A Home with History

As popularity for the game of golf increased, there was a demand for a golf course in Boulder. So, when the Boulder Country Club officially formed in 1919, they made the site of their clubhouse around Sale Lake, east of 28th Street and north of Kalmia Avenue. Over time, the historic site has served many different functions, from a place for large social gatherings and parties in the 20’s to becoming a private residence in recent years.

The Emerson family lived in the house from 1949 until 1992. Over that time, the home underwent a number of renovations. For instance, the dance hall was transformed into a living room, locker rooms became children’s bedrooms, and an addition was built that included a garage and sick room, to allow for better care whenever a child was ill. 

Michelle and Jeff Johnson, current homeowners, have found that although rich in history, the home is adaptable to the needs of their family as their kids grow up and their lives change accordingly. 

“The house is really able to respond to our family as we change,” Michelle says. 

When the Johnson’s first bought the house in January 2006, they felt the European style decor in place by previous owners stripped the space of its original country club heritage and charm. Both Michelle and Jeff wanted to take the home back to its roots. They first took time to live in the house to better understand how their lives aligned with the space. Then eventually, they brought in materials like locally sourced stone and natural slate to enhance some of the original elegance.  

Michelle notes that because the home was built with an intention to entertain, they have been able to morph the space to their needs without having to start over completely. It was designed as an open floor plan before that became the trend. She also loves the separation between public and private areas. Since the first floor of the clubhouse was a public space with a dance hall, the family kept spaces for entertaining there with a kitchen, dining room, and fireplace. The bedrooms are downstairs which makes for a cozier, quiet environment. 

“It’s such a special place,” Michelle says.  

Timeline

1892 — William and Julie Sale, with their three children George, Lulu, and Sarah, left the hotel business and bought a farm outside Boulder; the farm was owned and operated by the Sale family until leased to Boulder Country Club in 1920

October 1919 — Boulder Country Club formally organized due to increasing popularity surrounding the game of golf and demand for a golf course. The first 150 applicants were admitted to membership for $75 initiation fee and $25 annual fee.

May 8, 1920 — Clubhouse’s groundbreaking 

September 21, 1920 — Dedication ceremony

1935 — Richard Platt bought clubhouse, and it became a private residence at 2891 Kalmia Avenue.

1949 — Platt sold the house to Edgar R. and Eileen Emerson; the Emerson’s and their four children lived there until 1992. Throughout this time, the house underwent numerous renovations to make the space more family friendly. 

1992 — The Emerson’s sold the property to Will St. Germain. St. Germain construction then subdivided the property, built a 22-home subdivision and the address became 2850 Links Drive. 

“The house is really able to respond to our family as we change,” Michelle says.