Jack Sanders | July/August, 2020
The Country Club of Ridgefield’s clubhouse had a strange life. Built in 1895 off Peaceable Street, the clubhouse was the center of one of the nation’s earliest golf courses. Young caddies are seen lounging on the steps in this hand-colored postcard from around 1915.
The club, with its nine-hole course, was replaced by Silver Spring Country Club’s 18 holes in 1932. Its land later became the equestrian estate of baking heir Jack Ward, but Francis Martin had already eyed the empty, well-built clubhouse. He moved it to a field on Grove Street and turned it into a goat barn. Martin called milk from its inhabitants “udder joy.”
After Martin established a farm on North Salem Road in the 1940s, the barn was leased to Ridgefield Silversmiths, who created decorative sterling and plate products.
Around 1954 the New England Institute bought the barn and carried on cancer research there. After the institute folded in 1982, arsonists destroyed the building. Today the site houses the 90 Grove Street office complex.