Sylvanus Pierson Jermain

July 31, 1859 - April 20, 1935



Major Accomplishments/ Highlights of a Lifetime


  • The “Father of Toledo Parks and Boulevards”, served four terms as President/Chairman of the Board of Parks Commissioners.
  • Served the City of Toledo as Director of Welfare, 1925-26
  • His greatest source of pride being the establishment of parks in Toledo at Riverside, Ottawa, Walbridge, BayView and Collins Parks. 
  • Mr. Jermain was Treasurer, Woolson Spice Co. for 26 years
  • SP founded the first nine hole golf course west of NYC at Ottawa Park in 1899, then designed the 2nd nine holes in 1920-21.
  • SP also developed and founded golf courses at Bayview (1920), Spuyten Dyval (1930), Collins Parks (1932).
  • Mr. Jermain was a consultant in the building of Highland Meadows, Chippewa, and Glengarry country clubs.
  • Founded a children’s golf course at White City Park, which was renamed Jermain Park in his honor in 1915 at age 55.
  • Mr. Sylvanus P. Jermain, a lifelong bachelor, was best known for his devoted efforts, unbeaten soul and unselfish service in promoting the game of golf for the public and the private club of Inverness Club.
  • SP wrote what became the one of the first rules of US golf in 1907 at age 48, titled The American Code of GOLF.
  • SP was the President of the Toledo District Golf Association for thirteen years, 1922-34, and was appointed Life Member status.
  • Mr. SP Jermain was the first President of the Inverness Club and was highly involved in picking out the land and establishing the private club membership.
  • SP was widely known around the world  as “The Father of Public Golf in America” and  especially in Toledo.
  • SP, his mother Frances D. Jermain, and sister Annie Chandler are all buried at Historic Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo.
  • A bronze statue honoring SP Jermain was presented by the Jermain Sun Dial Association in 1928 on a granite rock which stood next to the original Ottawa Park clubhouse on top of the hill at Bancroft and Ottawa Dr.  After several thefts, the statue was stolen on Jan.10, 2006 and never recovered. Today, May 2009 we dedicate the replacement statue by the Friends of SP Jermain/ 21st Century, the City of Toledo, and The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo.
  • “Pierre” Jermain was inducted posthumously into the Toledo Athletic Hall of Fame in 1959. His nephew, F. Jermain Chandler was in town (from Detroit) to accept the honor.
  • SP was responsible for bringing the US Open to Inverness Club in 1920, then again in 1931, and the club was honored with a gift/ grandfather clock by the golf professionals for opening the doors for the first time to the clubhouse and locker rooms. SP pleaded with the Inverness membership endlessly (unbeaten soul) to make this happen.
  • SP was the President of  the Ohio Golf, Central States and Western Golf Associations in the early 1900s
  • SP was the originator of the idea to hold international matches between the United Kingdom and USA. The matches became known as the Ryder Cup. It was SP Jermain who convinced the PGA of America to conduct the matches in 1927.
  • At the time of his death on Sat. April 20, 1935 at Mercy Hospital,           SP was 75 years, 8 months, and 19 days of age.
  • SP’s only survivors listed in the Blade were his sister Annie’s boys, nephews Ashley and F. Jermain Chandler.
  • SP brought the first US Public Links Championship to Ottawa Park GC in 1922, and he conducted a golf exhibition at OP in 1929, between Horton Smith (winner of first Masters/1934) and PGA champion Walter Hagen.
  • Opening day at Inverness/ 1903 was declared “Jermain Day
  • On the Memorial Day, 1900 at Ottawa Park, Parks Commissioner SP Jermain declared it “Field Day” and provided free transportation to the golf course, and free golf was offered to all to enjoy the game and the beautiful Ottawa Park.
  • SP was “the leading spirit” in every golf tournament and every golf meeting of consequence for so long that no one could recall golf without visioning the presence of this man. Blade April 22, 1935.
  • SP was “unselfishness personified” according to the Blade, through all of his career, this was the one characteristic that stood out with splendid prominence. SP was a man who labored without the slightest thought of personal gain, in the minds of thousands who knew him, this was his predominant trait.
  •  SP was a born / native of Adrian, MI and moved to Toledo in 1871.
  • The MetroParks Toledo system of today would be and is beyond SP’s wildest dreams and these parks are the culmination of his pioneering efforts and the great work of MetroParks Toledo.
  • SP Jermain was inducted into the Toledo Civic Hall of Fame/ 2000, under the Pioneer category.