Zumbro Valley Recreation Club founded in 1920
Golf was introduced to Kasson by a group from the old “Triangle Club”– this was the same club that started the tobaggon slide, skating rink and sponsored many nice parties and dances in Kasson, as well as a winter carnival one year. The weather turned so bad that time we decided not to undertake it again!
In 1920 a few members of the Triangle Club made arrangements with Henry Blanch to use a part of his pasture, across from the Dodge County Fair Grounds. We had only three or four holes and one would not call it a golf course but we did have fun practicing “cow pasture pool”. Some of us belonged to other established country clubs — a few of us joined Owatonna and played there when time permitted. This group of pioneers, Sam Lord, Howard Tollefson, Carlos Leuthold, Ole Stenstad, Dr. C. L. Nelson, Lloyd Leuthold, Dr. S. A. Helebrandt and myself (Paul Leuthold) created enough interest among others so we had to look for larger quarters.
This time we located in a pasture belonging to Harry Houston, one mile south of the present club. We had rather a nice little course laid out there which we used for about three years. All of the improvements were made by the club and the better it looked — the higher the rent went. That might not have been so bad except that we were sharing the property with Harry’s cows and pigs. So when the rent went up to $750.00 in 1924 we decided to make other plans. That amount does not sound like much today, especially to those of you that don’t recall the time when a dollar was worth it’s face value — as it was during the above period.
This time we rented what was known as the Bowman farm from Chris Dennesen for $200.00 for the first year. It had not been occupied for some years and Chris only farmed a small part of it in connection with his other land.
It was a tremendous undertaking but the possibilities could be seen so it was decided that we buy it. On April 18, 1926 Chris was paid $500.00 to bind the bargain. The balance of $2900.00 was paid on June 16th, 1926 with an interest item of $45.85 paid on July 9th. So the total cost was $3445.85
The stockholders group was incorporated as the Zumbro Valley Recreation Club. This corporation leased the grounds to the Kasson Golf Club until 1933 when it became evident that two organizations were not necessary so the running of the club was taken over by the corporation.
It would have been nice if you could have seen what it looked like when we bought it. What are now #3 and #9 fairways were filled with stumps. One Sunday several of us came down and blew out (dynamited) about 300 stumps, then it did look like a battle field until we had the refuse hauled away and the holes filled with dirt. That was in late winter and the ground was still frozen. At that same time we cut trees on the north side of the river to make bridges across the creek on 3 and 9 as well as on and off the island. These worked fine until we had a spell of high water that took them all out. They were replaced several times until finally more permanent ones could be built.