By the late 1890s, prominent Ottawa lumberman Frederick Wells Avery had become a member of the Ottawa Golf Club (the area’s first golf club, which was founded in 1891), and he had also recently discovered the pleasures of summer resort life in Aylmer, which was beginning to boom as a resort patronized by well-to-do Ottawa residents who wished to escape the city’s frequently hot, humid weather from June to August.
Avery certainly loved golf: in April of 1898, for instance, he was one of the first members of the Ottawa Golf Club to play the club’s thirteen-hole Chelsea Links located on the Chelsea Road north of Hull. The electric railway line carrying him from Ottawa terminated at Wrightville, about half a mile short of the clubhouse. To indulge his passion for early spring golf, Avery had to walk half a mile along the muddy Chelsea Road from the Wrightville station, carrying his golf clubs and a small travel bag with his red golf jacket, sports trousers, and golf boots in it.
Travelling to the Chelsea Links from downtown Ottawa was one thing. Getting there from Avery’s summer residence in Aylmer was another: it was much longer and more time-consuming. As a reporter for the Montreal Herald observed, “The golf players who make Aylmer their homes during the summer months find the links near Ottawa on the Chelsea Road too far” (13 June 1899, p. 4).
As Avery ruminated on the matter at the end of the 1898 golf season, the solution became obvious: build a golf course in Aylmer and found a new golf club.
Avery did both and so became the president of the Ottawa area’s second golf club.
To read the entire story of early golf in the Gatineau River Valley, by Donald J. Childs, click here!