Historical Timeline

  • July 4, 1905

    1905

    River Forest residents Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Lozier, Mr. Montgomery Picket, and Mr. George Turner met with Mr. and Mrs. Harry Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Treadway, and Mr. Farlin Ball of Oak Park, to discuss the feasibility of organizing a club that would be both social and athletic in nature. Annual dues were set at $15. Mr. E. A. Cummings allowed the group to use the north half of the parcel of land at Lake, Harlem, Quick and Bonnie Brae for as long as he retained control. Six grass courts were laid out with chicken-wire backstops. A simple clubhouse was built under the direction of Albert L. Goetzman just two months after the Club was organized at a cost of $1,100. It was formally opened on July 4, 1905.
  • River Forest Tennis Club 1907 Membership Certificate
    August 8, 1906

    1906

    Fire destroyed first structure in August and Frank Lloyd Wright supervised the building of what is now the west two-thirds of our present clubhouse. It was rushed to completion at a cost of $2,629.75. Kitchen facilities were added for picnic suppers, which were prepared by the ladies and served by the men. Coffee was five cents per cup. Homegrown talent shows became popular, the ring leaders being Lew Lozier, Harry Noyes, Bert Kerr, and Elias Day.
  • The River Forest Tennis Club Clubhouse (1923)
    June 8, 1920

    1920

    When the Cook County Forest Preserve Commission acquired the land we occupied at Quick and Bonnie Brae, the Club purchased a vacant parcel at 615 Lathrop for $34,900. The original clubhouse was cut into three sections and moved it to its new foundation. Ten clay courts were constructed; trees and shrubs were added to the grounds.   The embargo against Sunday tennis was lifted. Membership capacity was increased to better fund maintenance of the larger facility.
  • June 8, 1935

    1935

    The United States Lawn Tennis Association awarded the National Clay Court Championships to the River Forest Tennis Club, where it remained nearly every year until 1966.
  • New pool at the RFTC circa 1937
    June 8, 1937

    1937

    A modest swimming pool was constructed, to be replaced in 1955 by a much larger pool.
  • 1963 clay court tennis tournament
    June 8, 1963

    1963

    Clay courts were replaced by the more durable Har-Tru surface, which dried more quickly after heavy rainstorms. The Club was also home to the most prestigious tournament in greater Chicago, the USTA sanctioned River Forest Junior Invitational Tournament. This event hosted many well-known tennis players over the years.
  • May 9, 1968

    1968

    Additions to the clubhouse added facilities for the manager's office, locker rooms, a canteen and pro shop.
  • Airial photo of the RFTC circa 1970
    May 9, 1970

    1970

    A well was installed for an above-ground court irrigation system.
  • Jennifer Capriati - winner of 1989 Junior Tournament
    May 9, 1983

    1983-89

    The Girls 18 National Clay Courts Championships were held at RFTC.
  • May 9, 1992

    1992

    By-law changes allowed female members the privilege to vote and serve on the Board of Directors.
  • May 9, 1998

    1998-99

    A new poolhouse, wading pool and utility sheds were constructed.
  • May 9, 2003

    2003

    All 10 Har-Tru tennis courts were rebuilt with a state-of-the-art HydroCourt system with self-regulating irrigation, making them always ready for play.
  • 2017 RFTC Collegiate Invitational
    September 9, 2009

    2009

    The Club began hosting the River Forest Collegiate Tennis Invitational, organized by member and past president, John Griffin, and features up to eight Division I tennis teams from around the Midwest and beyond.
  • May 9, 2014

    2014

    After a by-laws change, the Club's first same-sex married couple was admitted for full active (family) membership.
  • Association of Centenary Tennis Clubs
    October, 2018

    2018

    River Forest Tennis Club is admitted as a member of the The Association of Centenary Tennis Clubs.

    The Association of Centenary Tennis Clubs (CTC) is an umbrella group of clubs more than 100 years old, including some of the most prestigious clubs in the sport. Initially founded by eight clubs as a pan-European association, CTC now have an extensive and truly global membership and are recognised by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). All member clubs have a history dating back at least one hundred years, with a significant sporting tradition and social role.

    The aim at CTC is to uphold the traditions of tennis, as well as the spirit of fair play which is inherent to this great sport. CTC look to achieve this through organising competitions and other sporting and cultural events; arranging tennis workshops and seminars; and generally supporting the activities of member clubs around the world. CTC also strongly encourage the development young talent. CTC give our support to a range of junior events, and seek to foster the future stars of the sport.

    Click here to find out more information regarding the Association of Centenary Tennis Clubs.