Club History

What is now north Florida's most prominent club address, certainly had a most humble beginning. In the early 1900's, Ponte Vedra Beach was nothing more than a pristine wilderness of sand dunes, swamps, alligators and palmetto trees. The region first captured attention, when in 1912, a vein rich in minerals was discovered running through the dunes. These minerals - rutile, ilmenite and zirconium, were found to be of tremendous value in the processing of steel. The site soon evolved into a frontier mining town with worker's quarters, a post office and general store. A successful mining corporation, The National Lead Company, purchased the rugged outpost as well as several thousand acres of the mineral rich property and in support of the United States' war effort during World War I, mined the area for the valuable ore. Mining operations ceased shortly after the war ended and the company began to sell off their large real estate holdings in the area.

The transformation from former mining town to nationally recognized seaside community began in the early 1920's when local land planners skillfully developed the area to maximize its natural beauty. From this respect for the balance of man and nature, came a quaint seaside village featuring stately, pastel colored homes and tree shaded lawns. Indeed, a community of graceful proportions was created to reflect a truly graceful era in our country's history.

The club life at Ponte Vedra Beach dates back to 1928 and the celebrated opening of the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. From the society pages of the Florida Times-Union to the private parties of Jacksonville's most prominent citizens, word soon spread of this newest playground. The first members came from the area's most exclusive communities - Ortega, San Marco, San Jose and Riverside. Indeed, this quaint, seaside retreat attracted the upper classes from all over north Florida. They came for the sun, sand, and surf. They came for the sports. They came to socialize. The finest families came to meet the finest families. And this heritage continues today.

Throughout its long history, the traditions of Ponte Vedra have not been compromised. In 1983, the Club was acquired by one of Jacksonville's most successful and respected companies, Gate Petroleum. Almost immediately, a long range comprehensive plan was put in place to improve, yet preserve with quality and taste, the atmosphere and excellence of this beautiful club. Today, amenities continue to be added while member services are enhanced. World class sports and recreational pursuits have combined with social graces to create a club with a definite lifestyle.

A Glimpse into the Past

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