New! Good times at the Clontarf Club!

I just added a page devoted to the Clontarf Club!  Just click on Clontarf Club, up near the top of the page, between the title and the photograph of the depot.

Anne had the fantastic idea of having a celebration to honor the legendary spot in Clontarf.  We want to hear your memories, so please reply on the Clontarf Club page or here or anywhere on the blog…we will get it in the right place!

Not much input on the school photo I posted last time.  JoAnn from Phoenix and her mother Tressa Burns (granddaughter of Charles and Phoebe Chevalier) had a few ideas.  I will share them over the weekend.

Speaking of Tressa Burns…JoAnn and her sister are putting together an album for their mom with photographs of her own personal history.  Let me know if you have any photos or memories to share.  Tressa spent a lot of time in Clontarf, since her grandparents Charles and Phoebe ran the hotel in town.

You can always email me: if you have any questions or suggestions for the blog.  If you have photos or anecdotes you want to share, send them my way.  I will add them to the blog for all the world to see!


Filed under Clontarf, Clontarf Club

7 responses to “New! Good times at the Clontarf Club!

  1. Eileen

    When I was in Glacier Park, MT in September giving a presentation to the Great Northern Railway Historical Society, I closed my illustrated talk with a photo of my grandfather, Thomas McMahon loading hay into a Great Northern freight car in Clontarf in 1908 or so.

    During the Q&A three or four of the members asked about the Clontarf Club. This group consisted of people from all over the US.

    I was amazed that the reputation of the Clontarf Club was alive in these men’s memories.

    I remember going there for dinner as a child when my mom and dad visited my aunt who lived in Benson.

    Good memories.
    Eileen Regan McCormack

    • Margo McGeary Ascheman

      Just a note to see who replyed to you about this last note. I am hoping that I will find some relatives in your program.. Margo Ascheman

    • How cool – the reputation of the Clontarf Club was wide-spread! Was Pat Regan the first proprietor of the Clontarf Club? I recall Donald and Gerald telling us about when their dad was working on transforming his garage into the Club…do I have that right? Remember, they told us his brother Jack had returned from Montana and was helping him do the work…

      Do you remember what it was like in the 1950s when you dined there with your mom and dad?

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Anne Schirmer

    The Clontarf Club was co-owned by Patrick Regan (it was the site of his blacksmith shop, I am told) and George Gilbertson. The dancefloor itself was the site of the original blacksmith, and the kitchen and dining area were added to the east, and the bar area was added to the north. The entry was a tiny protected area that greeted patrons with “HELLO DERE” (there) in mosaic 1″ tile chest high, dark tan letters on beige. I’ll send a photo I took recently of that greeting.
    There was a tiny bathroom up 10-12 steps in the bar area, and another in the dining area of a larger size. There was “art work” at the left end of the bar (no tv!) of a lovely lady with dark hair, as I remember it, and pale skin (lots of skin showing!) seated on a floor in a relaxed pose, done in mosaic…ANY BODY GOT A PHOTO? It is gone now…Brownie Kesting owned and operated it after George, I believe. She was a spirited business woman. Reminded me of Dolly Parton! but not the entertainer that Dolly is. Her license plate simply said “BROWNIE”. She died a few years ago (12-15), and lived in Benson at that time. Mel & Margo Ascheman live in her house now. People that were at her household auction said the furniture was vintage 1960, in excellent condition….Hartley & Barb Swanson ran the place at the end of its “life”. When Chamberlain Oil purchased the property, Tony told us that when he walked into the bar area a few years later, it was as if the patrons just left. There were drink glasses on the bar on napkins with swizzle sticks in them….

  3. Anne Schirmer

    Just a few years ago at a nursing home in this area, a elderly gentleman from the eastern side of Swift County had a story to tell me about the Clontarf Club. “My best friend, Joe Pothen, had been in the service a while. He came home on a 30 day leave and bounced around to all the friends & relatives to greet them. We decided we should get together the next night, Sat. night, at the Club in Clontarf. We had a wonderful time, but the next day, by noon, we learned that Pearl Harbor had been bombed!
    Joe received his military notification: ALL LEAVES CANCELLED. REPORT TO YOUR BASE. It was Dec. 7, 1941, That was the end of his 30 day leave.

  4. Anne Schirmer

    Lots of ladies worked at the Clontarf Club. We need to give reconition to these fine women who did such a wonderful job of giving the Club its reputation as a fine dining establishment…including Ruby Mazurek! She was a cook for many years there. Rita Staton maybe was more of a bar tender, I think… Need to verify. Both ladies live at West Wood Manor in Benson. Emily Avok, a waitress, passed away 2 years ago. Lots more need to be added to this list….

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