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Letter: Chateau ‘golf girl’

What a magnificent supplement about the Northfield Inn and Chateau in the Wednesday, Jan. 23, Recorder.

A Massachusetts State College student, I was the “golf girl” at the Inn in the summer of 1944.

As golf girl, my job was to take money for golf fees and soft drinks, sell golfing equipment and keep track of the caddies. World War II was still going on. Because of that, the normal-age caddies (late teens) were not available. Can you imagine how difficult that was for me, at 5 foot-1, to discipline the 10- to 12-year-olds caddying that summer? They would run around the back of the shed, throw insects on me and constantly fight with each other.

One of the golfers, a top editor at the major newspaper in Providence, R.I., was called back to handle the news of a major battle during the war. He did return and play golf, the first vacation he had had in three years. I was aware at what went on in the inn itself in the evenings. One night, one of the guests in the livingroom, was telling Mrs. Schell, for whom the chateau had been built by her husband, how beautiful it was. “I hate it and I never go near it,” she said. Those who knew her, knew what she had really wanted was a simple cottage in the country. Even her permanent room in the inn at the hotel was facing away from the elegant building.

The girls at Northfield Mount Hermon School had their graduation dinner at the chateau. I remember seeing them walking down the street, two-by-two heading for their treat. The inn employees had their ending summer party and dance in the chateau.

Just another comment, trains at that time, ran frequently north and south. I’d go to Greenfield often on my day off. The first time I’d ever been to town was by taking one of the trains. I’d take a later train to return to Northfield.

I have very happy memories of the Northfield Inn and Chateau.



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