I was chatting with my “Clontarf Insider” yesterday about the Clontarf Club. She told me a bit about the origins of the Club…
About 1920 a gentleman from Benson started an oil company and thought that Clontarf was a good spot for a filling station, since the main road from Benson went straight through the town. This was a great idea, until they decided to pave the main road, shift its course, and bypass Clontarf altogether.
Without the traffic from the main road, the station was not profitable, so it was sold to a local man named Patrick Regan. Pat Regan started a garage, and throughout the 1920s it was known as much for the poker games played there as for the cars repaired.
George Gilbertson joined Pat Regan in a venture to remodel the garage, doubling its size, and turning it into the Clontarf Club. Does anyone have a date for when the Club opened its doors?
I have heard that the lobster tail served at the Club was quite good…any other favorite items on the menu?
The paved road may not have been good for filling station business, but it did wonders for the recreational opportunities of Clontarf youth. Donald and Gerald Regan (who happen to be sons of Pat Regan mentioned above), told me about how they would strap on their roller skates and skate the six miles to Benson on the smooth, newly paved road. Then they would skate all night at the Armory, returning home on the midnight train to Clontarf. Care to guess how much this one-way train fare cost in the 1920s?
Pssst…any ideas on the identities of the two gentlemen seated and standing on the right in the photo above? Share your thoughts; leave a comment!