Once upon a time in Haiti there were non Haitians at the reins of virtually all business, banking, and industry. The U.S. Government controlled the Customs House and the Security forces. The Petionville Club was formed as an "English Language Sports and Social Venue" for these people. Preceding The Petionville Club (PVC) was the Officers’ Club of the U.S. Marines with a parallel wives library club called The Cosmopolitan Club.
In 1928 the PVC was formalized and articles of incorporation printed in "The Monitor". Stock was issued and shares were sold mostly to prominent Americans and other foreigners as listed below. The wives library club, The Cosmopolitan Club, had it's name changed to The Colony Club.
The Petionville Club purchased a portion of a larger plot of land (a Bourdon Section St Martin) which was divided and sold in 1931 to The U.S.Embassy for it's Ambassador's Residence, The Petionville Club for it's clubhouse (photo circa 1933) , and a private individual for his children's family residences. The remainder of this original larger plot was sold to The Petionville Club for it's golf course which was inaugurated February 24, 1938.
The Petionville Club started in 1928 as a venue for sport and social activities for Expats from many nations in Haiti as the U.S. Occupation was drawing to a close. Although the Club entertained a few top ranked U.S. military leaders, the grand majority were leaders of industry and commerce in the newly thriving economy of Haiti. Some of the companies represented included:
Compagnie D'Eclairage Électrique (Haitian American Electricity Company)
National Railroad of Haiti
National City Bank of New York
Compagnie Haitienne Du Wharf de Port au Prince
Hamburg-American Atlas Line
Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de la Plaine du Cul de Sac
French West Indian Steamship Company
Matthews & Sons Tobacco
Armour and Swift
The Haitian Pineapple Company
American Dyewood Co.,
Gold Medal Flour Company
Haitian American Sugar Company
Reinbold & Company
Oloffson, Lucas & Co.
Robert Nortz & Co.
Tropical Dyewood Co.,
National Railroad Corporation Trust of America
SHADA Rubber Company
Luckett-Wake Tobacco Company
American Tobacco Company
Fairbanks and Babbitt Soap
Proctor and Gamble Distributing Company
Haiti Company - W.R. Grace and Company
The Petionville Club, S.A. was incorporated and shares issued December 1, 1932. The founding fathers and first Board of Directors were largely American businessmen working and residing in Haiti:
President - Ralph Barnes
V. President - B. W. Dorch
Secretary - Treasurer - R.D.Lowell
Governor - R.U. Strong
Governor - H Stalnaker
The Clubhouse was built in 1932 (photo) on land adjacent to the U.S.Ambassador's Residence and was the center of activity for a Foreign Population residing in country. The Petionville Club enjoyed an active Tennis membership and hosted cultural events, dances, and social activities both day and night. The Colony Club English Library was a hub of activity and a social center for an English speaking population in Haiti.
In 1936 Mr. Ralph Barnes arranged the sale of a large parcel of land to The Petionville Club purposed for a Golf Course which was designed and built to international standards. The golf course officially opened to great fanfare on Feb.24,1938.