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The game of golf made its first appearance in Peterborough in the summer of 1899.The Peterborough Transcript heralded the news in a front page article. This venture was championed by three prominent residents, two of them– Marion and Edward MacDowell. In 1896 Marion MacDowell bought the Hillcrest Farm as a summer residence for herself and her husband. In 1901 the golf course was created on a corner of the farm, and became a gathering place for a growing number of local and visiting golf enthusiasts.
The couple’s bigger plan for the farm was to create a special community where artists could work in a nurturing landscape. The world-renown MacDowell Colony was founded in 1907, and the MacDowells turned their energies to the artist colony.
By 1932 Marion MacDowell transferred ownership of the golf course to the Peterborough Country Club, with the proviso that it would always be used as a golf course. The new owners were required to build a club house on the property to replace the building that had burnt down. Mary Lyon Cheney Schofield provided funding for the club house and Robert P. Bass, who a few years later became Governor, was its first President. The dream of the founders was that this golf course would be “supported by the community, offer delightful recreation to those who play but also serve to widen the acquaintances among townspeople.” Their dream became a reality. The new club, among the earliest in New Hampshire, quickly became the center of activity and drew golfers from throughout the region.