A Short History of the DeLand Bridge Club
Groups formed in DeLand and DeBary in the late 1950’s, joining ACBL in ’58 and playing in a lot of venues, some quite imaginative: restaurants, a fire hall, the Elks Club, the Woman’s Club, the Putnam Hotel. In 1962, Pete Besom and Norman Mortimer began looking for property and found the Deerfoot Road site. Permission had to be given by neighbors to have a club in the area, and a small building on the site, a former BOQ hut from the local Navy base, was sold and moved.
The building was designed by Norman Mortimer and built by John Witt, funded by shares in a first mortgage paying the then Pass-Book rate of 5%. The minimum investment was $300, and no one was permitted to put in more than $3000, the theory being that no one should have too great a say in what was done. 32 individuals and families participated. Mike Accardi, Leonard Munson and Norman Mortimer guaranteed the investments for a few who were worried that the Club would not succeed.
Member “sweat equity” got the building ready for opening in October, 1964. Many of the appliances were donated. Members installed them, as well as the kitchen cabinets. Curtain poles with card symbol finials were placed at each window with yards and yards of simple drapes made by a member. There was no carpet, just a bare concrete floor. Members brought carpet samples to put under cold feet, and a yard and plant sale was held on opening day to start a carpet fund.
The 30 year mortgage was paid off in 12 years. The two clubs had consolidated by then, and the Club, a non-profit corporation, is still going strong.
If you would like to contact the club, call (386) 734-7170 between noon and 4:15 on game days, or enter your details and click [Send]