James Walker Tufts, a resident of the Boston area, amassed a considerable fortune as head of various enterprises, most notably the American Soda Fountain Company. In 1895, he purchased 598 acres of land for about $1.25 per acre to create a health resort in the Sandhills.
Mr. Tufts wanted a "first rate" plan for his new resort and contacted a land planning firm in Brookline, Massachusetts headed by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park in New York City and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. In about three weeks' time, the plan for the Village of Pinehurst was formed. Mr. Tufts then hired Donald Ross in 1900 to be responsible for golf course development.
For many years, Pinehurst was a privately-held resort under the sole proprietorship of the Tufts family. In 1920, a corporate form of ownership was established when a charter for Pinehurst, Inc. was obtained. By the late 1960s, the shareholders of Pinehurst, Inc. decided to sell the resort property to Diamondhead Corporation. Over the next decade, Diamondhead created about 7,000 lots or units for sale with membership rights to the Pinehurst resort facilities. Infrastructure to support these lots (roads, water, sewer, etc.) was also constructed at this time. In 1980, pursuant to an Order of Incorporation, the Village of Pinehurst became an incorporated municipality. Since then, ownership of the resort property has changed hands several times and the world-renowned golf courses have been developed and expanded under each owner.
In recognition of the 125th anniversary of the Village of Pinehurst, over the next several months we will tell the story of how the Village came to be. Through a series of articles, we will document the unique events that led to the founding of our Village. Although the story of Pinehurst has been told in numerous publications and writings, we will focus on those events that are less well known, but fundamental in the creation of the Village 125 years ago.
This series will be updated monthly, so check back each month to find the latest installment!