ELIZABETH “BETSY” GENTRY
Grand-niece of Charles Blair Macdonald
Interviewed December 7, 2005
Interview (31 mins)
Her uncle was “part Mohawk Indian”. His mother (Blair) was born in Lundies Lane, Ontario, Canada, across the falls from Niagara Falls, where he was born. Ms. Gentry says that Macdonald is buried in Lundies Lane, while others have placed the grave in Southampton, Long Island. His mother’s brother was a professor at St Andrew’s University, Scotland, where he attended college. She gave us a family picture album, which we have copied. Her frank memories are not particularly fond! She was told that CB “had no sense of humor.. was not a nice man.. made and lost fortunes.” She met him once, in 1936, when she was 9-years-old. Her mother took the family to Long Island to meet him. She was told “to be on her best behavior” but “he seemed annoyed with us children”! On that occasion he took her mother to see the National course. As part of the tour he took her into the (men’s) locker room against her protest and to her great embarrassment. CB said he could do this because“he owned the place.” When Mrs. Gentry was married and vacationing in Bermuda, she saw the house (Old Battery) that Macdonald had maintained at the Mid Ocean course, with the guest cottage where “he had kept his mistress”. She says that CB “didn’t want to do the Yale course design, but agreed to do it only after a ‘seam of sand’ was found on the property”.