1940s

Back in 1945 when there about 5,000 residents in Simsbury, there were just 3 tennis courts in town, one beaten-up poorly tended court at the high school, a second owned by Ensign Bickford company president, Bob Darling, and a third owed by Mrs. Hendrick which was located on the southeast corner of Hop Meadow Street and West Street. The Hendrick court was the best of the three but rarely used except when Mrs. Hendrick had guests in the spring and was in residence.

At the time there were a surprising number of young and enthusiastic tennis players in town. They were invited to play at the Darling court now and then but wanted more court time than they could get this way. They asked one of the "town fathers," John Ellsworth, who knew Mrs. Hendrick, to arrange a meeting with her so they could offer to maintain her court in exchange for playing time. Mrs. Hendrick graciously agreed and suggested they use her pool…a nice dividend! Thus the group resolved to charge each person $5 dollars a season for supplies to maintain the court. They casually called themselves “The Hop Brook Tennis and Dunking Association.” The new association ended its first year with $38 left over after paying all expenses.