Representation Image    Getty Image
Representation Image Getty Image

The Philadelphia Cricket Club (PCC) paid $600,000 for the St. Martin’s golf course property in Chestnut Hill as part of a deal that protects the the land from future development, the Natural Lands Trust conservation group said in a statement on Tuesday. The PCC closed on the nearly 41-acre property on Dec. 17, according to the Media-based Lands Trust, which is empowered to preserve the property for open-space recreational use under the sales agreement. The property was sold to the PCC by the families of Quita Woodward Horan and George Woodward III, whose forbears had owned the land since the 1880s. The club had long leased the property for part of its nine-hole golf course. ALSO READ: Bart King One of the best fast bowlers of all time

The PCC, founded in 1854, is the oldest country club in the United States. It has two locations: Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, and Flourtown, Pennsylvania. As the name indicates, the Club was formed by a group of young men of English ancestry who had played the game while students at the University of Pennsylvania. With the wish to continue to play together after their graduation, they formed the Club under the leadership of William Roach Wister. While playing cricket on any grounds available for the first 30 years of the club s existence, in 1883, the Club came home to Chestnut Hill through the generosity of a benefactor, Henry H. Houston. Houston arranged for them to settle down at the Club s present location on West Willow Grove Avenue in the St. Martins section of Chestnut Hill.

This course is named “St. Martin’s” after the adjacent episcopal church, St. Martin’s in the Fields. The club originally opened a 9-hole course in 1895, which was quickly replaced by the 18-hole St. Martin’s course in 1898, designed by Willie Tucker. This course hosted the U.S. Open championships in 1907 and 1910, won by Alec Ross and Alex Smith respectively.