The Cambridge Tennis Club History*

The Cambridge Tennis Club rents space from the Cambridge Skating Club which was founded in 1897-8 on property at the corners of Mt. Auburn and Willard Streets. The space was once known as Mrs. Thorp’s Field, who was Annie Longfellow Thorp, a daughter of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Winters, the field was flooded and neighborhood folks skated there. Summers, the field was used for community gardening, an arrangement that lasted until soon after World War II when people were exhausted from growing and canning. In the early 1950s, members of the Cambridge Skating Club, most notably Arthur Brooks, then the President of the CSC, enlisted 27 CSC members to contribute money to build tennis courts on the property. The club was incorporated in May, 1954. Arthur Brooks was the President of the new Cambridge Tennis Club from 1955 to 1957. The Tennis Club was originally free to neighbors but soon became so popular that it was organized as a private club, open to residents of Cambridge. The property, owned by the CSC, now hosts a private skating club in the winter and a private tennis club from mid-March to mid-November.

The clubhouse was designed by a Cambridge architect, Allen W. Jackson, and built in 1930 when the Skating Club purchased the property. The clubhouse was in a Norwegian style. The interior of the clubhouse is a charming place with wooden benches surrounding the walls, benches much used in the winter for skaters changing in and out of skates. There is a huge fireplace at the end of the building. The fireplace is seldom used during the tennis season, but there is a large deck overlooking the courts and the deck frequently hosts a frolicsome scene.

The club is run by an elected, rotating Board of Governors with a full-time staff and three tennis professionals. The membership is active and enthusiastic and organizes round robins, holiday cook-outs, tennis get-together parties, tournaments, and ladders. The club also sports a tournament-level table tennis table and Ping Pong parties.

The Cambridge Tennis Club features five excellent Har-Tru courts and a picturesque clubhouse almost surrounded by parks. (Adjacent to the club is Longfellow Park.) The club is a tennis haven nestled in greenery, a sylvan site in the midst of the city of Cambridge.

*Much of this information came from Annette LaMond’s excellent, comprehensive A History of the Cambridge Skating Club 1897-2001. 

Presidents of the Cambridge Tennis Club

1955-1957Arthur H. Brooks, Jr.
1958-1960James B. Ames
1961John M. Bullitt
1962-1964Herman Liss
1965-1967Graham B. Blaine, Jr.
1968 and 1969George G. Pierce
1970 and 1971Jennifer Ratcliff Bianchi
1972-1975Edgar H. Schein
1976 and 1977Herman Liss
1978 and 1979Herbert M. Agoos
1980-1983Peter Ambler
1984 and 1985Sigmund E. Herzstein
1986-1988Samuel C. Leland
1989 and 1990Richard S. Chute
1991 and 1992John Hsia
1993-1995Susan Eldredge Mead
1997 and 1998Thomas B. Bracken
1999 and 2000Susan Miller-Havens
2001 and 2002Vincent J. Panico
2003 and 2005Richard M. Harter
2006 and 2008Philip Crutchfield
2009 and 2010Leonard Singer
2011 and 2012Murray Wheeler
2013  2014Cora Beth Abel
2015-2017Sharon Black
2018 and 2019Don McInnes
2020-2022Doris Jurisson