In 1852, Eric and Vicki Gudgeon purchased 112 acres of land, originally part of the 600 acre Colling Block owned by Joseph Colling who settled here in 1822.
Using borrowed farm equipment, Eric, a professional organic chemist, ploughed the front nine fairways of his 20 year-dream golf course. Its design and creation was a family affair; son Bill left his job to become hands-on builder-manager.
The new golf course was named “Lowville Heights” and “Shiloah” (place of many springs, was selected as the name of the course’s management company).
Each of the nine holes was named for a significant local historical site such as Dakota, Table Mountain (Mt. Nemo), Freeman, Fisherman’s Gap, Mount Vernon, Tansley and Gold Mountain (Rattlesnake Point).
The rugged roller-coaster conditions of this hilly 18-hole course were a major challenge for area golfers accustomed to relatively flat dimensions of other courses.
A prefab clubhouse, built in 1976, served as a restaurant for golfers. In 1990 an irrigation system was installed. The family overcame obstacles like heavy clay, Dutch elm disease and the recession of the early 1990s.
After Eric’s death, the property was sold. The new owners retained Shiloah as the Management Company but renamed the course Lowville Golf Club. Major improvements were undertaken including large water reservoirs, a state-of-the-art irrigation system, the planting of over 500 trees, the reconfiguration of fairways and the reconstruction of the greens.
A new clubhouse, designed by Lowville architect, Cynthia Zahoruk, was completed in May of 2005.
Editor’s Note: See the official opening day invitation from Eric Gudgeon.
Contributing Author: Lowville Community Calendar Committee