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Our Story
Bound by History

The Foundry Golf Club is located on an exquisite piece of land in Virginia, boasting rolling terrain, indigenous vegetation, and natural rock formations that are scattered throughout the property. The meandering Fine Creek adds to the beauty of this picturesque countryside.

This land was once treasured by the Monacan Indians for its fertile soil and convenient access to the James River. The Monacans, who were part of the Catawba tribe of the Sioux, were not as friendly as the Powhatans and fiercely resisted the colonization of the Virginia countryside. However, as more settlers arrived in the Piedmont, the Monacans were eventually forced to move west. After years of conflict, they finally found a home near Bear Mountain in Amherst County. The Monacans are famous for their unique burial mounds found throughout the region, but they were also great innovators, having mined copper and domesticated various plants.

In the early 1700s, the French Huguenots settled in the abandoned Monacan tribal area along the southern bank of the James River. Previously, they had fled to England to escape religious persecution from King Louis XIV.

The Huguenots were viewed as temporary refugees in England and were awaiting a change in France's policies. In the New World, however, the colonies sought to recruit the Huguenots as permanent settlers. Virginia was rich in land but lacked people, and Protestant refugees were ideal for expanding the local population. After rendering services to the King, the Huguenots were granted a permanent settlement in Colonial America.

As part of a large wave of immigration to Colonial America, four ships left England to bring many Huguenots to Virginia. The Mary and Ann, Peter and Anthony, and Nassau deposited many of their passengers on the 10,000 acres granted to them by the King along the James River. They built small outposts and homes along the river, and many of these original structures and land development patterns are still visible in the surrounding area.

One prominent landowner in the region was Bennet Goode, a well-known farmer and delegate to Virginia's Colonial Convention in 1775. He was married to Martha Jefferson, the aunt of future President Thomas Jefferson. According to numerous records, he owned significant tracts of land along the James River, helped establish a ferry across the river in 1742, and built a tavern that was later known as Bagby Tavern. Bennet and Martha lived in a modest home named "Clifton Hill" to the southeast of Fine Creek Mills.

Over time, Mr. Goode's large landholdings were slowly divided and passed down to family members or sold. One future resident of this land was Dr. William Turpin, a member of another prominent Virginia family and related through marriage to the Jeffersons. A remnant family cemetery from the Turpin's home can be found near the 6th green, although it has become overgrown with vegetation, and only one marker is visible.


The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Historical records reveal that the Foundry Building was established in the early 1800s by a group of enterprising investors. In 1816, Dr. Branch T. Archer, William Archer, Zachariah Brooks, and Alexander McRae purchased Pleasants Mill and its surrounding ten acres from Robert Pleasants, son of former Governor John Pleasants of nearby Windsor Plantation. Their intention was to convert the mill into an arms factory for sale to the Federal Government.

Alexander McRae managed to secure a contract worth $140,000 from Secretary of War John C. Calhoun to produce 10,000 stands of arms, consisting of a musket, bayonet, and ramrod. The government advanced $25,000 to cover the initial costs, and granite was quarried at the site, with walls three feet thick built for the Foundry. However, construction was delayed by epidemics that killed many skilled slave laborers, and the Foundry was never completed.

The Fine Creek Foundry included one large building and three smaller ones. The Federal Government impounded the property in 1823 and quit claimed it in 1869.


Lee's Last Bivouac
On the property just left of #15 fairway, the renowned Confederate Army leader, Robert E. Lee, spent his final night as a Confederate General. After formally surrendering at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, Gen. Lee was traveling to Richmond to reunite with his family following the long struggle with the Union Army. On April 12, he departed from Appomattox with Colonel Walter Taylor, Colonel Charles Marshall, and Major Giles Cooke. While journeying eastward, they stayed near Buckingham Court House and Flanagan's Mill before arriving at Winsor at Fine Creek Mills on April 14. Lee's brother, Charles Carter Lee, lived there, but since the house was crowded with family and guests, Gen. Lee was invited to stay at John Gilliam's nearby residence. However, not wanting to inconvenience his brother's friend, Lee declined and instead set up camp in his tent on Mr. Gilliam's lawn. According to historical records, the following morning after breakfast, the group of officers, accompanied by Lee's son and nephew, departed for Richmond to meet his family at their home on East Franklin Street.


A Vision Transformed

Elizabeth Bollee, Contesse J. de Vautibault, and artist Julien Binford purchased the Foundry ruins in October 1935. Binford, born on Christmas Day 1908 in Powhatan County, moved to Atlanta at age 15 with his family and was encouraged to pursue a medical profession at Emory University. However, he became fascinated with the graphics and drawings in medical texts and decided to learn to paint. After a failed attempt to study art abroad, Binford enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he excelled and received the Edward L. Ryerson Traveling Fellowship in 1932, which enabled him to study in Paris for three years.

Upon his return to Virginia in 1935 with Bollee, Binford purchased the Foundry property and lived in a "windy shack with no water, no lights, and no heat located on Lee's Landing Road northeast of the Foundry." The property's surroundings inspired Binford, and he built a relationship with his African American neighbors, often using them as subjects in his artwork. One of his most famous works is the mural titled “The Lord Over Jordan” in Shiloh Baptist Church in Powhatan.

In the 1940s, Binford developed a relationship with a gallery in New York City. His success allowed him and Bollee to move to Manhattan, and in 1944, he was commissioned by Life magazine to paint a series called “New York Harbor at War.” While in New York, he continued to refine his vision of the old Foundry, and upon returning to Virginia, he and Bollee began the massive reconstruction of the buildings.

Binford's new life in Virginia included a 25-year relationship with the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, where he was a dedicated art professor and is considered the school's most "motivational figure" of the 1940s. Fellow faculty member Edward Alvey, Jr. described Binford as a warm, friendly, natural person who painted with sensitivity and devotion, establishing a feeling of rapport between the artist and the viewer. Binford's work has a freshness and originality that exemplifies his own zest for life and his desire to share its beauty with others.


The Founding

In the late 1980s, a group of Richmond-based businessmen bought a parcel of timber land in Powhatan County without a clear vision for its future. The land was viewed as a general investment, with its natural resources and potential for development as its main selling points. During this time, a group of golfers, including some of the businessmen, had been searching for a suitable location to establish a golf club in the Greater Richmond area. They were looking for a golf-only facility that would offer a unique experience free from the distractions and politics of traditional country clubs.

J.K. Timmons, a successful civil engineer, led the search for the ideal location for the golf club. While the timber property in Powhatan was initially considered, it did not have the character required to create the envisioned golf course. As the group continued to search for the perfect location, a new property in Powhatan became available for purchase. This property was the estate developed by Julien Binford on Fine Creek, and it included the original Foundry building and its associated outbuildings. The partners quickly seized the opportunity to purchase this one-of-a-kind property, which was approximately 100 acres in size.

The Foundry's breathtaking setting on Fine Creek became the centerpiece for the new golf club. However, a problem arose because the Binford property was too small to accommodate the desired layout. The original timber parcel was located nearby, but a large section of land separated the two tracts. After negotiations and some time, the group, which later became known as the Founders, acquired the missing section of land, giving them over 1,600 acres to work with.

With a new home, the Foundry Golf Club would offer a unique golfing experience with an old Virginian touch. It was to be centered around a single membership structure with a President as the sole governing force. The club's design and atmosphere would provide a pure golfing experience without the distractions of other country club-style amenities. The Foundry Golf Club was ready to be born.



The Clubhouse and its surrounding natural landscape set it apart from any other golf course in the eastern United States. To create the ideal layout, J.K. Timmons walked the vast property, identifying key land forms and ideal green locations.

J.K. Timmons, a native of South Carolina, studied civil engineering at Clemson University and founded Shropshire-Timmons, a civil engineering firm in Richmond in 1953. He became the principal of J.K. Timmons & Associates in 1955 and was awarded the contract to provide construction survey support to the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike. By 1964, his company had over 35 employees and a new office on West Main Street. By the mid-1980s, Timmons had built his company into one of the largest engineering firms in the state.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Timmons had a passion for golf. He assisted in the establishment of Willow Oaks Country Club and Salisbury Country Club, where he served as president of each. His greatest golf feat was the development of the Foundry, where he worked with his son Jeffrey and golf architect R.F. Loving, Jr. to create a layout that respected the natural topography of the land and the golf architecture of the early 20th century.

The golf experience at the Foundry was designed to combine a quality golf course with a sense of camaraderie among members. The course was laid out for walking, with a caddy program as an integral part of the vision. Plans were also made to create a guest house on the grounds, called The Lodge, to provide overnight stays for out-of-town members and guests.



Raymond Franklin Loving, Jr. was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1926. His father, Raymond Sr., was a successful assistant golf course architect to Fred Findlay. Findlay was Raymond Sr.'s father-in-law and the younger brother of Alex Findlay, a Scottish immigrant who arrived in the United States in the early 1880s and eventually designed over 100 golf courses in 19 different states.

After discovering that the ground in Nebraska was suitable for golf, Alex Findlay laid out the first golf course there in 1885. Most of his designs were developed in the early 1900s and followed a more engineered form than those of the 1920s and 1930s. Many of his designs were the first rendition of well-known courses today, such as Aronimink G.C., Tavistock C.C., and Pittsburgh Field Club.

Fred Findlay started his own golf course design business in Virginia after arriving in the United States years after his brother Alex. He worked primarily in Virginia and developed a relationship with his son-in-law Raymond Sr. and later his grandson Raymond Jr. Fred Findlay is credited with designing many great golf courses in Virginia, including Boonsboro C.C., Farmington C.C., Hunting Hills C.C., and Keswick Club.

Raymond Jr., known as Buddy, studied at the University of Virginia, Phillips College, and Virginia Tech. He began working part-time as a golf course designer with his grandfather and father in 1946. In the 1960s, Buddy partnered with Algie Pulley to form GolfAmerica, a design and construction firm. They worked together for several years before going their separate ways. Buddy continued to work on and off throughout Virginia until his death. He completed several designs, including Lake Monticello G.C., Shenandoah Crossings Farm and Club, and Water's Edge G.C. One of his best design collaborations was with Mr. Timmons in the creation of the Foundry Golf Club.