Sylvanus Pierson Jermain
1859 - April 20, 1935
HE SERVED HIS CITY Toledo, Ohio
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
- His greatest source of pride
being the establishment of parks in Toledo
at Riverside, Ottawa,
Walbridge, BayView and Collins
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- SP Jermain was inducted into the
Toledo Civic Hall of Fame/
2000, under the Pioneer category.