The original seven stockholders of The Country Club of Southwest Harbor purchased thirty one acres on Norwood Cove in 1920 from the heirs of William Gilley, the earliest permanent settler in Southwest Harbor. Norwood Cove was known as the mill pond and on the causeway was a tide mill sawing lumber and grain. Alonzo Yates, from Washington D.C., designed the golf course and all nine holes were completed in 1923. Two tennis courts were built soon after the club was organized. The third tennis court was constructed in 1967. In 1928, five families decided there was a real need for a salt water pool. A separate club was organized, Norwood Cove Pool and in the following year the pool and bathhouse were completed. Large granite blocks formed the retaining wall on the ledges facing Somes Sound. At high tide, sea water was let in to replace the water that leaked out when the tide was down. While the water was colder than some thought comfortable, the pool was a great success and the membership increased each year. Before long it became obvious that the three activities, golf, tennis and swimming, should be combined into one club. This was accomplished in 1936 and the new organization became the Causeway Club.
We offer a recounting of the years 1920-1975 in its original form – The Causeway Club – The Early Years. Our intent is to update this history and any corrections, additions or thoughts are welcome.
From early on, Club members urged the Club leadership to exercise restraint, preferring to keep the activities at a low key and development modest. While the Club still honors these traditions, it has upgraded and maintained the property and facilities to the highest standard. The pool and bath house were modernized in the year 2000. Heated, also, to the delight of even our most stalwart New Englanders. Our tennis courts were completely rebuilt from the ground up in 2003. The surface remains Har-tru and the courts garner rave reviews from players of all ages and skill levels for the quality and consistency of play. Our golf course has received many upgrades over the years. We have a new USGA practice green that defines the entry to our clubhouse. On the course, our focus has been on improving the turf quality and adding challenging features, most notably the pond fronting the new second green. Lastly, our 100 year old traditional red barn stands as the Causeway Club’s beacon. The barn hosts the Club’s social functions and, yes, we still square dance. As well it serves our membership and the public as a gathering spot for a variety of activities.
Most importantly, the Club continues to respect the direction of its earliest members: low key, modest with high standards.