In the mid-1950s, the seeds of a dream were sown as 25 couples pooled their resources, each contributing $5,000, to establish the Ha’Penny Bay Corporation. With this collective investment, they secured nearly a hundred acres of pristine land, boasting picturesque beach frontage along Ha’Penny Bay. Their vision? To create an idyllic retreat that would soon become known as the Ha’Penny Bay Beach Club, officially opening its doors in 1961.
Initially, grand plans were laid out for subdividing the vast acreage into lucrative lots for sale. However, as fate would have it, the lots remained unsold, and the specter of bankruptcy loomed large. Yet, with remarkable collaboration from the original landowner, the Club managed to disentangle itself from the corporation, shouldering its rightful portion of the mortgage burden. Eventually, the unsold land, approximately 90 acres, found new owners as undeveloped acreage.
Despite early setbacks, the Club persevered and flourished. By 1967, the need for expanded dining facilities became apparent, prompting the transformation of dressing rooms into the structure now housing the present dressing rooms. This expansion, financed by the sale of 5% bonds to members, marked a significant milestone in the Club’s evolution, with the retirement of these bonds marking yet another testament to its financial stability.
However, adversity struck in June 1976, when a devastating fire razed the main clubhouse to the ground. Undeterred, members rallied together, voting unanimously to rebuild. With sufficient fire insurance coverage and existing cash reserves, the Club embarked on a swift reconstruction effort, culminating in the unveiling of a new clubhouse in March 1977. Throughout the rebuilding process, the Club’s tight-knit community demonstrated unwavering support, hosting Tuesday night dinners in the gracious homes of fellow members.
In subsequent years, the Club faced additional challenges, notably grappling with beach erosion exacerbated by natural disasters such as Hurricane Lenny in 1999 and Hurricane Maria in 2018. In response, innovative solutions were implemented, including the construction of a robust rip-rap wall along the shoreline and, following extensive damage, the installation of a reinforced cement bulkhead. These efforts not only fortified the Club against future environmental threats but also facilitated the expansion and enhancement of its facilities, including a larger covered deck area and improved beach access.
Today, the Ha’Penny Beach Club stands resplendent against the backdrop of Ha’Penny Bay, its rich history serves as a testament to the resilience and dedication of its members. Through decades of challenges and triumphs, the Club has remained a beacon of camaraderie, hospitality, and enduring seaside allure.
The Club is situated on a beautiful 1.5 mile stretch of sandy beach located on the South Shore. Ha’Penny — pronounced “hay penny” or sometimes called Halfpenny — Beach is a wonderful place to take a picnic or a walk! And Club members have access to restrooms and showers right next door.