Palm Beach Winter Club

The North Palm Beach Country Club

Most people in North Palm Beach know the country club as it stands today.  However, I have spoken with a few people who know very little (if anything) about the old building.  Unless you were able to attend the club prior to the eighties, you may not have seen the old building.  Although it was torn down, it is listed in the United States registry of historical places.

Below is a photo of the Winter Club, most likely taken in the late 1970s:

The North Palm Beach country club was originally housed in a Mediterranean-style building that was constructed by Harry Kelsey in 1925. Designed by the French architect, Louis De Puyseger, it was known as the Palm Beach Winter Club. The area that would one day become the Village of North Palm Beach was originally in Harry Kelsey’s land holdings.

Pictured below is a photo of Harry Kelsey standing in front of his Winter Home:

Kelsey then sold the Winter Club to Sir Harry Oakes, who added a south wing onto the building. Beginning in the 1950s, it changed hands numerous times (at one time it was owned by John D. MacArthur) until the Village purchased it in 1962. The mansion was approved as a historical site, but it was torn down in the 1980s. The opening ceremony for the new country club was held in 1963; the old Winter Club stood nearby for some time until it was finally tucked away into the pages of history.

Below is a photo of the opening ceremony of the new country club:

Do you know someone who is in this photo? If you do, please contact me! I would love to hear your stories.

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18 thoughts on “The North Palm Beach Country Club

  1. It was never the home of Kelsey OR Oakes. It was built as a clubhouse for the Winter Golf Club. There were only three bedrooms in it and Oakes stayed there infrequently. Really do wish they had found a way to save it. Great article – loved the pictures!

  2. I now work there as beverage cart girl and it is a very unique place…if anyone could give me more info I would so love to hear it. Thank you

    1. Oh and I do banquets so I am in the the club a lot! I just love history and being from Michigan for 24 years…here in Florida 10 years and obviously setting roots down I would love to tell my family more, I get my history needs from my grandfather who has been every where! Thanks again!

      1. Hello Kristy, I’m so glad you enjoy my blog! If you would like, you are more than welcome to stop by my office at the library and I would be happy to show you the information I have on the country club and the Winter Club. My hours are varied, so you can contact me by email: author.rosa.sophia@gmail.com or you can call my office and leave a message: 841-3371 . . . I work upstairs much of the week as well, so you can also ask for me at the front desk. History is so much fun!! 🙂 Take care, and thanks for commenting. — Rosa Sophia, North Palm Beach Village Historian

  3. The woman second-in from the right is Kathleen (not positive on the first name) Tatoul, one of my favorite teachers at Allamanda Elementary. I think I recognize a few others, but will forward to my Mom to confirm.
    Great memories! I knew that castle and the banyan trees out front inside and out!!

  4. Mayor was Harold Beery, his wife was the 1st music teacher at Benjamin private school, a 2 story home served as the school back then, in the oaks directly west of Old port cove

  5. Pablo Picasso even stayed here in the 1960’s at the club..
    Mr Giacomo art instructor
    They held ballet instruction in the main ballroom and often had shows at night, concerts mid 60’s ,artshows

  6. I purchased a silver cigarette case at an auction in Fredonia, NY about 20 years ago. engraved inside it is, “Palm Beach Country Club”, Palm Beach Championship, 1925, Third 16 won by Albert Robinson Hakes, Fredonia,NY” Does anyone know anything about this? I struck out on Google. This site was the closest I came to a hit.

    1. Hi, Michael: If you’re in Florida, your best bet is to visit the Palm Beach County historical society and ask them about it. I think that the country club you’re looking for is outside of the North Palm Beach area. I highly recommend you get in touch with the Palm Beach Historical Society. If you’re unable to visit, you can call them and ask, too. Here is their website: https://www.historicalsocietypbc.org Check them out, give them a call. I am sure they can give you some great information on that! It sounds like a neat piece! Best of luck to you. -Rosa Sophia, author.rosa.sophia@gmail.com

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