MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – From caddy, to tournament champion, to now historian, Garth Bishop’s love affair with the Mount Kisco Country Club has lasted a lifetime.
The Mount Kisco native, 59, has written an article detailing the club’s history dating back to the early 20th century, and is in the process of writing a book on the subject.
“My hope for the book is to make sure that the history gets recorded, period,” he said. “There are some things that need to be set in stone for the record before it gets missed forever.”
Bishop spent his summers caddying at Mount Kisco Country Club starting at the age of 12. He started playing the game at Geneva College, and was a member from 1978 to 1987.
“In an effort to learn more about the place I’ve done some research over the last 35 years because it seems to have some sentimental value to me,” he said.
That research has included collecting newspaper articles, brochures, pamphlets, photos and anything he can get his hands on.
Before taking its current name from a failed competitor in 1941, the club was known as the Lawrence Farm Country Club, which opened for play in 1930. A few years earlier, Lawrence Properties of Westchester County acquired 1,000 acres of land in town, including the famous 436-acre Annandale Farm.
The dairy farm was created by Moses Taylor, one of the nation’s leading bankers and industrialist from 1855 to 1882, according to the Mount Kisco Country Club website. He helped finance the Union during the Civil War. His family continued operating Annandale Farms after he died in 1882.
Lawrence retained some of the old farmhouse atmosphere. An old Annandale barn was turned into the clubhouse, a two-story white brick building, flanked by two one story wings on each side.
One of three remaining barns, which has since be removed, was the Westchester County Playhouse, which featured actors such as Ethel Barrymore, Ruth Gordon, Sally Rand, Jose Ferrer, Mildred Dunnoch, Eva Le Gallienne, Vincent Price and Henry Fonda, according to Bishop.
"It’s just a calling I feel needs to be done before I depart this place," he said of writing the book. "It’s just a feeling I have because of the love I carry for the area and that place in particular."