Garden City country club with name tied to slavery unveils new name

The Plantation Country Club in Garden City has cast aside its only link to slavery

The Plantation Country Club in Garden City has cast aside its only link to slavery and is now known as The River Club.

“Looking to the future of this great club and what it means to members and the community, the element we kept coming back to was the river,” Will Gustafson, CEO of owner Glass Creek LLC, said in a news release Thursday. “The Boise River is the lifeblood for this community. It was obvious that our club’s future had to pay respect to the river.”

The club announced in June, amid nationwide protests of police violence against Black people, that it was seeking a new name. In the U.S., the word plantation is associated with large farms built in the past on the backs of slave labor.

In August, the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise removed a stained glass window installed in 1960 that contained the image of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Church documents showed the window, featuring Lee standing with Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, was meant as an “inclusive nod to Southerners who have settled in Boise.”

Glass Creek, which bought the country club in 2018, planned to unveil a new name after a redesign of the course and other improvements were completed in a few years. However, Gustafson said the events of 2020 brought an increased focus on ensuring the club matched modern-day values.

“We felt from the very beginning that ‘Plantation Country Club’ did not reflect the vision we had for the club’s future: a fresh, modern, inclusive, and welcoming club for all members of the community,” he said. “This year brought a sharp focus on just how imperative it was for our club to not be attached to that dark piece of America’s history, and we knew we couldn’t wait any longer.”

The course, the oldest in Southern Idaho, opened July 18, 1917 as the Boise Country Club. Fourteen years later, the name was changed to the Plantation Country Club.

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