Photo Gallery

Golfers at Shady Rest Country Club in the 1920's
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA Golfers enjoying an outing at Shady Rest Golf and Country Club in Scotch Plains.
Photo Credit: University of South Carolina Newsfilm Archives

Ella Fitzgerald and Chuck Webb
Chick Webb introducing a young singer named Ella Fitzgerald, who delighted the crowd with "A-Tisket, A-Tasket."

Shady Rest also featured prominently on the Jersey musical circuit, drawing big names like Ellington, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, and Newark's Sarah Vaughan.


Children c. 1921
Children playing golf near Plainfield Ave. at the Shady Rest. c. 1920’s.



Henry WIllis Sr.
Henry Willis, Sr.
A prominent African American businessman living in Scotch Plains was one of the investors in the Progressive Realty Company, Inc. on September 21, 1921. The Progressive Realty Co. purchases the Shady Rest Golf and Country club from the Westfield Country Club. Willis assumed control of Shady Rest in 1925 and has been credited with transforming the club into “one of best know club for golf, tennis, and social affairs for colored people in the United States”.

Photo Credit: University of South Carolina Newsfilm Archives




James Baker
James Baker
He was an interior decorator from Plainfield, NJ; James Baker was a founding member and former Director of the Golf Club. In a September 1922 on-site interview with a white reporter from the now defunct New York Sun, Baker boasted that Shady Rest received 2500 visitors during its July 4, 1922 celebration. The reporter later wrote in a featured article that “In faultless white flannels and impeccable knickers they (the black members) sit upon the veranda consuming lemonade and ice cream discuss the important social event of the day.”

Photo Credit: University of South Carolina Newsfilm Archives



Watercolor of Shady Rest Country Club
Members of the Shady Rest Golf and Country Club 1925
This photo was takenon the veranda (now torn down) of the Club House on July 12, 1925. Membership was selective and consisted of elitist blacks hailing throughout the metropolitan area including Harlem, Brooklyn, Newark, Montclair, Summit, the Oranges, etc. Annual dues were set at $25.00 for individuals residing within 50-mile radius of Westfield and those beyond paying $10.00. Social members (no golfing privileges) paid $15.00. a membership committee conducted background checks on prospective members. If they did not “make the grad socially”, membership was denied.

Photo Credit: University of South Carolina Newsfilm Archives





 c. 1921


Children c. 1921
The Zeta Boule (New York) entertains the Grand Boule of the Sigma Pi PHI Fraternity at the Shady Rest Country Club



Green book
The Shady Rest Gold and Country Club was listed in “Green Book”. The Negro Motorist Green Book, popularly known as the Green Book, was a travel guide intended to help African American motorists avoid social obstacles prevalent during the period of racial segregation, commonly referred to as Jim Crow. The Green Book listed businesses that would accept African American customers.

See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/negro-motorist-green-book-1936-1964#sthash.nSff5o8e.dpuf



Preserve the Shady Rest Committee is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization