Riverside Golf Course
In 1939 the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the Riverside Golf Course and clubhouse, as well as an adjacent swimming beach and playground in Fresno.
“Riverside Golf Course was designed by Billy Bell and built in 1939 as a WPA project. This parkland-style course along the San Joaquin River, features expansive tree-lined fairways stretching over gently rolling terrain, a new lake bringing water into play on four holes and very small greens.”
Prior to the construction of the WPA course, a 9 hole course, built in 1926 as a private club by several wealthy farmers, existed in the spot where Riverside Golf Course now sits. During the Depression this original course went bankrupt. In 1938, local golf pro Grant Halstead was able to initiate a City takeover of the golf course and the hiring of designer Billy Bell in order to revive it as an 18 hole course. Once the WPA-constructed course was complete, Halstead’s wife and daughter would run it.
The WPA-constructed clubhouse burnt down in the 1950s.
William R. Lawson. "Achievements, Federal Works Agency. Work Projects Administration, Northern California." 1940: 71. Fresno Bee, 7/22/38 in Scrapbooks of clippings related to WPA projects in Fresno, Kern, King, Madera, and Tulare Counties, gift of Mrs. David T. Holmes, Vacaville, 1962.
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