Quaker Hill Country Club

One who lets his day pass without practicing generosity or enjoying life’s pleasure is like a blacksmith’s bellows— he breathes but does not live.

            —Sanskrit proverb etched above the hearth on the Quaker Hill Country Club’s “History of Civilization” fireplace

Established in a large old barn that had once belonged to the early Quaker, Paul Osborn, the Quaker Hill Country Club opened on May 30, 1941. Lowell Thomas had bought the barn in the 1930s, originally intending to transform it into a community center, but instead transformed the land into a golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones. Often referred to simply as “the barn”, the Country Club is perhaps most famous for its elaborate “History of Civilization” fireplace, a 20-foot high wall embedded with various artifacts from architectural wonders: a piece of the Taj Mahal, a chunk of the Pyramid at Giza, a stone from the Great Wall of China, pieces from the Golden Gate Bridge and Empire State Building, and so forth. After its completion, Thomas would broadcast his radio show from the Country Club.