Naperville Country Club - A Naperville Institution
Naperville Country Club has been an integral part of the Naperville Community, dating back to its 1921 inception. At that time, the great game of golf had begun to sweep across the nation. With an eye towards bringing golf to Naperville, a group of golf enthusiasts set out to find the finest natural setting for a golf course. Having surveyed the area, they set their sites on a plot of land located just east of downtown Naperville, with easy access to the trains travelling between Chicago and the western suburbs. The property then belonged to Delclara Sleight, granddaughter of Naperville pioneer settler and real estate developer Morris Sleight, who inherited the land from her father Delcar in 1902 when only 9 months old. Delcara would become the Club's first female member and would later be referred to as the
First Lady of Naperville Country Club.
The Pump - A Symbol of Naperville Country Club History
In the winter of 1868-69, Delcar Sleight purchased 130 acres of land east of Naperville. He coveted the land, as it seemed perfectly fit for grazing his extensive herds—rolling hills, never tilled, with only volunteer Hawthorn trees dotting the landscape. In the late spring of 1869, Sleight commissioned the construction of a well to provide a water source for his herds. He ordered a windmill from Chicago and, by June, cattle and goats drank from the cool waters pumped by gentle breezes. Sleight grazed and watered his herds on the property until his death in 1902. His daughter, Delcara, rented the land to local farmers until she signed the deed to Naperville Country Club on September 4, 1921.
The windmill remained on the property until 1947, when it was deemed unsafe and dismantled. All that remained of the well system was the pump. Weary and thirsty golfers used this pump as the only source of drinking water until 1973 when several modern fountains were added to number 3, 6, and 13 tees.
The members of Naperville Country Club decided to make the pump a permanent club icon in 1986. Although the well was sealed in 1996, the pump remains a symbol of our peaceful pastoral past. You can see the original red pump in front of the Halfway House and a replica on the practice green.