History of Ramsey Country Club
Our present Club had its beginning as a 220-acre estate called Arlena Towers”, which was carefully developed over a 30-year period beginning in the early 1900’s. The original mansion was of ancient Norman architecture and was modeled after the famous Ramsey Abbey, which still stands in Hampshire; County of Hants in England erected by King Edward the Elder about 900 A.D. Many of the materials for the mansion were brought over from England.
The elaborate landscaping, plantings and seedlings of the estate were begun by the original owner, Arthur Brandeis of department store and theatrical frame. The second owner, Joseph DeWyckoff, co-founder of the Vanadium Corporation of America, completed the beautification of the property. Three beautiful lakes were developed on the property, the largest, Crystal Lake, covering 30 acres. Their shaded banks were landscaped and planted, and the mansion was surrounded by towering trees and beautiful gardens filled with hundreds of imported and rare varieties. The 50-acre seeded lawn, now part of our golf course, was considered the largest and best-kept lawn in the East.
In 1940, the DeWyckoff Estate was sold to the National House & Farms Association for residential development and was renamed the Ramsey County Club Estates. Each purchaser agreed to abide by the rules of Club by accepting title and was issued a share of stock, a practice that is still in effect today. Approximately 40 homes were built before World War II forced a halt to construction due to materials shortage. Being unable to continue building, the National House & Farms Association offered the lots for sale and agreed to turn over the mansion and surrounding property, including the original golf course, to existing homeowners. Thus, Ramsey Golf & Country Club was born.
The early members contributed many hours towards maintaining and improving the facilities. There was no staff of any kind and all cooking, serving, cleaning and gardening was done by these members. In 1953, the membership began a series of improvements which included doubling the size of the ballroom, adding a patio, and filling in the sunken gardens to provide a parking lot. In 1961, a capital assessment was approved to finance future improvements, and to purchase an additional 17 acres of land to expand the golf course. Much later, the bowling alley was converted into the Pro Shop, and a warm-up room for the platform tennis courts which were constructed in 1978.
Further renovation plans had been approved to enlarge the kitchen and update the ballroom and Grille room facilities when a disastrous fire occurred on February 14th, 1986. After the fire, nothing remained but the original stone walls, which still stand today. The renovation plans were quickly converted to reconstruction plans, and 17 months later the Clubhouse has been authentically restored as an over 8,000 square foot facility including a Grand Ballroom with capacity for 200, a formal dining room named the Abbey, the Grille Room, an outdoor dining patio, and offices on the third floor. The reopening of the Club was celebrated on August 1st, 1987.
On July 2nd, 1995, after years of planning and construction on the golf course, Ramsey Golf and Country Club officially opened 18 holes. There are now over 550 homes, whose resident members enjoy the privileges of participating in golf, paddle tennis, and our pool.