Maxwelton Braes: The Beginning and Concept
On one visit home, Michael McArdle and his brother Jim sat at the kitchen table and talked about a building a golf course on what had been the McArdle family farm. Michael McArdle was an avid and accomplished golfer and belonged to several prestigious Chicago Golf Clubs. They sketched out the course on a piece of paper and the next day the brothers walked the property and discussed the layout. Several years later a group of local businessman, headed by Mr. Frank Blackfield, had attempted to raise funds to build a course at this location. They had options on the property but were unable to secure the monies required for the project.
Several weeks later Michael returned with a friend, who was a professional at his home golf course Westmoreland, to look at the property and the concept of Maxwelton Braes.
McArdle negotiated the purchase of the land and construction of the country club began in 1929. Local contractors and materials were used whenever possible during the construction. Michael’s brother James was his personal representative during the construction process.
The course was designed by Joesph R. Roseman of Chicago, a well known golf course architect. The west side “9” was completed and open to the public later in 1929 and the second “9” on the east side was completed in 1931. The famous 19th hole gave ever guest a chance to win a medal for a hole in one when they completed their round.
The building architects were VanHolst and Elmelie of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The plan featured a Tudor style lodge using locally quarried limestone, a tea room at the entrance known as the “Wee Inn,” five cottages situated behind the lodge on the path to the lake, tennis courts, and a garage facility for guests vehicles with accommodations for chauffeurs.
The clubhouse at Maxwelton Braes was originally open for selected members and invited guests only. A few years later the clubhouse was made available to the public.
When construction was completed, Michael McArdle bought the McArdle homestead and restored the home for himself.