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Club History

In 1875, Milburn was a community of 1,500 with a hotel, five paper mills and the nation's largest billiard ball maker. That year, a few local track enthusiasts founded the Short Hills Athletic Club to promote running and to host meets with top athletes from all over the East. Club activities quickly broadened to include tennis, bowling, and dancing. Ultimately, "Athletic" was dropped from the name.

Throughout the 1880's, Stewart Hartshorn was developing Short Hills Estates, his model community. One of the Club's first benefactors, he offered his distinctive, Stanford White-designed Music Hall rent free for club meetings. In 1881, initiation was ten dollars and annual dues were five dollars.
The Club moved to its present location in 1928 where members enjoyed an elegant new clubhouse and grounds complete with tennis and squash courts. South Pond welcomed swimmers in the summer. In winter, trees were strung with colored lights while a bonfire warmed skaters and their hot chocolate. For a time, a club toboggan run drew members to the top of Hartshorn Drive.
In the twenties, when club dances frequently lasted until dawn, a bar was built in what was the Men's Locker Room. It is still in use in the current Grill Room. In the early forties, the Club embraced the platform tennis craze and, over the years, became a hub of prestigious tournament play, a status it still enjoys today. In the late fifties, heated debate split the membership into "pond" vs. "pool" factions. Happily, the pool complex was added in 1959; it was completely renovated in 2006.
Today, the Short Hills Club is vibrant and busy. Members take an active role in the running of the Club. Families enjoy long summers around the pool. All levels of tennis, squash and paddle are enjoyed, and athletes of all ages compete on a host of sports teams. Members host weekly ACBL bridge games. Creative social events and delectable menus ensure full dining facilities. Friday Pub Nights are casual. Wedding receptions overlooking South Pond are spectacular.

And every New Year's Day - observing an unbroken tradition born in the 1880's - the Board of Governors welcome all members to their annual New Year's Day Governors' Reception.