The Indian Hill Club was established to provide recreational facilities in keeping with the needs and character of Indian Hill. Today, the Board seeks to continue to provide a family-oriented club that is clean, attractive, and safe, while at the same time managing Club resources in a cost-effective manner. We hope you and your guests will derive the fullest possible enjoyment from our Club.
A Brief History of the Early Years of Indian Hill Club
In 1955, a group of interested citizens talked informally about a Village swimming pool. On January 24, 1956, Mr. Howe, Mrs. Sheard and Mr. Durham appeared before the Council to explore future recreational facilities for the Village. Mr. Stanley Rowe, Sr., at the request of Council, submitted a report on February 28, 1956, covering the costs and problems of operating a municipal pool. Council acted by conducting a questionnaire survey among all the Village residents. The result showed substantial interest in a private pool but opposition to a public facility. The result of this was that Council said, “We will help where we can, but you are on your own.”
On August 2, 1956, 13 initial members received Articles of Incorporation for a non profit swimming club. In September, this group sent out questionnaires to the residents of the Village and received 107 favorable replies. The hunt was now on for a site. The first site considered was to the northwest and adjacent to the Village Hall. This was turned down. In November, property was offered to the west of Given Road north of Country Day School. The planning commission turned this down in December. In February 1957, two sites were considered, one on lower Given Road and one adjacent to the Boy Scout property, but were not felt to be adequate. In April, Mr. Joe Nordloh suggested property to the rear of 6185 Miami Road. After much consultation among the members and the Village officials, this, our present site, seemed to meet all of our requirements. Accordingly on May 21, 1957, the Club took an option on 2.3 acres within the Village limits plus 10 lots on the west side of Dot Avenue, 2.2 acres belonging to the Albers Estate, which they subsequently donated for the benefit of the Club. The firm of Pansiera & Dohme was retained to design the facilities and the drive was on for members. How many people still remember the model we displayed?
On December 10, 1957, Charter membership closed with approximately 150 families paying $360 before we broke ground.In mid July 1958, the Club opened with 255 members and Mr. Lee Haslinger as manager. We had our first swim meet that year with Terrace Park and we had 3 swimmers. In September, the Internal Revenue Service issued a new ruling that made the Club eligible for a refund of the $60 per member that had been paid in taxes. At a special meeting on November 3, the members voted to leave the money in the Club and the equity share was increased from $200 to $250.We opened the 1959 season with Ray Farnham as our new manager. The League of Swim Clubs was started that year and Sandy Martin was our first swim coach. The membership was full at 300 and we had a waiting list. In June, we purchased a large additional tract of land to the south from Mr. Frech who also gave us an option to purchase his remaining house and property at some future date. Our club house was designed this fall.
We opened 1960 with a new Club House. The swim team was growing. We had a snack bar. Who remembers the old apple and plum trees?In 1961, we traded land to the west of the pool for the land to the north. This enabled us to add additional parking. Vic Cooper was the swim coach.In 1962, we cleared more area around the property. We also acquired our totem pole. In November, the members voted to build a new swimming pool and two tennis courts. The membership was increased from 300 to 350 families and the equity was increased from $250 to $300. Mr. Druce Henn was retained as architect with instructions to blend the design with our present facilities. Yoshi Oyakawa, former Olympic Champion and world record holder, was the swim coach. This was the first year of his three year tenure.In July 1963, the new racing pool was opened and, in August, the two new tennis courts were ready. We were hosts for the League Championship swim meet. In 1964, we had our first mid-winter President’s Ball at the Terrace Hilton.
In 1965, we were hosts for the Private Pool Swim League (PPSL) and won our first League Championship. The PPSL had grown to 16 teams and was easily the strongest league in the Greater Cincinnati area. Our first diving coach, Dan Gartiez, was a former diver in the Pan American Games for Cuba. Joe Lammert was in the first year of his six year tenure as head swim coach. The assistant swim coach, Mary Jo Ruggieri, spent three summers at IHC before moving to Ohio State University as the Synchronized Swim Coach. In 1980, she was the coach for the Olympic Synchronized Swim Team.In 1966, the equity shares were increased from $300 to $325 to reflect the increased assets of the Club. We were now heating the water in the large pool. The swim team finished second in the PPSL and won the Junior Olympic meet which, at the time, was the mythical city championship. The team had grown to 135+ swimmers and divers, which was one of the largest teams in the city. After two years of success, many of the PPSL records were held by IHC swimmers.
At a special meeting in the fall of 1967, it was voted to increase the membership from 350 to 375 families. At the end of ten seasons, we had come a long way! Stay tuned for PART TWO of the story…which follows the club’s wonder years from the seventies through the new millennium where we learn of all championships the Wahoos bring home, the families that grew up and came back with their own families, and, finally, the club retools and rebuilds. We have come a long way…stay tuned for more!