Salisbury, built as a hunting lodge during the 18th Century by the Randolph family, stood directly across the James River from the Randolph plantation, Tuckahoe. As Governor of Virginia in 1784, Patrick Henry rented the 1500-acre farm from Thomas Mann Randolph. Later, while Salisbury still served as home to Governor Henry, Mr. Randolph sold the estate to Dr. Philip Turpin, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. During the Revolutionary War, Dr. Turpin, enroute from Scotland to Virginia was captured by the British. His possessions, including Salisbury were confiscated. However, the influence of Thomas Jefferson helped secure an unconditional release of Dr. Turpin's property. Upon his death, Dr. Turpin bequeathed Salisbury to his daughter, Caroline, and her husband, Dr. Edward Johnson.
Mrs. Johnson, in turn, left the property to her sons, Edward and Philip Turpin Johnson. Edward Johnson graduated from West Point, as did his neighbor, Henry Heth, of adjoining 'Black Heath.' Confederate Generals Edward Johnson and Henry Heth served gallantly during the Civil War. It was General Heth who touched off the Battle of Gettysburg.
The present central section of the clubhouse has been designed along the lines of the original Salisbury which stood nearby. The original story-and-a-half frame house burned around 1920. It boasted central halls, airy spacious rooms and porches shaded by a grove of pecan trees.
Established in 1963, it was fifty years ago that J.K. Timmons, W. Henry Jones, Jr., William F. Morrissette, M.D., and others signed the Article of Incorporation. Within the first few years, facilities included a colonial-designed Clubhouse, Olympic swimming pool, two tennis courts, one clay and one all-weather, beautifully kept lawns, shrubs and picnic tables.
The Club has come a long way since 1963. Today, Salisbury is a full-service golf and country club that has captured the rich Southern hospitality of yesteryear and continues to provide its members with the finest facilities available in a beautifully maintained environment.