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Founded in 1957, the Burlington Tennis Club is a member owned, non-profit recreational club, featuring eight clay tennis courts, two paddle tennis courts, a hard surfaced tennis practice area with backboard, an eight-lane 25 yard pool, pool house, picnic area, a children’s play area, and a clubhouse with lounge, snack bar, and locker rooms. The tennis courts are open for play from May through October and the pool is open from Memorial Day to mid September. The paddle courts are available year round with an additional fee for winter play.

During the summer, BTC offers a choice of memberships for families, couples, and singles, as well as the very best tennis and swim programs for all ages. In addition, the club hosts many social events that allow members to get better acquainted. During the fall and winter, BTC offers paddle memberships for singles and couples with the option of season long prime-time court reservations.

Tucked off a dead end street in South Burlington, BTC is the best kept secret in Chittenden County.

Club History

A historical summary of the Burlington Tennis Club would not be complete without looking back to earlier tennis club activity in the Burlington area prior to World War II and during the dozen or so years following.

State tournaments, inter-city matches, and local resort tourneys were popular in the thirties. Professor Fred Carpenter of UVM helped to organize the first area Burlington Tennis Club to play teams from Montpelier, Barre, St. Albans, Brattleboro, Oakledge, Basin Harbor and Thompson’s Point. In 1946, the University Tennis Club came into being with the rental use of six clay courts at UVM’s Centennial field. The courts were fine, but no facilities were available for changing, showering or shelter. Many of the later founders of our BTC kept the program going for a dozen years. During this period, the Vermont State Open was a popular tournament and regularly attracted a strong field of ranked players, including several Canadian Davis Cup players. A junior development program and a large demand by families ultimately led to exploring the need for new, independent and more complete recreation facilities.

The Burlington Tennis Club, Inc. was formally organized on December 11, 1957 by Robert J. Adsit, Jr., Dana S. Bray, John T. Carpenter, James E. Simpson and M. Coleman Twitchell; subscribers to the original Articles of the Association. These incorporators elected the first Board of Trustees consisting of Adsit, Bray, Carpenter, Simpson, Twitchell, Albert W. Coffrin, Willet Foster, John H. MacDonald and Jere S. Messerole, who formulated and adopted the original BTC by-laws. Prior to formal organization, many months were spent in search for a suitable location. The existing site was settled upon from plans laid out by local architect Ben Stein. Construction of the first six courts began on November 26, 1957 in order to prepare a proper foundation before winter set in. Sufficient advance preparations were achieved to allow spring completion and an opening date of July 1, 1958. Part of the original 5 1/2 acre site upon which the Club’s facilities are now located was generously donated by Dana Bray; the rest of the land was acquired for $5,000. The club later acquired additional strips of land near Williston Road and exercised an option to acquire additional acreage to the South for protection and future growth.

Because of existing residential zoning restrictions, many months were spent gaining the approval of adjoining property owners to permit a tennis and swimming recreational facility. The cost of the first six tennis courts was $16,874.

The original estimate for the pool, clubhouse, parking and landscaping, as well as land and courts, amounted to about $75,000. The sale of $100 debenture bonds in 1958 and 1959, coupled with loans from a bank and a trustee, produced enough money to begin building a pool and a bath house, to erect fencing, and to begin construction on a clubhouse. Some 214 bondholders invested in bonds totaling $48,500 to make possible the facilities we enjoy today.

The Club’s first Tennis Manager was Dana S. Bray, Jr., a former Yale tennis player, working the “Pro Shop” which was a utility shack located near court 6. First year salaries and wages were $1,357. There were 170 members the first year producing $6,200 in dues income, based upon a $100 family, $50 single, and $15 junior membership.

The 1960’s were years of growth at BTC, especially in the junior programs, initiation of doubles, baby-sitting service, swimming instruction and swim team activities, and tennis tournaments. Improvements in the grounds and parking and continuous maintenance of the pool, courts and clubhouse were major concerns of the trustees. Two new all-weather courts were built in 1961 at a cost of $11,000, only to be converted in the late 1970’s to more popular clay counts.

The Club’s junior development program produced many outstanding junior players who carried on the BTC tradition of excellence and sportsmanship not only at the club but on courts throughout the New England Junior circuit. The successes of these boys and girls and the club’s growth during the 60’s and 70’s did not happen without dedicated leadership and direction from a large number of volunteer, officers, committees, trustees, and parents, as well as the young people employed to direct the tennis and swim programs and to maintain the courts, buildings and grounds.

During its first 35 years, BTC highlights have included hundreds of social events, award ceremonies, the Burlington Invitational Games matches, Don Budge and Bobby Riggs Exhibition, New England junior tennis matches, annual local junior tournaments, Club Championships, Ladies’ Days, Junior International Challenge Bowl, Summer camp regionals, international swim meets, parent/child tournaments, “lob and Lager” socials and scrambled doubles.

Club Presidents

In the history of BTC, the presidents have directed the affairs of BTC, facing a variety of challenges from the Club’s specific needs arising each year to a host of unsung members who have kept the books, labored on the property, worked with and transported juniors, promoted memberships, organized mailings, and performed those hundreds of necessary jobs to keep the Club alive and flourishing. Members now active in the club will most certainly guarantee its future for many decades to come.

1958 John H. MacDonald
1959 John H. MacDonald
1960 M. Coleman Twitchell
1961 Willet S. Foster
1962 Robert L Burger
1963 John T. Carpenter
1964 Webster S. Thompson
1965 Howard A. Allen
1966 Jonathan K. Woods
1967 Thomas R. Hatchett
1968 Stokes Gentry
1969 Albert A. Ingalls
1970 Robert Patterson
1971 C. Irving Meeker
1972 Stuart Hall
1973 David A. Jenkins
1974 Charles D. Ordway
1975 John J. Coons
1976 Barry Stone
1977 Elden Decker, Jr.
1978 Elden Decker, Jr.
1979 John J. MacDonald
1980 Harold W. Hill
1981 Harold W. Hill
1982 Michael G. Furlong
1983 Carolyn Swiatek
1984 Steven Limanek
1985 Grant Bush
1986 Bob Vinson
1987 Dale Loeffler/ Si Axtell
1988 Pam Linton
1989 Pam Linton
1990 Steve Waltien
1991 Steve Waltien
1992 Joan Briggs/Jamie Coffrin
1993 Lisa Hadley
1994 Ed Kent, Jr.
1995 Joan Materna
1996 Kevin Plette
1997 Nancy C. Furlong
1998 Sam Hoar
1999 John Conroy
2000 Kate Purcell
2001 Nancy Fisher
2002 Nancy Fisher
2003 Tag Carpenter
2004 Gene Richards
2005 Gene Richards
2006 Gene Richards
2007 Gene Richards
2008 Gene Richards
2009 Ken Bean
2010 Ken Bean
2011 Ken Bean
2012 Steve Urish
2013 Chip Hart, Jr.
2014 Chip Hart, Jr.
2015 Chip Hart, Jr.
2016 Chip Hart, Jr.
2017 Chip Hart, Jr./Clare Wool
2019 Rob Bingel

Bert Kusserow Award

Each year the Burlington Tennis Club presents two awards of great significance, the Kusserow Award and the Carpenter Award. Dr. Bert Kusserow was an early member of the Club noted for his playing ability, but above all else for his sportsmanship and manners on and of the tennis court. He suffered an untimely death in an automobile accident. In his memory, the Club established the Kusserow Award, presented annually to the adult member who best combines outstanding qualities of sportsmanship along with genuine goodwill toward humankind. The award is presented at the annual meeting.

1976 Stokes Gentry
1977 Stuart Hall
1978 John Carpenter
1979 Ann Coffrin
1980 Robert Patterson
1981 Robert Kelly
1982 Evelyn Trono
1983 Harry Hill
1984 Connie Carpenter
1985 Mary Jane Gentry
1986 Michael Furlong
1987 Barry Stone
1988 Meredith Babbott
1989 Ellen Wilkins
1990 Jim Ross
1991 Nancy Furlong
1992 Betty Woods
1993 Ed Kent
1994 Carol Stone
1995 Carolyn Swiatek
1996 Jean Selvig
1997 Kevin Plette
1998 Allyson Bolduc
1999 Susie Cruse
2000 Tom Cavin
2001 John Conroy
2003 Lori Smith
2004 Jon Limanek

Professor F.D. Carpenter Award

Professor Fred Carpenter of the University of Vermont was one of the earliest proponents of organized tennis competition in the Burlington area. Professor Carpenter was Coach of the UVM tennis team for over 25 years and an original founder of the University Tennis Club, predecessor to the Burlington Tennis Club. His interest in the Club’s junior development program led to the establishment of the Professor F.D. Carpenter Award for junior players. Professor Carpenter regularly presented this award into his late eighties. This award is presented annually to the junior member, selected by the Tennis Pro, who best exemplifies the qualities of good sportsmanship.

1975 Andrew Peisch
1976 Judy Stone
1977 Karl Kusserow
1978 Brett Decker
1979 Paul Calhoun, Jr
1980 Gary Ouellete
1981 Kim Maley
1982 Jeff Swiatek
1983 Chris Dowhan
1984 Jeanine Sell
1985 Rick Sell
1986 Lisa Nalchajian
1987 Leland Hart
1988 Nikki Giannaccini
1989 Cheryl Frank
1990 Peter Ozarowski
1991 Cate Gregory
1992 Clara Rosenthal
1993 Jessica Scott
1994 Tim Hadsel – Mares
1995 Jennifer Levanchy
1996 Andrew Samara
1997 Emily Furlong
1998 Andrew Bolduc/ Hunter Thayer
1999 Taylor Wilkins/Alex Knapp
2000 Jaafar Rizvi/Mitra Luce
2001 Laura Coffrin