Our Own Slice of Heaven
The Salem Country Club, a local club and golf course in Salem, NJ, situated on the banks of the Delaware River, was closed in 2007 and remained unoccupied.
Acting upon a dream for the future, Jim and Yvonne Grant purchased the closed facility and neglected property in 2011.
Since the previous facility couldn’t be completely renovated, a new Salem River Inn was designed, using previous elements from the old club.
Now featuring two B&B rooms and a great room for catered events up to 150 persons, the Inn will be the perfect place to host any type of event from wedding receptions, to birthday parties, corporate events, meetings, and much more.
Most of the former golf course was sold to the New Jersey Green Acres program and now provides a beautiful preserve open to the public. The Inn lies within 106 acres of this nature preserve and retained 3 former fairways which are aligned with beautiful cherry, maple and evergreen trees. The riverside offers a 2-mile stretch of beach also open to the public.
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It all started in 2011
“I had a dream…”
Jim & Yvonne talk about how their adventure started back in 2011
We often would ride our bicycles via the driveway as a connector from Slape Avenue to Locust Avenue to continue our route southward. After the Country Club closed for business, we sometimes paused at the berm, staring over the water and taking in the magnificent views. I always enjoyed the Delaware river starting in 1974 when I first moved to Oakwood Beach.
I clearly remember the first day we set foot inside the closed property with our realtor. Yvonne saw the commercial kitchen, froze and mumbled: ‘I don’t think this is going to work’. The kitchen was a flashback to the hotel and restaurant business she managed in the 90’s in the Netherlands. A life she didn’t plan to return to.
On Jim’s 62nd birthday he told me over breakfast that he had a dream of us fixing up the Salem Country Club. I didn’t think much of that – it was how someone just tells you they had a dream.
Later that morning we took our dog for a walk in Elsinboro. This is when he expanded on his ideas for the Country Club and it suddenly hit me that it was not just a dream… it was a vision! I got a knot in my stomach and couldn’t talk for a while. What had gotten into him?
Then we started exchanging ideas and on April 26, 2011, we became the new owners of the fabled Country Club of Salem.
We envisioned our residence combined with a few Bed & Breakfast rooms and a Great Room for catered events. Our wish is to share this beautiful location with other people.
After the purchase, we heard so many stories and fond memories of life at the Country Club of Salem.
Folks shared memories from proms and weddings to business meetings and shad dinners. They remembered the swimming pool and ice cream served from the kitchen window.
We thought we could keep the main A-Frame part of the old building and refurbish it. Unfortunately, the building was in bad shape and we ended up with a complete new building. This has the advantage of being able to well-insulate and make use of newer materials and technologies.
Due to a delay in selling 90 acres of the former golf course to the New Jersey Green Acres program, the construction came to a halt for almost 2 years. The delay was unfortunate, but on the other hand we gained different insights and have new ideas for the layout and final touches of the building.
We look forward to finishing the building process and opening our doors to the public this Fall. It feels great to be part of our local community and we hope that the Salem River Inn will create new fond memories for our guests.