Traditions at the Club

With summer just around the corner, anticipation of several celebrations and events, enjoyed annually by many families on the Ranch, grows. As The Club prepares for these events, I wanted to share how some of these national traditions began.


Mother’s Day

The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first “unofficially” celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother on the anniversary of her death at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States had begun upon her mother’s death in 1905, as she wanted to honor her by continuing the Mother’s Day Work Clubs she had started in the 1850s. Through her organization, Anna’s mother sought to educate other women on poor sanitation conditions that contributed to the high mortality rate of children.

In 1908, the US Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, joking that they would have to also proclaim a “Mother-in-Law’s Day.” But in 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day be held on the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.

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Mother’s Day Brunch at The Club will be held on May 14 from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Memorial Day

The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868. The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of Union war soldiers with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged but Memorial Day was not declared the official name by federal law until 1967. After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress’ change of date within a few years.

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The Memorial Day Pool Party will be held on May 27 from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Father’s Day

After Anna Jarvis’ successful promotion of Mother’s Day, the first observance of a Father’s Day was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, when in December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster killed 361 men — 250 of them fathers, and leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested that her pastor honor all of the fathers. However, the celebration of Independence Day overshadowed her attempts to establish Father’s Day.

Many others also attempted to establish Father’s Day as a national holiday. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson spoke in Spokane at a Father’s Day celebration, and he wanted to make it an officially recognized federal holiday but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed throughout the entire nation, but he stopped short at issuing a national proclamation. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a Father’s Day proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “singling out just one of our two parents.” In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. The day was finally made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

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In recognition of Father’s Day, reward your dad with Akaushi Beef from The Clubs’ Butcher Shop.

Independence Day

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain in 1776 actually occurred on July 2 when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days later on July 4.

Historians have long disputed whether members of Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day.

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The Fourth of July Pool Party will be held on July 4 from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Summertime at the Pool

The “Great Bath” is the earliest public water tank in the ancient world. It existed over 5,000 years ago in the Pakistani city settlement of Mohenjo-daro, but the most prominent pool history comes from the ancient Greeks and Romans whose militaries used pools to physically train for war. The great Greek philosopher Plato felt that every child needed to learn to swim as part of a proper education, along with mathematics, writing, astronomy, etc. In fact, it was standard education to teach children to swim in pools, dating all the way back to 400 BC. Competitive swimming was first introduced in the early 1800’s in Britain by the National Swimming Society. And in 1896, swimming was first included in the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

One of the first in-ground swimming pools in the United States is actually the oldest pool in Texas — Deep Eddy Pool in Austin. Deep Eddy began simply as a swimming hole in the Colorado River that flows through Austin. Cold springs rose from the river banks and people swam in the river where a large boulder formed an eddy. In 1915, A.J. Eilers, Sr. bought the land surrounding the swimming hole and built the concrete pool. The pool served as the centerpiece of a resort, the Deep Eddy Bathing Beach, which featured cabins, camping and concessions.

The first recorded above ground swimming pool in the United States (and one of the first in the world) dates back to 1907, and is credited to the Philadelphia Racquet Club. The first swimming pool to literally cross the Atlantic Ocean was installed on the Adriatic cruise ship from White Star Lines in 1907.

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Enjoy your summer at The Clubs’ Cabana and Aquatic Complex, opening weekends beginning May 13 with full summer hours beginning May 27.

For more information on dining and other events, contact The Club reception desk at 830.336.9000.

Graham House is the Clubhouse and Lodging Manager at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at or 210.219.9005.

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