Many players on the course at Cyprian Keyes are interested in the history that lies behind the property and where our golf club got its name.
Like much of New England, there is a colorful story to this site. The club opened in 1997, but recorded history of the property dates back to 1718 when an early settler, Thomas Keyes, bought several lots in what was then the north precinct of Shrewsbury. In 1734, his son, Cyprian, built his home here, a house that was called Spring Garden. Besides being one of the first settlers in what was to become the city of Boylston, Cyprian Keyes was also a deacon of the Congregational Church and an ardent patriot.
After Cyprian Keyes died in 1802 at age 95, the land went through many hands and was finally purchased by industrialist George Sumner Barton, and his wife, Elizabeth Trumbull Lincoln. They renamed the land Barlin Acres—“Bar” from Barton, and “lin” from Lincoln. The Bartons made many additions to Cyprian Keyes’ home, including adding a music room in 1939. This room was originally built in 19th century England, disassembled, and reassembled as part of the Barlin Acres Mansion.
Eventually, the land became the property of the Worcester diocese of the Catholic Church and then was sold to the founders of our golf club. The first tree was cut down on November 1, 1995, and the first green was seeded during the week of Labor Day in 1996. Cyprian Keyes Golf Club was opened to the public on August 11, 1997.
When the land for the golf club was purchased from the diocese, the Barlin Acres Mansion still existed. Unfortunately, the only portion of the original house that could be saved was the Music Room.
However, the original flooring from Cyprian Keyes' home was used in the 1734 foyer of the new clubhouse, which connects the Spring Garden Ballroom and the Music Room. Also, the front entry from the Barlin Acres Mansion now graces the entry between the Ballroom and the 1734 foyer.
The design of the clubhouse for Cyprian Keyes Golf Club not only incorporates parts of the original structures, it also reflects the history, heritage and ambiance of colonial Boylston.
The same approach was taken with the golf course. Every hole is unique and is carved out of beautiful woodlands. The wetland areas integrated into the course add a natural beauty to the design, and the rolling terrain provides for scenic panoramas. Mark Twain certainly would have loved to take a good walk around Cyprian Keyes.
The logo of the course represents the marbled salamander, an endangered species for which there are 22 acres of wetlands set aside on the championship course. During colonial days, the salamander was also a sign of welcome and friendship.