GOLF

 History of Annapolis

Royal Golf Club.

The Hillsdale golf course (Annapolis Royal Golf Course), situated, just west of the Town of Annapolis Royal,” Cradle of Canada”, offers a unique blend of character, history and challenging golf in a setting of great natural beauty. Annapolis Royal is synonymous with history and Hillsdale is synonymous with Annapolis Royal. Fifty years have come and gone since October 1924 when “certain persons” residents of the town of Annapolis Royal and vicinity, called at the town Hall for the purpose of forming a club to establish golf links and promote the playing of golf and other games. As a result the Albion Valley golf club was formed and H. A. West elected the first president. Since the purpose of this group coincided with that of William Perkins, owner and proprietor of the famous Annapolis Royal Hostelry, the Hillsdale House, a committee was formed to enter into negotiations with Mr Perkins. W.A Livingston, a local barrister, F. W. Pickels, prominent merchant and ship owner, and the Honorable Robert E. Harris, then chief Justice of Nova Scotia, drafted an agreement whereby Mr Perkins would  “lay out and maintain” a golf course at Allains Creek on the property formerly known as the Pyke or Goucher Farm.  The newly formed club contracted to pay Mr Perkins annual dues up to one thousand dollars for the use of his property, with the understanding that a club house would be provided before the end of the 1926 season. Mr Perkins reserved the right to keep all fees paid by “transient” players. It soon became evident that the Pyke property was insufficient to accommodate a 9 hole course. Judge Harris and Mr Pickels came to the rescue by obtaining title to the Edwards property formerly known as the Fullerton place) on the north side of the highway.  The acquisition of this property led to one of Hillsdale’s most notable (and hazardous) characteristics a golf course bisected by the main public highway.  A further agreement with Perkins was drafted whereby the combined properties were to be used for golf purposes, and the “golf links were to continue and become a permanent institution”. The original group met again at the town hall in 1925. The by-laws were accepted, the name of the club changed to Hillsdale and Mr Perkins began immediate construction of the course. From modest beginning of only three holes, Hillsdale gradually expanded to its present day proportions.  Unlike modern professionally designed courses, Hillsdale, like topsy, “just growed” out of orchard land, hilly terrain, pasture land and swampland. And from this more or less, natural growth emerged all the features that are uniquely Hillsdale. At a casual glance, the 9 hole 2258 yard course looks like a duffers dream.  But for every dreamer, there is a seasoned Hillsdale veteran who can testify that the 32 Par designated on the score card is almost as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The narrow hilly fairways, bounded on either side by thickets and dense orchard grass, provide challenge enough for any golfer. Accuracy is the keynote at Hillsdale.  For the golfer who prides himself on his chip and putt game, the five par 3 holes are just the place to test his mettle.  The real test for the long hitter is 440yds par 5 number 5.  Faced with the prospect of simultaneously hitting across a water hole, around a dog leg and circumventing an acre of water logged marsh, even the most stoic golfer is in danger of being psyched out on the tee. One of the shortest holes, 155 yds number 6, offers yet another challenge. The flag may be just a 5 iron shot up the steep, boulder –dotted fairway, but the out of bounds Highway ditch at the back of the green is no respecter of score cards.  However, this hole offers a bonus that has nothing to do with a well executed iron shot. Everywhere at Hillsdale the golfer is treated to a panoramic view of mountains, water and marshlands, but the view from no 6 is worth far more than the price of admission. From this vantage point the country side spreads out like a vast amphitheatre, with the wooded face of the north Mountain forming a dramatic back drop.  Across the way, the white frame houses and tall church spires of the picturesque little village of Granville Ferry lie mirrored in the shimmering waters of the Annapolis River.  A sense of timelessness overtakes the viewer as he follows the natural sweep of the landscape to the ramparts of Old Fort Anne, where three centuries ago British and French troops fought for supremacy over the ancient province of Acadia.  In the foreground are the dyked marshes where Acadian farmers once grew their wheat and transported it up nearby Allains Creek to Poutrincourt’s grist mill in Lequille. In the late spring, the air is heavy with the fragrance of apple blossoms and sweet smelling summer clover.  In the fall many a hungry golfer picks his lunch from the gnarled old Gravestein trees near number 9 tee.  What few contemporary golfers realise is that these same trees, along with the Baldwins and Nonpareils on other parts of the course, provided winter fare for the students of the Henderson school which was once located on the premises.  Known as the Albion Valley Academy, the school was established in 1832 by Andrew Henderson and provided accommodations for boarders from St John, Bermuda, Halifax and other Nova Scotia towns. The students paid thirty pounds a year to study such subjects as geography, English grammar, lane trigonometry and navigation. Andrew Henderson considered Albion Vale “an ideal spot to train his boys and keep them free from bad associations”.  The same could be said of Hillsdale today, an ideal spot for juniors to find good company and while away the pleasant summer days. Clyde Goucher, a cousin of Bill Perkins, recalls that when his grandparents (Perkins) owned the farm, they lived in the fifteen room house that had been the Henderson School. Shortly after the property was purchased by Bill Perkins the house burned to the ground by courtesy of a grass fire. Times have changed and the distraught golfer flailing through the grass- shrouded mound between number 3 and 8 tees little realises that he is violating an historic landmark. Many Citizens of the Annapolis Royal area played a significant role in the development and prosperity of Hillsdale. Golfers came and went, but the golf links were well on the way to becoming a” permanent institute” through the efforts of a small nucleus of dedicated local members. Well known Annapolis Names such as Pickup, Mills, Harris, King, Owen and Doull appear over and over in the minutes.
In 1928 residents of Bridgetown and area were invited to join the club and these new members proved to be valuable assets.  Among executive members during those early years was a Judge K.L. Crowell, who left Hillsdale in 1940 to construct the aptly named Eden golf course at West Paradise. As Hillsdale became established, cups were donated (among them Harris Cup) – 1928, Prescesky Cup – 1939, both still in play), rules made and changed as necessity dictated, life members appointed and a tea committee formed.  Composed of associate members, the tea committee played a vital role in the social and financial life of the club.  Rain or shine, three Saturdays a month from the inception of the club to the mid 1950s the ladies of this committee served afternoon tea to golfers and guests at a minimal fee.  On the fourth Saturday they served their famous bean and scallop suppers. Through the tireless efforts of the tea ladies a rainy day fund was gradually built up and in 1941 a special bank account was opened under the name of the Hillsdale golf club and tea fund. Financially, Hillsdale struggled along on a shoe string. Membership dues ($25.00 for residents, $10.00 for additional family members and $2.00 for a tea member) rarely netted sufficient funds to meet the annual commitment to Mr Perkins. Membership drives met with little success and it grew increasingly difficult to obtain concessions from the course owners. Memberships decreased alarmingly during the war years and in 1941 the handwriting was on the wall.  In that year, discouraged by the lack of support, the executive resigned in a body.  Distressed by this turn of events, Mr Perkins reduced the club rental fee and a new executive limped along until 1945. At the annual meeting in April 1945, only the executive gave an appearance.  The president stated that since there was a credit balance of only 50cents and no enthusiasm shown, it was advisable to suspend the club’s activities and notify Mr Perkins of this action. There were no further club minutes until 1949 when an annual meeting was held at the Annapolis District community centre ( purchased by the town from Cornwallis Naval Base immediately after W.W. II)  and a full slate of officers and committee heads appointed.  Newcomer to the area provided the necessary incentive and by 1951 a revitalized Hillsdale was in full swing.  Improvements were made to the fairways, Clyde Goucher employed as caretaker and Mrs Francis employed at the newly improved clubhouse. During this period the association with Cornwallis began to figure prominently and special concessions were made to service personnel. In keeping with the new wave of enthusiasm, more attention was paid to handicaps and tournaments were set up with other clubs.  One of the most significant changes took place in 1957 when Hillsdale joined the Royal Nova Scotia Golf Association, making 100 per cent membership of clubs in Nova Scotia. In the early sixties, a ladies’ division was formed as a separate club entity.  Wednesday morning Ladies’ days became a permanent institution, trophies were set up and Ladies’ match play instigated. With the help of a large membership from C.F.B. Cornwallis, the ladies division went on to become enthusiastic Hillsdale supporters and dedicated club workers. In 1969 the Ladies’ division came of age and joined the Canadian Ladies Golf Association, thus entitling members to enter provincial field days and participate in C.L.G.A. pin days.  In 1973 the Hillsdale Ladies’ division held their first invitational field Day and now plan to make this an annual event. In the early sixties, club members became weary of the continual financial wrangles with the course owner and began to consider purchasing the course. By 1965 membership had increased to 202 (over 80 in 1951) and the executive felt that the club was in a strong enough position to enter negotiations.  A meeting was held to discuss the possibility of purchasing the club jointly with Cornwallis.   However, this proposal fell through and in 1966 the course was sold by Mr Perkins to Henry Reardon, a Halifax physician, and his wife Barbara. By virtue of this purchase a new era dawned for Hillsdale. Operating under the name of Hillsdale Golf and Country Club Limited, Dr Reardon assumed full financial responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the course and the provision of canteen and pro-shop facilities.  Released from the bug bear of meeting annual rental commitments,   club members were able to devote more time and energy to general club activities. Dr Reardon engaged, Gordon Shaw as Hillsdale’s first Pro, hired the late Art Mackenzie as canteen manager, and began immediate improvements to the course.  Under the supervision of Shaw, an expert at course design and construction, new tees were built, vast improvements made to greens and two new holes (the present 3 & 4) constructed.  The new holes added badly needed yardage to the course and relieved the night mare congestion of the former 2, 3 and 4 fairways. Gordon Shaw also concentrated on junior development.  Under his tutelage several fine young golfers emerged, among them Dr Reardons son Mike, the present Hillsdale champion. “Gordy” left Hillsdale after two years to construct and manage the Clare golf and Country Club, and was replaced in 1973 by Ernie Butler. Well known in Maritime golfing circles, Ernie began further renovations to the course.  As a result, this year Hillsdale will celebrate its fiftieth birthday with the opening of two additional fairways. Extending beyond the driveway and well to the back of the clubhouse, the new 305 yard par 4 number 10 and Par 5 number 11 will provide a greater challenge to all golfers.  As Hillsdale approaches the mid century mark, a little stock taking seems in order. The certain persons who called at the Town Hall’ in 1924 would perhaps be disturbed by changes in the social patterns over the years.  The leisurely afternoon teas on the club house veranda have been replaced by the impromptu Saturday evening BBQ and the “founding fathers” have been supplanted by the ladies Division as the backbone of the club.  Golfing styles, rules and etiquette have certainly been altered. The founding fathers can rest content, secure in the knowledge that through the significant contribution of latter day golfers “The golf links have continued and become a permanent institution.”
Annapolis Royal and Hillsdale Golf club where Golfing & History go hand in hand.
The Hillsdale golf course (Annapolis Royal Golf Course), situated, just west of the Town of Annapolis Royal,” Cradle of Canada”, offers a unique blend of character, history and challenging golf in a setting of great natural beauty. Annapolis Royal is synonymous with history and Hillsdale is synonymous with Annapolis Royal. Fifty years have come and gone since October 1924 when “certain persons” residents of the town of Annapolis Royal and vicinity, called at the town Hall for the purpose of forming a club to establish golf links and promote the playing of golf and other games. As a result the Albion Valley golf club was formed and H. A. West elected the first president. Since the purpose of this group coincided with that of William Perkins, owner and proprietor of the famous Annapolis Royal Hostelry, the Hillsdale House, a committee was formed to enter into negotiations with Mr Perkins. W.A Livingston, a local barrister, F. W. Pickels, prominent merchant and ship owner, and the Honorable Robert E. Harris, then chief Justice of Nova Scotia, drafted an agreement whereby Mr Perkins would  “lay out and maintain” a golf course at Allains Creek on the property formerly known as the Pyke or Goucher Farm.  The newly formed club contracted to pay Mr Perkins annual dues up to one thousand dollars for the use of his property, with the understanding that a club house would be provided before the end of the 1926 season. Mr Perkins reserved the right to keep all fees paid by “transient” players. It soon became evident that the Pyke property was insufficient to accommodate a 9 hole course. Judge Harris and Mr Pickels came to the rescue by obtaining title to the Edwards property formerly known as the Fullerton place) on the north side of the highway.  The acquisition of this property led to one of Hillsdale’s most notable (and hazardous) characteristics a golf course bisected by the main public highway.  A further agreement with Perkins was drafted whereby the combined properties were to be used for golf purposes, and the “golf links were to continue and become a permanent institution”. The original group met again at the town hall in 1925. The by-laws were accepted, the name of the club changed to Hillsdale and Mr Perkins began immediate construction of the course. From modest beginning of only three holes, Hillsdale gradually expanded to its present day proportions.  Unlike modern professionally designed courses, Hillsdale, like topsy, “just growed” out of orchard land, hilly terrain, pasture land and swampland. And from this more or less, natural growth emerged all the features that are uniquely Hillsdale. At a casual glance, the 9 hole 2258 yard course looks like a duffers dream.  But for every dreamer, there is a seasoned Hillsdale veteran who can testify that the 32 Par designated on the score card is almost as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The narrow hilly fairways, bounded on either side by thickets and dense orchard grass, provide challenge enough for any golfer. Accuracy is the keynote at Hillsdale.  For the golfer who prides himself on his chip and putt game, the five par 3 holes are just the place to test his mettle.  The real test for the long hitter is 440yds par 5 number 5. Faced with the prospect of simultaneously hitting across a water hole, around a dog leg and circumventing an acre of water logged marsh, even the most stoic golfer is in danger of being psyched out on the tee. One of the shortest holes, 155 yds number 6, offers yet another challenge. The flag may be just a 5 iron shot up the steep, boulder –dotted fairway, but the out of bounds Highway ditch at the back of the green is no respecter of score cards.  However, this hole offers a bonus that has nothing to do with a well executed iron shot. Everywhere at Hillsdale the golfer is treated to a panoramic view of mountains, water and marshlands, but the view from no 6 is worth far more than the price of admission. From this vantage point the country side spreads out like a vast amphitheatre, with the wooded face of the north Mountain forming a dramatic back drop.  Across the way, the white frame houses and tall church spires of the picturesque little village of Granville Ferry lie mirrored in the shimmering waters of the Annapolis River.  A sense of timelessness overtakes the viewer as he follows the natural sweep of the landscape to the ramparts of Old Fort Anne, where three centuries ago British and French troops fought for supremacy over the ancient province of Acadia.  In the foreground are the dyked marshes where Acadian farmers once grew their wheat and transported it up nearby Allains Creek to Poutrincourt’s grist mill in Lequille. In the late spring, the air is heavy with the fragrance of apple blossoms and sweet smelling summer clover.  In the fall many a hungry golfer picks his lunch from the gnarled old Gravestein trees near number 9 tee.  What few contemporary golfers realise is that these same trees, along with the Baldwins and Nonpareils on other parts of the course, provided winter fare for the students of the Henderson school which was once located on the premises.  Known as the Albion Valley Academy, the school was established in 1832 by Andrew Henderson and provided accommodations for boarders from St John, Bermuda, Halifax and other Nova Scotia towns. The students paid thirty pounds a year to study such subjects as geography, English grammar, lane trigonometry and navigation. Andrew Henderson considered Albion Vale “an ideal spot to train his boys and keep them free from bad associations”.  The same could be said of Hillsdale today, an ideal spot for juniors to find good company and while away the pleasant summer days. Clyde Goucher, a cousin of Bill Perkins, recalls that when his grandparents (Perkins) owned the farm, they lived in the fifteen room house that had been the Henderson School. Shortly after the property was purchased by Bill Perkins the house burned to the ground by courtesy of a grass fire. Times have changed and the distraught golfer flailing through the grass- shrouded mound between number 3 and 8 tees little realises that he is violating an historic landmark.
Many Citizens of the Annapolis Royal area played a significant role in the development and prosperity of Hillsdale. Golfers came and went, but the golf links were well on the way to becoming a” permanent institute” through the efforts of a small nucleus of dedicated local members. Well known Annapolis Names such as Pickup, Mills, Harris, King, Owen and Doull appear over and over in the minutes. In 1928 residents of Bridgetown and area were invited to join the club and these new members proved to be valuable assets.  Among executive members during those early years was aJudge K.L. Crowell, who left Hillsdale in 1940 to construct the aptly named Eden golf course at West Paradise. As Hillsdale became established, cups were donated (among them Harris Cup) – 1928, Prescesky Cup – 1939, both still in play), rules made and changed as necessity dictated, life members appointed and a tea committee formed.  Composed of associate members, the tea committee played a vital role in the social and financial life of the club.  Rain or shine, three Saturdays a month from the inception of the club to the mid 1950s the ladies of this committee served afternoon tea to golfers and guests at a minimal fee.  On the fourth Saturday they served their famous bean and scallop suppers. Through the tireless efforts of the tea ladies a rainy day fund was gradually built up and in 1941 a special bank account was opened under the name of the Hillsdale golf club and tea fund. Financially, Hillsdale struggled along on a shoe string. Membership dues ($25.00 for residents, $10.00 for additional family members and $2.00 for a tea member) rarely netted sufficient funds to meet the annual commitment to Mr Perkins. Membership drives met with little success and it grew increasingly difficult to obtain concessions from the course owners. Memberships decreased alarmingly during the war years and in 1941 the handwriting was on the wall.  In that year, discouraged by the lack of support, the executive resigned in a body.  Distressed by this turn of events, Mr Perkins reduced the club rental fee and a new executive limped along until 1945. At the annual meeting in April 1945, only the executive gave an appearance.  The president stated that since there was a credit balance of only 50cents and no enthusiasm shown, it was advisable to suspend the club’s activities and notify Mr Perkins of this action. There were no further club minutes until 1949 when an annual meeting was held at the Annapolis District community centre ( purchased by the town from Cornwallis Naval Base immediately afer W.W. II  and a full slate of officers and committee heads appointed.  Newcomer to the area provided the necessary incentive and by 1951 a revitalized Hillsdale was in full swing.  Improvements were made to the fairways, Clyde Goucher employed as caretaker and Mrs Francis employed at the newly improved clubhouse. During this period the association with Cornwallis began to figure prominently and special concessions were made to service personnel. In keeping with the new wave of enthusiasm, more attention was paid to handicaps and tournaments were set up with other clubs.  One of the most significant changes took place in 1957 when Hillsdale joined the Royal Nova Scotia Golf Association, making 100 per cent membership of clubs in Nova Scotia. In the early sixties, a ladies’ division was formed as a separate club entity.  Wednesday morning Ladies’ days became a permanent institution, trophies were set up and Ladies’ match play instigated. With the help of a large membership from C.F.B. Cornwallis, the ladies division went on to become enthusiastic Hillsdale supporters and dedicated club workers. In 1969 the Ladies’ division came of age and joined the Canadian Ladies Golf Association, thus entitling members to enter provincial field days and participate in C.L.G.A. pin days.  In 1973 the Hillsdale Ladies’ division held their first invitational field Day and now plan to make this an annual event. In the early sixties, club members became weary of the continual financial wrangles with the course owner and began to consider purchasing the course. By 1965 membership had increased to 202 (over 80 in 1951) and the executive felt that the club was in a strong enough position to enter negotiations.  A meeting was held to discuss the possibility of purchasing the club jointly with Cornwallis.   However, this proposal fell through and in 1966 the course was sold by Mr Perkins to Henry Reardon, a Halifax physician, and his wife Barbara.  By virtue of this purchase a new era dawned for Hillsdale. Operating under the name of Hillsdale Golf and Country Club Limited, Dr Reardon assumed full financial responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the course and the provision of canteen and pro-shop facilities.  Released from the bug bear of meeting annual rental commitments,   club members were able to devote more time and energy to general club activities. Dr Reardon engaged, Gordon Shaw as Hillsdale’s first Pro, hired the late Art Mackenzie as canteen manager, and began immediate improvements to the course.  Under the supervision of Shaw, an expert at course design and construction, new tees were built, vast improvements made to greens and two new holes (the present 3 & 4) constructed.  The new holes added badly needed yardage to the course and relieved the night mare congestion of the former 2, 3 and 4 fairways. Gordon Shaw also concentrated on junior development.  Under his tutelage several fine young golfers emerged, among them Dr Reardons son Mike, the present Hillsdale champion. “Gordy” left Hillsdale after two years to construct and manage the Clare golf and Country Club, and was replaced in 1973 by Ernie Butler. Well known in Maritime golfing circles, Ernie began further renovations to the course.  As a result, this year Hillsdale will celebrate its fiftieth birthday with the opening of two additional fairways. Extending beyond the driveway and well to the back of the clubhouse, the new 305 yard par 4 number 10 and Par 5 number 11 will provide a greater challenge to all golfers.  As Hillsdale approaches the mid century mark, a little stock taking seems in order. The certain persons who called at the Town Hall’ in 1924 would perhaps be disturbed by changes in the social patterns over the years.  The leisurely afternoon teas on the club house veranda have been replaced by the impromptu Saturday evening BBQ and the “founding fathers” have been supplanted by the ladies Division as the backbone of the club.  Golfing styles, rules and etiquette have certainly been altered. The founding fathers can rest content, secure in the knowledge that through the significant contribution of latter day golfers “The golf links have continued and become a permanent institution.”

 History of Annapolis

Royal Golf Club.

annapolis royal golf logo
Annapolis Royal and Hillsdale Golf club where Golfing & History go hand in hand.

History of Annapolis

Royal Golf Club.

GOLF
The Hillsdale golf course (Annapolis Royal Golf Course), situated, just west of the Town of Annapolis Royal,” Cradle of Canada”, offers a unique blend of character, history and challenging golf in a setting of great natural beauty. Annapolis Royal is synonymous with history and Hillsdale is synonymous with Annapolis Royal. Fifty years have come and gone since October 1924 when “certain persons” residents of the town of Annapolis Royal and vicinity, called at the town Hall for the purpose of forming a club to establish golf links and promote the playing of golf and other games. As a result the Albion Valley golf club was formed and H. A. West elected the first president. Since the purpose of this group coincided with that of William Perkins, owner and proprietor of the famous Annapolis Royal Hostelry, the Hillsdale House, a committee was formed to enter into negotiations with Mr Perkins. W.A Livingston, a local barrister, F. W. Pickels, prominent merchant and ship owner, and the Honorable Robert E. Harris, then chief Justice of Nova Scotia, drafted an agreement whereby Mr Perkins would  “lay out and maintain” a golf course at Allains Creek on the property formerly known as the Pyke or Goucher Farm.  The newly formed club contracted to pay Mr Perkins annual dues up to one thousand dollars for the use of his property, with the understanding that a club house would be provided before the end of the 1926 season. Mr Perkins reserved the right to keep all fees paid by “transient” players. It soon became evident that the Pyke property was insufficient to accommodate a 9 hole course. Judge Harris and Mr Pickels came to the rescue by obtaining title to the Edwards property formerly known as the Fullerton place) on the north side of the highway.  The acquisition of this property led to one of Hillsdale’s most notable (and hazardous) characteristics a golf course bisected by the main public highway.  A further agreement with Perkins was drafted whereby the combined properties were to be used for golf purposes, and the “golf links were to continue and become a permanent institution”. The original group met again at the town hall in 1925. The by-laws were accepted, the name of the club changed to Hillsdale and Mr Perkins began immediate construction of the course. From modest beginning of only three holes, Hillsdale gradually expanded to its present day proportions.  Unlike modern professionally designed courses, Hillsdale, like topsy, “just growed” out of orchard land, hilly terrain, pasture land and swampland. And from this more or less, natural growth emerged all the features that are uniquely Hillsdale. At a casual glance, the 9 hole 2258 yard course looks like a duffers dream.  But for every dreamer, there is a seasoned Hillsdale veteran who can testify that the 32 Par designated on the score card is almost as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The narrow hilly fairways, bounded on either side by thickets and dense orchard grass, provide challenge enough for any golfer. Accuracy is the keynote at Hillsdale.  For the golfer who prides himself on his chip and putt game, the five par 3 holes are just the place to test his mettle.  The real test for the long hitter is 440yds par 5 number 5. Faced with the prospect of simultaneously hitting across a water hole, around a dog leg and circumventing an acre of water logged marsh, even the most stoic golfer is in danger of being psyched out on the tee. One of the shortest holes, 155 yds number 6, offers yet another challenge. The flag may be just a 5 iron shot up the steep, boulder –dotted fairway, but the out of bounds Highway ditch at the back of the green is no respecter of score cards.  However, this hole offers a bonus that has nothing to do with a well executed iron shot. Everywhere at Hillsdale the golfer is treated to a panoramic view of mountains, water and marshlands, but the view from no 6 is worth far more than the price of admission. From this vantage point the country side spreads out like a vast amphitheatre, with the wooded face of the north Mountain forming a dramatic back drop.  Across the way, the white frame houses and tall church spires of the picturesque little village of Granville Ferry lie mirrored in the shimmering waters of the Annapolis River. A sense of timelessness overtakes the viewer as he follows the natural sweep of the landscape to the ramparts of Old Fort Anne, where three centuries ago British and French troops fought for supremacy over the ancient province of Acadia.  In the foreground are the dyked marshes where Acadian farmers once grew their wheat and transported it up nearby Allains Creek to Poutrincourt’s grist mill in Lequille. In the late spring, the air is heavy with the fragrance of apple blossoms and sweet smelling summer clover.  In the fall many a hungry golfer picks his lunch from the gnarled old Gravestein trees near number 9 tee.  What few contemporary golfers realise is that these same trees, along with the Baldwins and Nonpareils on other parts of the course, provided winter fare for the students of the Henderson school which was once located on the premises. Known as the Albion Valley Academy, the school was established in 1832 by Andrew Henderson and provided accommodations for boarders from St John, Bermuda, Halifax and other Nova Scotia towns. The students paid thirty pounds a year to study such subjects as geography, English grammar, lane trigonometry and navigation. Andrew Henderson considered Albion Vale “an ideal spot to train his boys and keep them free from bad associations”.  The same could be said of Hillsdale today, an ideal spot for juniors to find good company and while away the pleasant summer days. Clyde Goucher, a cousin of Bill Perkins, recalls that when his grandparents (Perkins) owned the farm, they lived in the fifteen room house that had been the Henderson School. Shortly after the property was purchased by Bill Perkins the house burned to the ground by courtesy of a grass fire. Times have changed and the distraught golfer flailing through the grass- shrouded mound between number 3 and 8 tees little realises that he is violating an historic landmark. Many Citizens of the Annapolis Royal area played a significant role in the development and prosperity of Hillsdale. Golfers came and went, but the golf links were well on the way to becoming a” permanent institute” through the efforts of a small nucleus of dedicated local members. Well known Annapolis Names such as Pickup, Mills, Harris, King, Owen and Doull appear over and over in the minutes.
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Annapolis Royal and Hillsdale Golf club where Golfing & History go hand in hand.