Mount Vernon Canyon Club has a very proud and rich history. The idea for our Club began in the early 1920's when the country and Denver were recovering from the First World War. An enterprising group bought land and proposed it for a recreational center combining the promise of a country club with individual mountain homes. The original clubhouse was completed toward the end of 1923 for $60,000. Overlooking the Denver city lights from an elevation of 7600 ft, it was an ideal location and still is today. Genesee Mountain with its pine trees, is the scene to the south, the plains spread out through Morrison Saddle to the southeast, Denver's city lights twinkle in the east each evening, and to the west are the majestic heights of the snowcapped Rocky Mountains.
The founders of Mount Vernon Canyon Club selected the name because of the property's close proximity to Mount Vernon Canyon, not because of the historic town of Mount Vernon (though that town, named by Steele because of his admiration for George Washington, led to the Canyon's name). Dinner dance affairs began at the Club with its opening celebrations. Seven miles of road were built within close proximity of the clubhouse, and on the first New Year's Day, in 1924, 154 members and friends enjoyed a toboggan party nearby, followed by a dinner at the Clubhouse for $1.00 a plate!
In the early years of the Clubhouse, men played golf or pitched horseshoes and ladies enjoyed croquette courts in the front of the building while their children took tennis lessons or hiked nearby. Prohibition was in effect at the time, so lemonade was the strongest drink served "officially". During the Second World War, the Clubhouse and the golf course were allowed to run down. Then in the late 1940's another attempt was made to reopen the golf course by a resident member at his own expense. Again, there was not enough interest to justify maintenance of the golf course, so in May 1950, the course was turned into a horse pasture, and serves as the Club’s primary water resource. Prior to World War II, the majority of homes were for summer use only.
With a need for new homes as the war was winding down, almost 50 homes were occupied year-round by 1944. Through that time, for $1 you could bring your family for the Thursday night chicken dinners, and if you were lucky, you would make more than enough on the slot machines to pay for the evening. After several years, the State began to take a hard look at slot machines, and while some private clubs were raided, Mount Vernon Canyon Club took them out voluntarily. At that time, Mount Vernon Canyon Club had 6,000 social members and was one of the most popular clubs in all of Colorado.
As one of the oldest, private clubs in the Denver area, Mount Vernon Canyon Club has a proud past combined with keeping pace with the future. In 1961, members approved a $200,000 expansion of the Clubhouse to double the seating capacity of the dining room and provide space for reception and waiting areas. The original dining room became the Lounge and the entire north wall of the dining room was opened to the panorama of the mountains, canyons, and plains. In 1978, further remodeling was done at the Clubhouse to add the decks looking north at the Clubhouse. In 1994, the Club spent more than $1 million to add spacious banquet rooms and further capitalize on the magnificent views from the Clubhouse. Finally in 2000, the pool was replaced and the addition of new locker rooms, Grill and Exercise Facility were added at a cost of $2,000,000 without any assessment.
Mount Vernon has officially changed its name! We launched our name at our 94th Birthday Bash in early August 2017. We are now Mount Vernon Canyon Club.
Mount Vernon Canyon Club is truly 94 years young and just getting started!