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Letter: Some fresh facts on Soldiers Field Golf Course history

Letter to the Editor graphic
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This letter is in response to a letter written by Craig Martens published in the June 28 edition of the Post Bulletin. I have a point of clarification to his last paragraph. In 1926, Dr. Graham did NOT give this land to the City of Rochester. It is a fact, however, that he did own the land but it was purchased by the American Legion Post 92 of Rochester in 1924 from Dr. Christopher Graham.

The golf course was developed in 1925 starting with six holes using sand greens and later completing it into a nine-hole course and finally adding the remaining holes to 18.

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For decades, the Sisters of St. Francis have placed a Gospel Social Justice message on their fence facing 14th Street Northwest. There has NEVER been any vandalism.
The NGF Study stated that if Soldiers Field Golf Course is closed, 15,000 of approximately 30,000 rounds currently played there would be lost. The remaining 15,000 rounds could be played at the other city courses. Data suggests we play May through October with shoulder seasons in April and November. Those few months host all high school events, fundraising tournaments, leagues, league events and championships, as well as open play.

In 1927, the Legion transferred its interest in the property to the city of Rochester and it has remained in the city's possession ever since. Rochester hired its first pro in 1929, Mr. Herb Thienell, and the rest is history.

Finally, if anyone should get a slap on the back for this beautiful piece of property it should be the American Legion, not Dr. Graham.

If I might add one side note to this letter, it would be to say that if the so called “City Fathers” decide to downsize or do away with this magnificent 18-hole course and park, it would be like asking New York City to give up half or all of its Central Park. Shame! Shame! Shame!

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Don Buske, Rochester

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