History of Tedesco Country Club

Tedesco, formally incorporated in 1903, had its inception in 1899 in the minds of two Cambridge women and a Swampscott man: the Misses Houghton and Arthur Little. Their original plan, a modest one, called for a few holes of golf somewhere in the vicinity of the Swampscott waterfront. Presented to their friends, the plan met with only a casual reception, but perseverance on the part of the originators eventually led to a meeting at the home of a Boston man, Mr. H.O. Houghton, where it was decided that a golf club should be organized at an early date.

Fifteen summer residents of Swampscott and its environs agreed to guarantee five hundred dollars each, work commenced, and six holes were constructed on a 65 acre tract of land between Little’s Point and Atlantic Avenue. A large summer residence was secured to serve as the main house, a nearby cottage was fitted out for the use of the salt water bathers, and a shed was built to shelter the members’ horses. In those days motor vehicles were rare and unreliable, and carriages were the ordinary means of conveyance.

With the limit of one hundred members, there were sixty-nine the first year. A golf tournament was held in July, tea was served every Saturday afternoon, there was a clambake on the shore, and all the club activities were maintained with a charge of only $25 for dues. No sooner had the season closed than the members, well pleased with their new golf club, laid plans to increase the six hole course to nine and to obtain a permanent location.

In 1901, the first bylaws of the club were voted on and accepted, and in the summer of that year the club acquired a tennis court, a croquet lawn, and three new holes for the golf course. In the fall of 1902 it was voted to lease the Childs farm and the Phillips land, the present site of the Tedesco Club and its golf course. Organization of the club was put on a more permanent basis, several committees were appointed, and in 1903 Tedesco was incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts as the Tedesco Country Club. The handsome clubhouse opened in that same year, and for the first time a full nine hole golf course was put into play. Thus Tedesco as we know it today was formally launched.

The first in a series of disastrous fires happened early in the club’s history. In the spring of 1904 the clubhouse caught fire. Its construction was unprotected, the small horse-drawn fire engines of the Marblehead and Swampscott fire departments were far away, and the structure was leveled. It was replaced by a fine building, which unfortunately also was unprotected from fire, and two more fires occurred in 1931 and 1932. The second one resulted in a total loss.

From the ashes arose a beautiful clubhouse, with a complete automatic sprinkler system to guard against a repetition of the disasters of the past.  This clubhouse served as home for the membership for the next 76 years.

In December 2009 the members voted to tear down the existing Clubhouse, built in 1933 and construct a new modern facility that could serve the membership for the next 100 years. Early in 2010 an aggressive 15 month construction schedule was developed and the demolition began in March 2010.   The Club operated in temporary limited quarters for the 2010 golf season.   The new clubhouse was opened in early July 2011.