

Among the those in attendance at the screening were Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover; Ethel Washington, history programs coordinator for the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs; Ruby Simmons, co-chair and scholarship chair of the John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation; Thurman Simmons, chair of the John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation and founder of the John Shippen Youth Golf Academy; and Steve Price, adjunct professor of history at Kean University in Union.

92ab4354e852a22a507428f563551294--women-golf-african-history 2The Scotch Plains Historic Society sponsored the documentary screening. The organization is interested in the preservation of the Shady Rest Golf & Country Club building, which still stands but is in need of repairs, especially to the roof.

Ruby Simmons said the foundation was started “to honor the historic contribution of John Shippen to golf.”

“We are glad to see that the town of Scotch Plains is working toward preserving such a historical place,” she said.

For more information about historic Shady Rest, contact Joanne Glover at 908-490-1577. To read more go to the link below:

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