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Around Pinehurst: Local history at Tufts Archives

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PINEHURST, N.C. – The village here is rich with Southern charm.

Walking across Pinehurst No. 2, with pine straw crunching beneath your feet, you are wooed by the chiming of church bells to the village center, with its quaint shops, restaurants and inns.

Sitting on the veranda of the Carolina Hotel, which is more than a hundred years old, you can almost feel the history as you sip a cool but vigorous Carolina Iced Tea. Hey, it's vodka, gin, tequila, rum and peach schnapps mixed with lemon juice and sweet tea.

“It’s a Southern twist on a Long Island iced tea,” says Ashley Kennell, a bartender in the hotel’s Ryder Cup lounge.

Curious about the hotel’s history, you are directed to the Tufts Archives, situated near the center of the village. It's named after James Walker Tufts, the soda fountain magnate who founded the village and Pinehurst Resort. The history of Pinehurst is documented in the archives, and as you quickly discover, famed Scottish golf course architect Donald Ross is a large part of that history.


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“We have the largest collection of Donald Ross documents and papers anywhere in the world,” says Audrey Moriarty, executive director of the Tufts Archives.

Ross moved to Pinehurst No. 2 in 1900 and lived there until his death in 1948. He designed Pinehurst No. 2, home to this week’s U.S. Open. It’s among more than 400 courses he is credited with designing, building or renovating. Flags from more than 200 of his courses are mounted around the walls of the Archives. More than 300 of his original field sketches are stored there. There are also numerous photographs of his courses, many of which architects Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore perused when they visited before beginning to restore Pinehurst No. 2 a few years ago.

“They were very excited and pleased to be able to have a chance to look at the images and documents,” Moriarty said. “I remember them saying, `This is exactly what we were looking for.’”  

You can find just about anything related to Pinehurst history in the Tufts Archives.