The land which the Riverhill Country Club and the Riverhills Residential Subdivisions now occupy, was a part of a large ranch of some 2,000 acres owned by Gustave Fritz Schreiner (Gus), which he inherited from his father, Captain Charles A. Schreiner, in 1917. At that time the original Schreiner ranch land in and around Kerrville, including the store, bank and other properties were divided up among the eight children of Captain Charles Schreiner.
Prior to his inheritance of the lands, Mr. Gus and his wife, Huldah Schreiner, lived on the land and used it for ranching and breeding horses. In 1897 Mr. Gus a built a one-story rock and frame house with a basement, on a hill overlooking the Guadalupe River. They called their home, which consisted of a spacious living room, one bedroom, dining room and a screened-in sleeping porch, “Cedarcrest”. The basement included a wine cellar and a bank vault. In 1917 Gus and Huldah added a second floor to Cedarcrest which added a second bedroom, sleeping porch, sitting room and two guest bedrooms, followed in 1919 by the addition of a third floor, which was used primarily as a ballroom. Huldah Schreiner took delight in her “formal garden”. Cedarcrest and the formal garden were enclosed by a native rock fence built around the house with rock gateposts designed to serve as planters. Cedarcrest, which Gus Schreiner lived in until his death in 1962, is now known as the “Mansion” and is part of the Clubhouse for the Country Club, in many ways just as Mr. Gus and Huldah had known and used it.
Upon his death in 1962, Mr. Gus devised the Cedarcrest house and lands to Schreiner Institute and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with a provision that Jim Weatherby had the option to buy it at a specified price. Mr. Weatherby exercised the option and purchased the property, which then went through several owners before being purchased by Stuart and Sherman Hunt, who bought Cedarcrest and 1,100 acres still surrounding the house in 1973.
Prior to the acquisition by the Hunts, there had been several attempts to establish a golf course and residential areas. In 1965, a young man named Fred Rowsey started with about 900 acres that he had acquired from his grandfather, G. L. Rowsey. This land was originally part of Gus Schreiner’s estate and is now encompassed within the 1,062 acres that the overall Riverhill development occupies. Fred laid out a development of lots and streets and an 18 hole golf course which he named “Forest Hills Country Club”. Rowsey hired a golf course architect from San Antonio named George Hoffman, who laid out an 18-hole golf course, utilizing the natural terrain. A. B. “Monk” Tieth was hired as the golf professional. The course was supposed to be completed in January 1966, but only 9 holes of the planned golf course were completed. In late 1966 or 1967, Rowsey sold the property to Leon Turner, who renamed the Club “Tamanaco Country Club”. The word “Tamanaco” was the name of an Indian chief from Venezuela. The only street name utilized today from the Tamanaco era is “Larry Lee”.
The entrance to the Country Club, when it was known as Forrest Hills and Tamanaco and Kerrville Country Club, was from then Highway 689 (now Hwy 173) where the present cart barn is located. Leon Turner continued work on the 18-hole course, and during the time of his ownership nine holes were completed and playable. The Kerrville Hills Development Company purchased the property in 1971 and opened the first nine holes for play on September 17, 1971.
In the latter part of 1971, Lloyd Brinkman bought Cedarcrest (the Mansion) from Rankin and Cleo McBryde and the property owned by Kerrville Hills Development Company. It was Lloyd Brinkman who gave the name Riverhill to the Club and development.
Through the efforts of Lloyd Brinkman, the Hunt Brothers became interested in the project and the property. Through their involvement with Preston Trail country club in Dallas, the Hunts had become friends with Byron Nelson, who had laid out that course with the assistance of a golf course architect. Mr. Nelson and his wife, Louise, came to Kerrville and he spent two days inspecting the property after which he informed the Hunt Brothers that this was a wonderful place and that a beautiful golf course could be built here. The Hunts engaged Byron Nelson to build the golf course, but Byron wanted the assistance of a golf course engineer and architect. Byron got in touch with Joe Finger and asked him to work on the golf course with him, which was agreeable to Mr. Finger.
In addition to engaging Joe Finger, Mr. Nelson also checked with the weather bureau and the U.S.G.A. Green Committee, and as a result became convinced that we could use bent grass instead of Bermuda for the greens. Although Bent Grass greens are more expensive than Bermuda, Stewart and Sherman Hunt gave the OK. Byron stated, “As a result I feel that our greens are like championship greens. They are the best greens that I have seen in Texas.”
Jim Shirley was hired as the construction superintendent, and after 18 to 20 months the 18-hole course was completed. Additions were made to the Mansion (the Garden Room and Grill Room) along with the golf pro shop and locker rooms.
On August 1, 1982, George W. Underwood, of Dallas, purchased the Club and the land and took over the operation on September 1, 1982 embarking on an expensive program of renovations and additions to the facilities.
During their ownerships of the Club properties and adjoining residential lots, the Hunt brothers and Mr. Underwood developed and created the several Riverhill Subdivisions. They also put in place the Restrictions, Conditions and Covenants which are still applicable to the numerous residential properties in the Subdivisions.
Under the leadership of Club Member, Larry Smith, with the help of several others, the Membership of Riverhill purchased the Club from George W. Underwood on September 2, 1986, becoming a member-owned country club. The Country Club took the place of the developers with respect to the management of the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. The Club continued to exercise this responsibility until January 1986, at which time the Association of Property Owners of Riverhill, Inc. was formed and assumed by assignment from the Club the responsibility for the maintenance, supervision and management of the CCR’s for the Riverhill Subdivisions.
On October 1, 2009, Southern Golf Properties purchased Riverhill Country Club.