The Mississippi Golf Club in the Village of Appleton has been for me the stage of numerous mirthful occasions since I arrived in Almonte in early June of 1976. In fact it was in the dining room of the original club house (since reduced to ashes by accidental fire) that I was offered employment with the law firm of Galligan & Sheffield in Almonte. Mr. Michael J. Galligan, QC and (now) Mr. Justice Alan D. Sheffield free-heartedly launched my career in Almonte in that cozy club house dining room over a pleasant evening meal as the sun diminished upon the first tee. My introduction to Mississippi Golf Club has since translated into decades of delectation at that charming and picturesque oasis where I have maintained a social membership to this day. The Golf Club is a jewel within our community. The location of the Club along the meandering Mississippi River on the edge of the resplendent Village of Appleton makes it picture-perfect!
As a social member I soon learned that I had at my disposal an instrument of entertainment which delighted not only local inhabitants but also urban associates from Ottawa. Frequently I rallied there with people like the late James R. McGregor (realtor) and other professional cronies over the lunch hour throughout the business week. During the halcyon summer evenings there never was any difficulty luring the city dwellers to the rustic ambiance of the Mississippi Golf Club. At the original club house there was an upright grand piano in the central fireplace room which adjoined the less formal eating and drinking avenue on the River side of the club house. With the assistance of some Dutch courage I was easily persuaded to render a tune or two on the keyboard, the forbearing reception of which was undoubtedly motivated by the same spirit that prompted me. In the earlier days of the Club it was not uncommon to see foursomes engaged in the innocent diversion of card playing.
After the new club house was built its comparative elegance invited a more serious dining experience, as a result of which I began meeting there with usually small groups of friends for dinner. Naturally many of these outings were impromptu, calculated to take advantage of a particularly pleasant summer evening. The combination of spontaneity, fine weather and the bucolic environs invariably culminated in a successful adventure. With increasing regularity (nurtured by the happy reports from my guests) larger family gatherings were annually repeated for the celebration of birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the like. At these congregations friends from some considerable distance would drive to unite at what had become a destination of choice. Mrs. Wendy MacDonald (Caterer) always produced tasteful and interesting meals; and her devoted staff supplied that country warmth which so readily tips the scales of the experience towards success. Sometimes we would accentuate the favourable dining by retreating to the outside patio for after-dinner coffee.
Another personal tradition has been cultivated with the passage of time; that is, the dutiful report to the less formal dining area of the club house for weekend breakfast (Saturday and Sunday mornings). Having been a faithful devotee of the morning meal all my life, I can say without equivocation that the breakfast at Mississippi Golf Club is nonpareil, both in terms of gustatory perception and generosity.
Naturally there are many active members of the Club who have contributed to its winning nature. Among those members whom I have known in particular are people like Mr. Justice C. James Newton, Mr. J. C. (“Jack) Smithson, Mr. Desmond Houston, Mr. Nicholas Magus and Mr. Paul Virgin to name but a few.
The following excerpts are lifted from the Club’s website:
Established in 1915 on the former Patterson Farm in Appleton, just five kilometres east of Carleton Place, Mississippi Golf Club is one of the oldest clubs in Ontario.
Mississippi began as a nine-hole course, with a second nine – designed by the renowned golf course architect Graham Cooke – added in 1987. A new Pro Shop was constructed in 1992 to serve a growing membership. The original stone club house was destroyed by fire in the fall of 1997, and replaced with a modern new building that opened the following spring.
“Mississippi Golf Club is one of the ONLY golf courses in the Ottawa area that has had a waiting list for members for over 20 years.