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History of Soangetaha Country Club


Lake Rice dates from the early days of Galesburg and is believed to have formed as a result of coal mining and/or rock quarry operations. The lake--then known as Lake George in honor of the owner, George Brown--and the surrounding areas were the hub of Galesburg recreation with such activities as ferry boating, cable "carrying", merry-go-rounding, plus swimming, fishing, boating and picnicking.

In the 1800's, Fred Seacord purchased the property and additional adjacent land. A group of Knox professors started the Kill Bogie Club and through much of their own physical efforts started a nine-hole golf course. Some of the townspeople soon became interested and were taken into membership. Their support supplied funds to improve the golf course and build a small clubhouse.

In 1901, the Burlington Railroad purchased Lake George and surrounding areas for a reservoir and source of ice. At that time the name of the lake was changed to Lake Rice to honor F.C. Rice who was the division superintendent of the railroad at that time. The railroad continued to allow the ground to be used for recreational purposes and in 1907, the land was leased from the Burlington Railroad for $500 per year by the country club. The name Soangetaha was said to have been chosen for the club by a group of sportsmen who called themselves the Redmen. Longfellow's "Hiawatha" enjoyed great popularity and from it Soangetaha was concocted. Our present club was chartered in July 1895.

On July 1, 1961 the Burlington Railroad President H.C. Murphy officially presented the 252-acre property to Knox College, who in turn sold it to Soangetaha Country Club with the final payment completed in 1984.

Presently, Soangetaha consists of a 30,000 sq. foot clubhouse, 18-hole golf course, Olympic size swimming pool, lighted tennis courts and a 55-acre lake.