Reed college is a bit of an enigma wrapped in tudor-styled bungalow with walnut built-ins circa 1926. Though I've lived here nearly 15 years, I've not once ventured onto the campus - of course countless times I've walked alongside as I traverse 28th ave from the 13th green to the 14th tee box on the other side of the Crystal Springs Rhododendron gardens. (Side note: I believe this brief walk is one of the only places you can drink open container legally in Portland - more on this "looper hole" tidbit in a future article.)
Reed's early history is connected to Emo by more than just a road. As discussed in Part 2 of Charles Keyser's telling of the tale, the land adjacent to Reed that would eventually become the epic back 9, with Chandler Egan's genius layout criss crossing of the Crystal Springs, and argued at the time as the toughest hazard-filled layout in all of the west coast. The legendary raspberry farm by an Italian gardener - who will hopefully be identified by name soon.
Look at these Reedies from 1926 photo above - what a bunch of hipsters even back then! The woman on the left is in trousers of all things!. The tall guy far to the right with the goatee and mustache - and... still donning his beige bathrobe?! While these educational pioneers did appreciate understated 'trying - not trying' fashion - they had a clear distaste for organized sports - a distraction from the pure academic pursuits and finding the perfect pair of walking boots. Even today with 1400 students Reed has no varsity sports teams. So we are left wondering if any students looped a few rounds at Eastmoreland. My bet is 100% yes - there was a golfer among them - perhaps even in this photograph.
What is certain is there was at least one golfer from Reed College - a gentleman Dr. A. A. Knowlton - who along with T. Morris Dunne, A.D Wakeman, Judge Gatens, George Irvine and W.D. Seaman met to form the By-Laws of the Eastmoreland Golf Club as reported in the Oregonian on November 11, 2021. Just one week later, with the by-laws in place the chairman scheduled a vote for the initial club board of which we can assume Dr. A. A. Knowlton was a shoe-in candidate. Why? Well he's the contact listed for any players that with to join the club for the $2 membership fee though only eligible to those that have annual ticket and/or a locker in the newly constructed clubhouse
With some additional research I hope to discover more about my fellow Men's Club organizer Dr. A. A. Knowlton. One interesting chapter in his life was when he was tasked by the U.S. Army to help train new recruits to be meteorologists for the war effort. One can guess that it was Dr. Knowlton himself who recommended some daily excursions to the golf course to study the weather and remark "I don't think the heavy stuff's gonna come down for quite awhile."
I do hope to get more photos Dr. Knowlton in knickers and with his sticks - perhaps learn about his favorite playing partners, his handicap, or when he gave up tennis at Waverly to focus on his true life's calling... golf.
Oh and Dr. Knwolton's course of study - why physics of course! One can only surmise how many students had exam questions to calculate the exact velocity and trajectory of a well placed shot into the 17th green with a 15 mph head wind.