THE EDISON CLUB
In 1903 employees of the General Electric Test Department in Schenectady, New York, conceived the idea of the Edison Club as a “men’s club” to serve as a place to meet socially and develop friendships that had begun as business relationships. The following year 138 men signed a petition indicating their interest in getting together for reading, studying, playing organized games, and other social activities. No thought was given to golf at that time. The first official organizational meeting was held in March 1904 and the Edison Club was officially chartered.
The first clubhouse consisted of rented rooms on the 3rd floor of a building at the corner of State and Lafayette Streets in Schenectady. The Club moved later in the year to a two-story building on Lafayette Street to accommodate its rapidly increasing membership. While the house provided suitable quarters for the winter months, members wanted facilities for outdoor activities. They rented land opposite the Ellis hospital that belonged to the old Mohawk Golf Club. There the members played tennis, football, baseball, and other sports.
By 1907 the Edison Club had grown to over 200 members. The Club purchased land at 60 Washington Avenue adjacent to the Western Gateway Bridge with Mohawk River frontage and a boathouse capable of holding more than 100 canoes. The boathouse burned in 1915 and was replaced by a larger, more durable one with space for 144 canoes, lockers, an automatic track and hoist and a workshop for boat repairs. The Club’s facilities there also included a large brick building for dancing, a bowling alley, a gymnasium and an old frame building containing a lounge and a library.
In 1925 the General Electric Company took over operation of the Club and moved it to the present property on a high bluff overlooking the Mohawk River in Rexford. Initially the club consisted of an 18-hole golf course, four tennis courts, a combination locker house and recreational area and a clubhouse, later called “The Annex” which was extensively remodeled around 1928. A third nine was added to the golf course in 1930 to satisfy the demands of the increasing membership. After World War II, the clubhouse was expanded to include an enlarged kitchen, bar, dining room, and a ballroom. Construction of a swimming pool facility was completed in 1957.
A milestone was reached on March 27, 1968 when the Club membership agreed to purchase The Edison Club from General Electric. A private membership club since 1969, members have continued to update and improve club facilities since that time. In 1999 a major renovation of the clubhouse added the “Crow’s Nest” bar, the informal “Grill Room” dining room, the formal “Edison Room” dining room and an outdoor dining patio. Major renovations of the ballroom, the locker rooms, and recreation lounges were also made and by the summer of 2000 resulted in a truly outstanding facility for its members.
In 2004, the Edison Club celebrated its 100th anniversary with a gala Centennial Ball, Centennial golf tournament, and publication of a commemorative book. For more than 100 years the Edison Club has grown and changed to keep pace with its members’ desires for an active sports and social facility. From its modest beginning as a young men’s social club in downtown Schenectady, the Edison Club has developed into a family oriented country club with nearly 500 members, located on 300 picturesque acres of land and fully equipped to serve its members on a year-round basis.