Essex Fells Country Club has quite the pedigree of famous names associated with it, and it requires some degree of digging through books to figure out which is true and which is not. One fundamental truth: Seth Raynor is most responsible for the club as it currently stands, as he had been hired to lead an enormous redesign, including a rerouting of the course that existed previously.
And who designed the original? Well, it wasn’t early standout architect Alex Findlay; Findlay had designed the club’s original nine, but that was located on an entirely different piece of property. No one knows who designed the 18 that Raynor renovated, and perhaps that’s for the best.
Another tizzy comes up when trying to determine who built Raynor’s design, after the architect died soon after. Some claim James Braid, which would be a shocking development, as Braid’s fear of boats meant he never visited the United States; although he mailed recommendations to New York's Saint Andrews, actual construction would have required him on the ground here. And it is certain that Essex Fells denied A.W. Tillinghast’s bid for being too expensive...bringing an icon like Braid from abroad would have broken the bank!