Many centuries ago, it was very difficult to show your faith in a different religion, as the prominent religion was Roman Catholicism. Throughout Europe it was especially so, and in France there were many Wars of Religion which LaTourette Golf Course in Winterbroke out. These wars began on August 23, 1572, a day which later came to be known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. On this day, Roman Catholic leaders had 3,000 men, women and children slaughtered in just three days for the sole fact that they were Protestants. The wars lasted until the end of the century, at which point Henry IV, a Huguenot himself, issued the Edict of Nantes, a law which granted Huguenots civil rights. On May 14, 1610, Henry IV was assassinated and the Protestants again feared for their lives.

By 1643, the four-year-old son of Louis XIII became king. Due to his age, Louis XIV's mother was in charge of France until he came of age in 1651. During her regency, Cardinal Jules Mazarin served as chief minister of France. With the death of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661, Louis XIV became the sole ruler of France. Sticking to his childhood belief that the religion of France should be that of the king's religion, he began his genocide of the Huguenots.  He began in 1665 with the destruction of Huguenot schools and churches. Children would be kidnapped and sent away to be raised as Roman Catholics. By 1685, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes altogether and instituted the Edict of Fontainebleau, which forbade the congregation of non-Catholics.

With the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, I'm sure you can imagine just how many Protestants fled France for religious freedom. By the end of the century, a Jean LaTourette fled France and LaTourette Golf Course, Staten Islandtravelled to New York. In 1698, he and his wife, Marie Mercereau, purchased a 75-acre farm near the center of Staten Island, where he built a fieldstone house and raised a family. In 1725, Jean's son, who was given his father's name, inherited this house and lived there until his mother's death in 1733.  At that time, the surviving Jean's brother, Henry LaTourette, moved into the house.

During those days, it was very common for many of Staten Island's families to live in neighboring houses. In 1830, the great-great-grandson of Jean LaTourette and Marie Mercereau, David LaTourette, was given land to the northeast of his ancestor's original house. This land was given as a gift by his father-in-law, John Crocheron, who had made his fortune through his large plantations in Dallas County, Alabama. By 1836, David LaTourette had a house built at this site for his own family.  Many of David's children had left Staten Island for Alabama, where they would work on their grandfather's farm.  In 1900, however, daughter Jane was listed as the Head of the house, following the death of he18th hole, LaTourette Golf Courser parents.  On November 26, 1910, Jane had passed away and the house was passed to her brother Richard.  With Richard's death four days later, the house was in turn passed to Jane's daughter, who was the last member of the family to ever live in the house.

In 1920, Jane's daughter sold the house, as well as 500 adjoining acres of land that the family owned, to the City of New York.  At that time, a golf course, designed by David Rees, began to be constructed on the site.  Between 1929 and 1935, the course was redesigned by John Van Kleek. The site was transferred over to the Parks Department in 1955. Thirteen years later, on July 30, 1968, the Federal- and Greek Revival-style house that was built by David LaTourette was designated as a New York City Landmark.  Today, the house serves as the clubhouse for the LaTourette Golf Course.

The LaTourette Golf Course, like many of New York City's other golf courses, is operated by the American GolfLaTourette Golf Course Corporation. This means that it would cost you the same price to play golf here, that it would at any other golf course under their jurisdiction.  Like most golf courses, the prices are cheaper during the week.  The standard prices are reduced if you decide to walk, rather than ride.  If you are a resident of New York City, however, these prices are reduced even more, as residents of the city get to play for a cheaper price than non-residents.

The LaTourette Golf Course is located in the large LaTourette Park which, over the years, has expanded to almost 850 acres. While the golf course may be the finest feature of the park, considering the fact that it has been considered the best park in the City of New York, there are many other great features within the park.  The park itself is part of the Staten Island Greenbelt, which means that the various species of flora and fauna that inhabit the park are kept safe from the pressures of residential and commercial development.  Within this section of LaTourette Park are four hiking trails where visitors can observe the nature beauty of the habitats.  Outside of the protected wildlife, aside from the golf course, there is also a softball field.

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on


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I am the compiler of the Crocheron Family genealogy. The land that belongs to the Latourette Golf Course is the original property of the Huguenot Jean Crocheron. John Crocheron of the 6th generation gave this land to his eldest daughter, Ann, who married David Latourette. The deed for this property is in Liber K:182, and refers to land given to Ann Crocheron by the executors of John Crocheron, deceased, recorded 29 Sept 1823.

Posted by Charlotte Hix on Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 3:32pm

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