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Westchester County Executive George Latimer hosted a special ceremony dedicating a memorial plaque commemorating the Rising Sun Golf & Country Club, the first black owned and operated golf and country club in Westchester County, on Wednesday, March 20, at the Hudson Hills Golf Course in Ossining.

County Executive George Latimer said: “Westchester County has always been home to countless ambitious and intrepid people. The creation of the Rising Sun Golf & Country Club in the 1930s is just one example of the fortitude of our black residents. These gentlemen persevered with their venture despite constantly facing a multitude of obstacles from those who clearly wanted it to fail. I have boundless admiration for these ground-breaking entrepreneurs. It is my privilege to memorialize this extraordinary feat and moment in our history.”

Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins said: “The gentlemen who founded the Rising Sun Golf & Country Club exhibited amazing vision, ambition and optimism. Their mission was to lift the club members’ aspirations, expand their athletic endeavors and create social solidarity. Although the Club’s life was woefully short, I am proud to honor their incredible efforts and celebrate their place in history.”

Ossining Village Historian Joyce Sharrock-Cole said, “County Executive Latimer's commemoration honoring the legacy of the Rising Sun Golf & Country Club is another tremendous step in documenting in perpetuity the contributions of black people in our County and acknowledging their perseverance to accomplish their mission despite the insurmountable obstacles they faced to do so during the Great Depression.”

Westchester County Parks Commissioner Kathy O’Connor said, “Though the Rising Sun Golf & Country Club lasted only one season, its legacy lives on. It’s a strong, enduring reminder of the many contributions that the County’s black citizens made—and continue to make—to our communities.”

History: The Rising Sun Golf & Country Club was established in 1936 as the premier black owned and operated golf and country club in the Tri-State Area. The 18-hole golf course had all the amenities of its white counterparts of its time. The club was on the property of the former Sunset Hills Golf Course opened in 1926 by George W. Hampton of Florida.

As the country went deeper in to the Great Depression, Hampton’s club suffered greatly, and he sold it to Rising Sun Golf Holding Group. This group was comprised of prominent black men of Westchester County. Despite extreme and constant racism and discriminatory acts, the group successfully ran the club for a season.

In 1938, after bankruptcy proceedings pushed the Rising Sun Golf and Country Club out, a new black investment group attempted to restart the club as the Beaumont Golf and Country Club. However, in early 1939, the Rising Sun Golf and Country Club was lost to bankruptcy and a new group of white investors took over the property. The property struggled under several different owners until it closed in 1982. In 2004, IBM sold the property to Westchester County. Today, the Hudson Hills Golf Course occupies the land.