Honoring Black History Month in Garner

Meadowbrook Country Club, a Hidden Gem with a Rich History

Items, photos and history are on display at the Garner History Museum at the Depot on Wednesday and Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00 until the end of February

Meadowbrook Country Club, located off White Oak Road in Garner is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was founded in 1959 and developed by the black community as an alternative for families who were not able to gain membership to white country clubs due to segregation laws.  The club experienced its greatest membership growth and financial stability through the 1960’s and built all the major facilities during that time.

Meadowbrook offered these amenities, some of which contributed to the historic significance of the county club:

  • 1961: Lake, the first feature built at the club had a wooden pier and a dirt walking path
  • 1962: Picnic area with 3 concrete block grills scattered across the hillside located south of the lake
  • 1962: Putt Putt course, an 18-hole course designed and built by one of the members, A.E. Moore
  • 1966: Driving range, accommodated up to 40 golfers at one time
  • 1966: Nine-hole golf course, 2,772 yards and a par of 36, designed by North Carolina golf course architect Gene Hamm
  • 1962: Clubhouse constructed with a patio added in 1970 and the pro shop in 1971
  • 1969: Boathouse with locker rooms and a shed covered patio, built by Arthur Bunch & A.E. Moore, club members
  • 1968: Junior Olympic size swimming pool
  • 1969: Two clay tennis courts

There were 45 charter members of Meadowbrook County Club, mostly prominent community leaders in Raleigh.  James Joseph Sansom (1916 – 1989) is considered one of the organizers and founders along with M. Grant Batey (1920 – 2012).  The initial meeting for the founding took place at the Roberts Community Center in Raleigh on November 6, 1958.  At the second meeting on November 13, 1958, the participants agreed a permanent charter would not be undertaken until $10,000 had been pledged to the treasury.  In March 1959, Meadowbrook Country Club was incorporated.  On May 3, 1960 they purchased 136.50 acres of farmland from Don K. & Elizabeth T. Appleton, just beyond the town limits of Garner for $27,000.

The 1960’s was the heyday of success for the Club in terms of membership and financial stability. Meadowbrook had its own golf pro, Tommy Horton who taught young men how to play.  Notable among these was Daryl Batey, who went on to be the golf pro at Atlanta’s Eastgate Golf Club and PGA’s Player Development Regional Manager for the Georgia/Atlanta Market.  Circumstances changed in the 1970’s when two significant events took place.  The younger generations began moving away from the area and the passage of the Civil Rights act of 1964 which outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places and employment.  This began to open formerly all-white private clubs for blacks to play.

In 2007, due to financial instability, the Club was sold to St. Augustine’s College so that its legacy as a traditionally black country club would be preserved and other sources of revenue would be available for the long term preservation of the club.

The Club was purchased by the Town of Garner in 2016 and 2017 and closed as a country club.  The Town purchased the property to expand the Parks and Recreation Department services with active recreation parkland.  To see the Park Master Plan, click here.

Facts used here came from the National Register of Historic Places application submitted on behalf of St. Augustine’s College in 2009:   Click here to view application


Garner Locals Going Places


Celestine (Celeste) Shepard Hinnant


Lt. Col. Smith


Robert Louis Shepard, PhD


Col. Reginald McClam

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