Note: The following is one of a series of columns looking at places and events of interest in Bulloch County history.
Bulloch County is very lucky to have many types of public recreation areas. Way back in 1826, local Daniel Rigdon dug out a pond with a wheelbarrow and shovel along Mill Creek 2 1/2 miles west of the city on Lakeview Road.
After the Civil War, Capt. John E. Groover and Jim Bowen rebuilt the mill and sold it to a Mr. Roberts from Lincolnton. Roberts set up both a gristmill and cotton ginning operation on his property. Around 1920, Charles Bland, a great-grandson of Daniel Rigdon, bought the land back from Roberts. He told the paper “I named the place Lake View when I first bought it,” continuing that it was to be “a playground for social occasions.” He built a bathhouse so people would come to go swimming. He built a dancing pavilion and invited musicians from Savannah and Augusta to come and play.
Bland continued, “I would charge 10 cents to everyone coming in. I made money for the first four years.”
When business slacked off, Bland sold all 100 acres for around $5,000 “to a group of about 50 citizens.” On Nov. 11, 1926, this group met in Hinton Booth’s law office to form a club, which they named the “Lake View Country Club.”
Charter members included Booth, B.B. Sorrier, Cecil Brannen, Alfred Dorman, D.B. Turner, G.P. Donaldson, J.W. Horne, S.W. Lewis and H.F. Hook. Club membership was limited to 100, with each member holding one share of stock worth $100.
Unfortunately, things never really got organized for on July 7, 1927, the Bulloch Times reported that the Lake View was “going to be resuscitated.” A new Board of Directors was appointed, local business leaders J.B. Averitt and F.W. Darby given advisory roles, and club dues were cut in half.
Furthermore, a decision was made to open the facility to the public, who could play the course for a small fee. They could also go fishing in the lake, if they agreed to buy a fishing permit and pay a fee of 10 cents per pound of fish they caught.
After the dam by the lake gave way in June of 1928, D.B. Averitt petitioned City Council to allow the club to surrender its charter and sell the club. By 1931, there were two more new golf courses in Statesboro. At this time, another group of citizens led by Harvey Brannen an Bartow Fladger banded together to consider opening what they wanted to call the “Pine Crest Golf Club.”
The nine-hole PCGC course, built on the Olliff and Thackston lands on the east side of Statesboro, was soon ready for play. On July 6, 1931, the first tournament was held at Pine Crest.
The results: M.L. Preston beat L. DeLoach, J.G. Cone beat P.H. Preston, P. Rimes beat H. Melton, Sidney Akins beat Floyd Akins, G. Johnson beat J.L. Sunday, and L.E. Tyson beat Sammy Johnson.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.