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Gull Lake Country Club

Identifier: RH-A-3447

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the financial and business documents of the Gull Lake Country Club in the first few decades after its establishment in 1911.

The documents in this collection are dated to the years 1911-1947. The majority of papers in this collection come from business and financial transactions, including receipts from members and services rendered for club maintenance and correspondence related to membership, dues, and other business matters.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1911-1930's


Biographical / Historical

The Gull Lake Country Club was established in 1911 by John A. Scott, a professor at Northwestern University, and James H. Dewing who offered financial assistance. They purchased 96 acres of farmland from John Kellogg for $6,000, which overlooked Gull Lake, Miller Lake, and Miller’s Marsh. On October 13, 1911, Scott and Dewing convened to discuss the future of the club and the establishment of a board of directors. Scott would serve as the club’s first president, Dewing its vice-president, and F.S. Parsons its secretary. The original board of directors also included Herbert S. Humphrey, F.F. Rowe, J.E. Brown, H.B. Hoyt, F.S. Kenfield, F.W. Ward, and W.F. Church. Many of these men would serve on the board of directors for decades, including Humphrey who retired after over 20 years of service.

In 1920 the Gull Lake Country Club joined the United States Golf Association, the Western Amateur, and the Michigan Men’s and Women’s Golf Leagues. The club would hold numerous golf tournaments, dances, and other public events for members. When the club opened, all members were charged $25 for annual dues. In a meeting on September 8, 1917, the board decided on an additional $10 fee for golfers. On April 7, 1923, the board again agreed to raise annual dues to $35 plus $25 for golfers. Many documents in this collection originate from members inquiring on their dues, settling their accounts, or canceling their membership.

The Gull Lake Country Club has held several tournaments on their course such as the Michigan State Championship, Michigan State Seniors Championship, Kalamazoo All-City Championship, Michigan State Men's Championship, and the Juniors Chamber of Commerce State Golf Championship. The Club is still open (as of 2011) and will celebrate its 100th year anniversary in 2012.


13 boxes

Language of Materials


Physical Description

This collection is approximately 6.25 cubic feet and is made up of 12 full-size boxes and 1 half-size box. Within these boxes are correspondence, business receipts and invoices, membership roster lists, golf tournament announcements and scorecards, as well as handwritten notes by French Haines, the secretary of the Gull Lake Country Club. The bulk of the collection is correspondence and business receipts. Most of the collection is in fairly good condition, with some items in poor condition due to their age. Much of the thinner paper items are folded and bent and may benefit from conservation efforts. In addition, many of the items have yellowed. Some of the more fragile items, and news clippings, have been photocopied onto archival paper to preserve the information contained within.


This collection was formed by combining the Western Michigan University Archives class collections. The collection was originally processed in two separate class groups. Both group's original inventories have been saved in the donor file.


The collection was donated to Western Michigan University Archives in 1974 by Irwin Ludwig of Kalamazoo Wrecking and Building Supplies Co. The items in this collection were found by Ludwig in the Haines House on West Main in Kalamazoo. The Haines House was razed by Kalamazoo College in 1974.

Gull Lake Country Club Finding Aid
Devin Erlandson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490