History

Founded in 1854, The Philadelphia Cricket Club is one of the oldest clubs in the country devoted to the playing of games. As the name indicates, the Club was formed by a group of young men of English descent who had played the game while students at the University of Pennsylvania. With the wish to continue to play together after their graduation, they formed the Club under the leadership of William Roach Wistar. We invite you to join us in the telling of our history in the timeline below.

1854 Our Founding

Alumni from the University of Pennsylvania founded The Philadelphia Cricket Club and elected the first President, J. Dickerson Sergeant. According to the charter, the purpose of the Club was the "practicing and playing of the games of cricket and tennis and the promotion of the health of its members." As the Club's name implies, cricket was played at the Club from its inception until the 1920s. It was revived in the early 1990s and has enjoyed steady support since.

1883 Settle in Chestnut Hill

Henry H. Houston (1820-1895) provided land to The Philadelphia Cricket Club for its original Chestnut Hill location.

1885 Tennis Champion

Joseph Clark won the National Tennis Doubles title, the first of 23 national tennis titles won by Club members.

1887 Women's Lawn Tennis Championship

The Philadelphia Cricket Club was the site of the first U.S. Women's Lawn Tennis Championship in 1887. The first Women's National Doubles Tournament was played at the Club in 1889 and the first National Mixed Doubles Tournament was held in 1892. All tournaments were later relocated to Forest Hills, New York.

1907 & 1910 U.S. Open Golf Championship

The U.S. Open Golf Championship was held at The Philadelphia Cricket Club and won by Alec Ross (1907) and Alex Smith (1910).

1912 From Titanic Survivor to National Tennis Champion

R. Norris Williams II survived six hours in freezing waters after the Titanic sank and refused leg amputation. He became a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club and later went on to win the National Tennis Singles title (1914-1916), National Doubles title (1925-1926), Wimbledon Doubles title (1920), and the Olympic Mixed Doubles title (1924).

1915 National Squash Champion

Stanley Pearson, Sr. won the National Squash Singles Championship, the first of over 80 national squash titles won by Club members.

1922 Wissahickon Golf Course Opens

An 18-hole golf course (later named "Wissahickon") designed by Club member A. W. Tillinghast opened about five miles west of Chestnut Hill in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.

1930 Olympic Swimmer

The Philadelphia Cricket Club opened its first pool, donated by George Woodward. Many years later, in 1960, member Nina Harmer became the Club's first national record-holder in the backstroke. She went on to win a gold medal in the Pan American Games and compete as a member of the U.S. Olympic team.

1954 Centennial Celebrations

The Philadelphia Cricket Club celebrated its Centennial with a formal dinner in February and a Centennial Ball in May. The Ball was attended by 500 members and guests.

1973 Platform Tennis comes to PCC

The Club opened its first paddle tennis courts in Chestnut Hill. The Club completed construction of a new Paddle Pavilion and four new paddle courts in 2014.

1981 The Legacy of Harold "Bub" Cross

Harold "Bub" Cross made golf history as the first man to win his Club Championship in seven consecutive decades. The Club continues to honor his legacy with a tournament each year.

2002 Militia Hill Golf Course Opens

The 18-hole Militia Hill golf course, designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, opened in Flourtown. The Philadelphia Cricket Club became the only club to open an 18-hole golf course in three consecutive centuries.

2004 Sesquicentennial Celebration

The Club celebrated its Sesquicentennial with a musical history performed by the Orpheus Club and a formal dance attended by 800 Club members and guests.

2014 Wissahickon Restoration and St. Martins Renovations

The Club completed the restoration of the Wissahickon golf course in Flourtown, led by Keith Foster, as well as the additions of five squash courts, four new paddle tennis courts and accompanying pavilion, and a fitness center. The Club also renovated its pool area, locker rooms, and other facilities.

2015 PGA Professional National Championship

The PGA Professional National Championship, comprised of 312 of the top club golf professionals, was held on the Wissahickon and Militia Hill golf courses and won by Matt Dobyns who is pictured here with Dan Meersman, Director of Grounds, and the Grounds Crew.

2016 PGA Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS

The PGA Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, one of five majors on the PGA Champions Tour, was held on the Wissahickon golf course and won by Bernhard Langer pictured here with Club Leadership.