The History of Tanglewood Park
The history of Tanglewood Park can be experienced through stories as well as through the beauty and southern charm still living today. The land Tanglewood Park sits on was part of the land claimed by Sr. Walter Raleigh for Queen Elizabeth on March 25, 1584. In 1757, Johnson purchased the central portion of what became Tanglewood Park from William and Ellender Linville.
Johnson then built a fort which overlooked the Yadkin River to protect his family and friends from attacks during the French and Indian War. Presently, this spot is marked with a monument and can be found just south of the Manor House. Johnson passed away in 1765 and is now buried on Mount Pleasant. A simple frame church was built next to his grave in 1809 and the church remains one of the park’s “must see” spots. Today, many people are married inside the church each day.
In 1859, James Johnson built the Manor House on a hill in the center of his estate. This house was a wedding present for his daughter, Emily.
In 1921, The Johnsons sold their property to William Neal Reynolds. The brother of major tobacco entrepreneur, R.J. Reynolds, William expanded the Manor House to 28 rooms and gained over 1,100 acres. The Tanglewood Farm was established through raising and racing harness horses and served as a home to some of the country’s best pacers.
The Manor House showcases many different styles of rooms, the most popular being Mr. Will’s (Reynolds) “Trophy Room.” Though there was a fire in the trophy room in 1980, it has since been restored to its previous beauty.
Other rooms in the Manor House include a 20s Room and the Rock Fireplace Room. The Manor House is presently used for weddings, meetings and overnight accommodations.
How did Tanglewood get its name?
The story of how Tanglewood got its name has varied over the years, but there are two outstanding stories that have stuck throughout the years. The first version is that, Kate Reynolds, the late wife of Tanglewood’s first owner, was strolling through tangled underbrush where timber had been cleared and the tangled wood she saw made her think of the name.
The second story is that Kate Reynolds read “Tanglewood Tales” by Nathaniel Hawthorne frequently to her children, aptly naming the family farm “Tanglewood.” In their will, the original owners of Tanglewood asked if the name could be passed on after their possession of the property; the heirs to the farm agreed to the clause and said they would be honored.
Kate Reynolds wrote this poem about Tanglewood:
"The seat of creeks and mighty trees,
Of fertile soil and balmy breeze…
Twould fill a page, had I a book,
To tell the joys of Tanglewood!"
1974 PGA Championship
In 1974, the 56th PGA Championship was played at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, North Carolina. Lee Trevino, with four major titles to his name, used a putter he found in a friend’s attic a few days prior, en route to claiming the title. Trevino only had one three-putt during the event.
The 56th PGA Championship took place August 8 – 11 and coincided with the resignation of President Nixon, who left office on Friday, August 9, 1974.
Home of the Vantage Championship
Tanglewood Park was the home to the Vantage Championship, a Champions Tour event conducted from 1987 – 2002. In 2002, the tournament purse was $1,600,000 with $240,000 going to the winner.
A notable fact about the Vantage Championship is that in 2001 the tournament was cancelled due to the September 11th attacks to mourn the victims of the crash.