Dover Hall Club
News Articles from Papers Around the U.S.

"The Atlanta Constitution" (Atlanta, GA); Friday 17 January 1902; pg. 3 col. 4


          Brunswick, Ga., January 16 (Special)--Messrs. Cave & Co., the largest planters in the state of South Carolina, with headquarters at Brunswick, today closed a deal for the lease of the Dover Hall property, the famous old-time plantation now owned by G.W. Wright, and will at once ship here a car load of mules, large quantities of supplies and about fifty families to go extensively into the watermelon and cantaloupe raising business.
          The will have 300 acres under cultivation before the present week ends and add to that as rapidly as their many hands can get it in shape.
          This news, coming on top of the announcement from Brobston, Fendig & Co. two days ago, that the German peasant colonists from the Russian townships were beginning to arrive and were building their homes and laying off their lands for truck farm cultivation, gives the farming industry of this section of the state, and especially Glynn county, a tremendous impetus.


"Syracuse Herald" (Syracuse, NY); Friday 5 January 1915; pg. 16 col. 1

--by Jack Veiock

          New York, Jan. 5.--The national commission will clean up unfinished business in a second meeting this month, but the members will not remain in the dreary North for it. They will hie themselves to Dover Hall, Ga., some time after the middle of January to ponder over the demands of the minor leagues--between hunting and fishing parties.
          John A. Heydier, secretary of the National league, announced the commission's plan and said that the schedule committee of the two big leagues will meet at the same time. Dover Hall is a game preserve owned by a number of prominent baseball magnates and players.
          President Ed Barrow of the International league, returned here in an optimistic mood concerning the chances of the minors to secure the concessions they have asked from the two big leagues.
          "A much better understanding between the minor and the major leagues resulted from the conferences in Cincinnati." said Barrow. "I cannot say much of a definite nature at this time, but we are satisfied that the commission will lend every possible aid to better conditions among the little fellows."


"The Atlanta Constitution" (Atlanta, GA); Thursday 14 January 1915; pg. 7 col. 3


          Brunswick, Ga., January 13 (Special)--Manager George Stallings, of the Boston Braves; Ty Cobb, George Whitted and a half dozen sporting writers were the guests of a number of Brunswick business men tonight at a banquet at the Elks' club.
          This party has been spending a few days at Dover Hall, which may be purchased for training quarters for a half dozen clubs. Tomorrow the party will be tendered a trip to Jekyl Island.
          Though Whitted has been with Manager Stallings and President Gaffney, of the Boston club, it is understood that he has not yet signed his contract.
          "I think I'll sign, and everything will be all right before we leave here," said Whitted. He said he had never entertained any idea of going with the Federal league.


"The Atlanta Constitution" (Atlanta, GA); Friday 15 January 1915; pg. 9 cols. 2 & 3


          Brunswick, Ga., January 14 (Special)--If a deal which has been pending for over two years between the owners of Dover Hall, a beautiful plantation near Brunswick, and a number of big league baseball owners, and the indications point that way, then Brunswick will jump into the limelight as the greatest spring baseball headquarters in the world and it will mean that no less than a half-dozen clubs, including two or three big league teams and as many class A organizations will train in this county.
          When President James E. Gaffney, Manager Stallings, of the Boston Braves, and Ty Cobb headed a large party to Brunswick Monday morning they did not come merely on a hunting trip, as had been announced, but they came for the purpose of taking a final look at this place, deciding upon it and paying the money on the option. Whether or not this was done has not been announced, but it is understood that the baseball moguls were more than delighted with Dover Hall as a training camp.
          The plan to convert the place into a great baseball training camp was conceived by Manager Stallings two years ago. He at that time paid a visit to the place, returned later with several of those who are interested in the deal and since then two or three trips have been made to the site. It was stated that President Navin, of the Detroit Tigers, together with Henry Hemstead, president and chief owner of the New York Giants, and a number of others were interested in the deal.
          It is the plan of those interested in the deal to make the place one big spring training camp, where each year the Boston Braves, the New York Giants, the Detroit Americans, the Providence club, of the International league; Buffalo, of the same league, and probably others would go into training.
          A mammoth clubhouse suitable to care for all of the players of these clubs would be erected, the present corn fields on the tract would be built into four or five diamonds and here these clubs would come every spring for their training, rather than going to a different city every season, as has been the case in the past.
          Dover Hall located just 17 miles from Brunswick and consisting of some 2,500 acres. Strange to say, it is just 1 mile from where George Stallings' father once lived and where the present "miracle man" spent his knee breeches days and where he used to assist the others in driving up the cows every afternoon just before dark.
          The property is owned by the estate of George W. Wright and is one of the best known county homes in Glynn county, as well as a fine game preserve, and members of the party have been enjoying a hunt there during the last three days.


"The Atlanta Constitution" (Atlanta, GA); Sunday 1 August 1915; pg. 9B cols. 2 & 3


          Brunswick, Ga., July 31 (Special)--A deal which has been pending for more than a year between the owners of Dover Hall, fourteen miles from Brunswick, and a number of the best-known baseball owners, officials, etc., in the big leagues, was finally closed up here today, when all the money involved in the deal was paid in, the titles drawn and the property delivered to its new owners.
          The closing of this deal means that Glynn county is to have another club which may eventually rival the well known Jekyl Island club, and means also, it is believed by many, that a scheme suggested months ago in connection with the purchase of the property, that Dover Hall will, in a few years, be the winter headquarters of a half dozen big league baseball clubs, that a mammoth clubhouse will be erected, two or three diamonds constructed, and, instead of these clubs going to various sections for spring training, all of them will come here. This was one of the original plans when the deal was first talked of.
          The new purchasers have already organized the Dover Hall club, and starts out with fifty members, a majority of them being president of big league clubs, heads of various baseball organizations, etc., as well as a number of New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Buffalo bankers and others. Captain T.D. Huston, one of the owners of the New York Americans, has been elected president of the club. Some of the other prominent members are Colonel Jake Ruppert, part owner of the New York Americans; James E. Gaffney and Robert Davis, owners of the Boston Braves; Harry Hemstead, president of the New York Nationals; Ben Johnson, president of the American league; ex-governor Tener, of Pennsylvania, president of the National League; E. Barrett, president of the International league; James Nevin, owner of the Detroit Americans, George Stallings, manager of the Boston Nationals; Ty Cobb, Georgia champion ball player, and a large number of others, a majority of whom are in some way connected with big league baseball.
          Practically all of the men named above have visited Brunswick and Dover Hall, and made a thorough inspection of the property purchased. Last winter a party of about twenty, headed by George Stallings, spent two or three days at the place, and all of them were delighted with it.
          It was announced today following the closing of the deal that a large clubhouse would be erected, probably in time for occupancy the coming winter, and that a number of the members of the club would construct pretty winter bungalows. Captain Huston will be the first to build, and it was stated that work on his cottage will begin within a few months.
          Dover Hall is located fourteen miles from Brunswick, on a branch of Turtle river and can be reached either by rail or water. The tract consists of 2,436 acres, much of which has been cleared. Hundreds of acres, however, are of virgin pine and the timer rights on the land sold for a big price a few years ago. In buying the land the new owners also purchased the timer rights and no more of the timber will be cut. As a game preserve Dover Hall is considered the best spot in this section. There is now on the land deer, wild turkey, and quail, and the new owners will at once stock the land with pheasants and other game. The entire tract is under fence and is bounded on one side by a public road leading to Jacksonville, and on the other by rivers and creeks, and also afford excellent fishing. It was the property of the late George W. Wright.
          While it is announced that the new owners propose to first convert the pretty property into a winter resort, where their members can come down during the winter and enjoy fishing and hunting, it is believed that the land has been purchased, as state, for the purpose of making Dover Hall a great training camp for big league clubs.


"The Atlanta Constitution" (Atlanta, GA); Sunday 8 August 1915; pg. 3B cols. 4 & 5


          Brunswick, Ga., August 7 (Special)--Further details of the plans of the Dover Hall club, organized last week following the purchase of a Glynn county tract of land by that name, is contained in an article in The New York Times, which gives the names of the new owners, the officers, the purposes, etc. The article, among other things, says; "Dover Hall, one of the largest and most picturesque of the southern estates, located 14 miles from Brunswick, Ga., has just been purchased by a syndicate of men prominently identified with baseball, and the indications are that the old plantation, which comprises 2,436 acres will eventually be turned into a great training camp for major league clubs. The identification of George Stallings with the project lends further credence to this view, for it has been one of his pet theories that it would be a great advantage for a National league and American league team to train together, each practicing in the morning independently and playing a game in the afternoon. The scope of the property would allow for the training of every one of the big league teams, and this would undoubtedly lessen the cost of southern training, where each of the clubs is forced to maintain its own camp."
          The Times then goes into full detail of the organization, states that a $50,000 clubhouse will be erected in time for occupancy this fall, and outlines the plans of the clubs. The officers of the new Dover Hall club are: President, Captain T.L. Huston; vice president, George Stallings; treasurer, Frank M. Stevens; secretary, A. Allison. The directors are, in addition to the officers, B.B. Johnson, president of the American league; Charles A. Comiskey, Ivrin E. Cobb and Damon Runyon. Other members are Jacob Ruppert, James E. Gaffney, Bug Fisher, John K. Tener, president of the National league; Archie Hurlbut, Robert Lee Hedges, Tyrus Cobb, John J. McGraw, Harry Stevens, J.C. Toole, Robert Davis, Howard Trumbo, Norman H. Davis, Edward Barrow, president of the International league, and Harry N. Hempstead. Edward Barrow, president of the New York Giants. The active membership is to be limited to fifty, but there will also be an associate membership. The company will be incorporated under the laws of Delaware.


"The Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, IN); Tuesday 16 January 1917; pg. 10 col. 1


          New York, Jan. 16--Whether Ban Johnson, president of the American league, was knocked speechless by the news that the baseball players' fraternity had applied for a charter giving it membership in the American Federation of Labor, was not known today. But at all events Johnson was not talking.
          Ban is here to put the American league finishing touch on what Barney Dreyfuss and John Heidler do in the way of schedules for the two major organizations. Samuel Gompers, president of the labor federation, is in New York.
          "I have no doubt that the charter will be granted," said Gompers. "It seems like the right sort of a step. Organized labor certainly will back Fultz in his demands if his organization affiliates with ours. I am a keen baseball fan, and believe the fraternity demands are no more than proper."
          Ban talked a little when he arrived in New York late yesterday. He purred something about crushing the fraternity, Dave Fultz' presumption, the smartness of American league baseball players and the ingratitude of those who plan to strike and then knocked off.
          Fultz meanwhile is staying in the background. Ban and his colleagues will leave New York and go to Dover Hall, Ga., probably tomorrow. There they expect to finish up the business of routing the clubs for next summer.
          Governor John K. Tener refused to comment on the situation. He says there's nothing to add.


"The Fort Wayne Sentinel" (Fort Wayne, IN); Monday 2 April 1917; pg. 10 col. 7


          Chicago, April 2.--Sitting on the rim of a lake with a fish pole in hand is a popular way to spend a vacation, but not so with President Johnson, of the American league. His idea of spending a vacation is painting a two story house.
          Johnson, on a recent visit to the Dover Hall club of Dover Hall, Ga., found one of the buildings in need of pain. Instead of hiring the work done, Johnson donned overalls and with the aid of an aged negro undertook the job himself. The task required six days of back-stretching toil.
          "Where did I learn to paint?" the American league boss queried. "When I was a boy in Cincinnati that was my regular job."
          Johnson is a member of the Dover Hall club which was founded by Capt. Huston, one of the owners of the New York Americans. The club grounds cover 2,500 acres.


"The Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, CT); Tuesday 15 January 1918; pg. 15 col. 4


          Chicago, Jan. 14.--Owing to crippled transportation conditions President B.B. Johnson of the American league announced tonight that the major league schedule meeting, set for Dover Hall, Ga., this week had been called off. He requested Barney Dreyfuss, president of the Pittsburg club, and one of the National league representatives on the schedule committee to name a new date and place for the meeting.


"The Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, CT); Thursday 24 January 1918; pg. 13 col. 6


          Pittsburg, Jan. 23.--Members of the schedule committee of the National and American leagues assembled here today to draft the playing dates for the coming season. John Heydler, serving as the proxy for John K. Tener, president of the National league, and Barney Dreyfuss, president of the Pittsburg club, represented the senior major league, while Ban B. Johnson, president of the American league, held the power to act for that organization in his more or less pudgy hand.
          The meeting was held here at the request of Barney Dreyfuss, who is ill and felt that he could not make the trip to Washington, where it had been proposed to hold the session when it was found advisable to call off the proposed meeting at Dover Hall, Ga., because of transportation difficulties.
          No Barriers Expected.
          The prevailing sentiment among the baseball chiefs as they gathered for the session was that no great inconvenience or insurmountable barriers would be experienced in transportation conditions this summer. There had been some fear that it might be necessary to draft several emergency schedules to provide against what were deemed unsettled railroad conditions, but since the government has taken charge of the railroads optimism apparently prevails and the officials seem to be of a mind that all will be well and that the schedules already tentatively drawn will be uninterrupted by transportation facilities during the playing season.
          In spite of this outward optimism, however, it was current gossip here today that at least one emergency set of dates would be drafted and held in readiness in case anything should happen to necessitate alteration. It was also said that greater care than usual would be exercised in laying out the schedules to provide as far as possible for any emergencies.
          Avoid Conflicts.
          Particular attention will be paid to conflicting dates in those cities supporting both National and American league clubs. Such conflicts will be reduced to a minimum. In this way it is hoped as much as the schedule makers can do will have been done to help all of the clubs financially.
          According to gossip that ever precedes a baseball conclave of any kind, it was said the following would be the order of the opening games on April 16--the date having already been definitely settled:
          In the National league--Boston Braves vs. Giants, at Polo Ground; Brooklyn at Philadelphia. Chicago Cubs at St. Louis and Cincinnati at Pittsburg. In the American league--Yankees at Boston, Athletics at Washington, Detroit at Cleveland and St. Louis Browns at Chicago.


"The Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, CT); Wednesday 8 February 1928; pg. 12 col. 3

--by Herbert Corey [Social News]

          Speaking of clubs, Gene Tunney was a recent guest at the Dover Hall Club of Colonel Tillinghast Huston of Georgia, where sporting writers and others of the Manhattan elect go to wash the lingering remains of a winter's sociability out of their systems before the grass starts. One of Mr. Tunney's fellow guests fell foul of him.
          "I knowed you", said he, "when you was glad to drive a garbage wagon."
          "Yes," said Mr. Tunney, "in those days you knew me well. Now, however you will observe that I use only three syllable words."


"The Atlanta Constitution" (Atlanta, GA); Monday 17 January 1921; pg. 6 col. 4


          Brunswick, Ga., January 16--Wilbert Robinson, erstwhile leader of the Brooklyn winners of the National league, and a contender for the world's series, is wintering at Dover Hall, sixteen miles from Brunswick, where a number of baseball celebrities have purchased a handsome estate and converted it into a winter resting place. It is understood that a number of the best known baseball men in both the big leagues will arrive shortly for a stay at the club. Pfeffer, one of Robinson's best pitchers, accompanied his manager on the trip and is enjoying the hunting and fishing offered around Dover Hall.


"The Syracuse Herald Journal" (Syracuse, NY); Monday 23 August 1948; pg. 17 cols. 6 & 7

--by Frank Graham

          Frank Graham, New York Journal-American columnist writes another article on events in the life of home run king Babe Ruth. He says that the Bambino, when he was the outstanding "killer" on the Yankee "Murderer's Row," like to hold out against signing the renewal contracts half in fun, because he liked to haggle with the Yankee owner in public.

          New York (INS)--When Babe Ruth said last winter that he wasn't going to die in the hospital room where he had spent so many weeks but was going to get out and have fun again before the last bell rang, he headed for Florida.
          I'm sure that wasn't only because of the climate. But he had so much fun in Florida in the years gone by that, I'm sure he thought that was the best place to look for it in the little time left to him.
          Fun? He'd had fun everywhere he'd been. In all the major league towns--and a lot of minor league towns, as well. All over the country and in Europe and the Orient. he missed few places worth seeing--and missed nothing in the places he hit.
          There has been one spot he had loved but it was gone now, and, with it, most of the friends with whom he had shared it. That was Dover Hall on a plantation near Brunswick, Ga.
          The Dover Hall Club, they called it and its only purpose was fun in the fall and early winter; hunting, fishing, drinking and sitting around the fireplace at night swapping lies.
          Those were great days...and the Babe's life back in the early twenties, with Cap. Huston, Damon Runyan, Sid Mercer, Bill McGeehan, Bozeman Bulger, Bill McBeth, and Frank Stevens. Now all were gone but the Babe and Frank Stevens and the hall itself was but a memory.
          He also had fun during his playing days, holding out in Florida. Those holdouts were half in earnest, half in fun and I never could be sure who enjoyed them most--Jake Ruppert, the Babe, the guys who wrote about them or the fans who read about them.
          They were half in earnest because, after all, there was money involved. Money for Jake to pay out and money for the Babe to take in. And, sometimes, there was a little anger on each side.
          The were half in fun because, of course, they could have been settled in Jake's office in the brewery, where he dealt with the most obsurate players who thought they could get more out of him than they could out of Ed Barrow.
          Everybody knew, naturally, that Jake was clowning when, having named the figure he decided to pay the Babe, he said he would not give an inch and if the Babe didn't take that salary he could stay out of baseball.
          And when the Babe roared that Jake was a tightwad and that if he didn't raise the ante he could have his ball club, it was more of the same. But it made good listening and good reading.
          The last big one most of them St. Petersburg. That was in the spring of 1933. It began in New York, when Barrow sent the Babe a contract calling for $50,000.
          Babe sent it back to him, packed his trunks, bags and golf sticks and was off to St. Petersburg. A month or so later, when the squad arrived to start training, he still was unsigned.
          "I'll never sign for $50,000," he told his friends.
          In New York Barrow said: "He won't get a dollar more than $50,000."
          That gave the Babe a cue.
          "I'll sign for $50,001 but I won't sign for $50,000," he said.
          Now...and on the square...Barrow's neck was bowed. He swore the Babe wouldn't get the dollar.
          Ruppert and Barrow, on their annual visit to the camp, got in a few days later. Ruppert, as always, was the one to take the Babe on the last round, and it was arranged that they should meet at the Babe's penthouse.
          There, too, went the reporters with the club. Barrow didn't go.
          "I don't have to," he said. "I have the Colonel primed. It will be $50,000 or nothing--and you know it won't be nothing. But this time the Babe isn't going to con the Colonel again."
          While the rest of us awaited, the Babe and the Colonel argued long and earnestly. When they came out, Jake looked dour indeed and the Babe was grinning.
          "Well," Jake said, "Ruth has signed his contract."
          "For how much?" a reporter asked.
          "That," Jake said, firmly, "is a secret between Ruth and me."
          The Babe laughed.
          "What's secret about it?" he said, "I got $52,000."
          His span as a ball player was almost over. He was to spend only one more spring at St. Petersburg with the Yankees and he was back there with the Braves in 1935 and that was all.
          But almost every writer in the years that followed saw him there for at least a month.
          I saw him there last spring. Haggard and dying now--and yet, almost feverishly, searching for fun. For some diversion that, even for a little while, would compensate him, however meagerly, for the constant pain that he suffered and the utter hopelessness of his future on this earth.
          I saw him again, but briefly, in New York, but more clearly, I will remember him as I saw him last in Florida, standing erect as he could, a smile on his face, in the sunshine.



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