A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

History: Tennis in the Matawan Area (1887 - 1949)

Below are excerpts and summaries from a selection of articles from The Matawan Journal about tennis and tennis clubs in the Matawan area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The 16 Apr 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 2 col 4, mentioned a local tennis club.

The 8 Jun 1889 edition of The Matawan Journal mentioned lawn tennis off Main Street in Matawan. "The lawn tennis ground on the lot fronting Main street of the Chapman estate is a popular after-ten resort."

A new tennis club was being formed in Matawan, according to the 6 Jun 1907 edition of The Matawan Journal. "The court on the Institute Grounds will be put in shape, "a reference to the Glenwood Institute property. S H Eggleston was the grounds manager and Miss Simpson was secretary and treasurer.

According to the 20 May 1909 edition of The Matawan Journal, music was performed at Glenwood Hall to raise money for the tennis club but the event was poorly attended. The club subsequently voted unanimously to raise the admission fee from $2 to $3, according to the 4 Jun 1914 edition of the newspaper.

The 23 Apr 1914 edition of The Matawan Journal told of the formation of a new tennis club in Matawan. "New Tennis Club Organized. Those interested in the forming of a tennis club met at the home of F. H. Lloyd but Thursday evening and the following officers were elected:
President - F. H. Lloyd,
Vice-president — Kathryn H. Terhune,
Secretary and Treasurer — Wllson Hobrough.
Plans were made to fix over the old court and to make one or possibly two new ones on the west side of Glenwood Institute."

The Matawan Lake Committee, a group developing the plans for Lake Matawan and Lake Lefferts, was espousing the need for a boating and tennis club on lakeside property to help citizens to get out of their rut, according to the 10 Mar 1921 edition of The Matawan Journal.

The 28 Apr 1921 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 9 col 1) told of the formation of a new tennis club in Matawan. "A number of people interested in the formation of a tennis club met in the school parlors on Monday evening, nt which time an organization was perfected and the following officers elected: President, Elmore Katner; secretary, Lewis Bergen; and treasurer, Thomas Costello. The charter membership consisted of twenty-five people. Work will be started immediatetly on two courts to be constructed on the grounds adjoining P. J. Devlin's residence."

Tennis courts were built at the Cliffwood Beach seashore in 1929, according to Of Town and Field: Matawan and Aberdeen, by Helen Henderson, pg 101. (See Google Books)

The Hazlet Tennis Club held its regular meeting at the home of Winfield Maurer, according to the 1 Sep 1933 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 2 col 2. A tournament with Centerville Tennis Club would be held on 4 Sep 1933, part at Centerville and part on Hazlet's court. "Interest is running high in both clubs. . ."

The Matawan Tennis Club drew lots for an upcoming tournament, according to the 15 Jun 1934 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 4 col 2. The article named players paired in competition. The Keyport Tennis Club defeated Middletown in a recent competition mentioned in the same paper, pg 6 col 4. The team was striving to restore interest in the sport locally.

The Cliffwood Tennis Club was soliciting for members, according to the 29 Jun 1934 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 2 col 5. The club boasted modernistic courts near the Cliffwood Beach boardwalk that had cost $4,000 to build. Edward Wagner was the club's spokesman at the time.

The Keyport Tennis Club would begin the current season in early June on courts opposite Keyport High School, according to the 24 May 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal. The courts were in as fine a condition as they had been in two years, the paper said, adding that many locals were still signing up to play as interest in the sport continued to grow in the region. Preparation had involved three afternoons of practice per week for the past month.

The Keyport Tennis Club held its annual meeting at the Maple Place home of its president, Charles Moore, according to the 10 Jan 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal. The gathering was a party, with two tables of bridge and one table of pinocle. The club was limited to 25 members, with vacancies filled by election. The club met the first Friday of each month.

The obituary of Keyport Board of Education President Joseph D Bedle, which appeared in the 31 Dec 1942 edition of The Matawan Journal, noted that he "was a founder of the Keyport Tennis Club, which had courts on his property."

The Sugar Hill Tennis Club of Morganville held its party at the Texas Road home of Mr and Mrs John Gardner, according to the 24 Mar 1949 edition of The Matawan Journal. Mr and Mrs Harry Cooper, of Matawan, hosted the Sugar Hill Tennis Club on Saturday evening, according to the 7 Apr 1949 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 5 col 3.


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