Club History


Westerleigh Tennis Club

The Westerleigh Tennis Club is in possession of many documents that give us a close-up view of the motivation, actions and outcomes of some of the decisions the Board Members enacted going back to 1910. One of the most important documents, dated January 22, 1910 and signed by the eleven original founding fathers, is a document of commitment to form a corporation, purchase bearer bonds, raise capital, secure property and become members in a club they chose to call the Westerleigh Tennis Club. Signed by each member, noting that their addresses showed that they lived in the immediate Westerleigh neighborhood. This is the earliest document showing the birth of an idea.

A second letter was drafted on Mar. 9th 1910 to include the names Gustov & Balling Jr. This document was essentially created to form the basis of a non-profit corporation. The certificate of incorporation was drafted by hand on March 31, 1910, signed by Justice William J Kelly of the NY Supreme Court, and recorded as filed on April 4, 1910.

Club Member Mr. J Sterling Drake announces he had procured from Mr. J Francis and Marie E Sill, an option to purchase property on Indiana Avenue, now College Avenue. A debenture was authorized to issue twenty $100.00 bonds bearing interest at 6%. On April 15, 1910 a contract was procured to purchase the land for $1,700.00.

Westerleigh Tennis Club
Westerleigh Tennis Club

Club Member Mr. James Whitford an architect designed the club house. He was subsequently appointed chairman of a special committee to report on the ways and means for the construction of the club house. A contract was signed for construction of the club house.

A receipt for construction costs of the club house was presented to the club. The cost was a total of $1,385.28 with a $530 paid on account to start construction and a balance due upon completion of $855.28. The builder received $1,100.00, the electrician $50.28, masons $65.00 and the plumber $170.00. Additional receipts of $267.00 for labor and $167.06 for materials relating to the tennis courts indicate court play must have taken place by the summer of 1910.

Two men, Christopher S. Williams and William H. Boole, purchased land and donated it to the National Prohibition movement with its philosophy of healthy and clean living, especially exercise. Due to the fires in 1903 that ended the prohibitionist movement in the neighborhood, the residents found themselves without courts to play tennis.

If those two men, Christopher S. Williams and William H Boole, had not bought and donated the land to the prohibitionist movement, the Westerleigh area as we know it and the Westerleigh Tennis Club might never have existed. And we can thank those eleven residents of the neighborhood who later purchased the land, and created the Westerleigh Tennis Club, for the great friendships and tennis enjoyment, which have developed to this day. We simply would not know each other today.

Information & History Provided by Greg Argila