Lee Jordan Clubhouse: A Suffolk landmark on the market

Published 4:53 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

Looking for the chance to own a piece of Suffolk’s history? The historic Lee Jordan Clubhouse, located at 1709 Pitchkettle Rd., is for sale by its owners.

A frequent gathering spot for Suffolk residents over many generations, it currently serves as the meeting location for the Suffolk Lion’s Club and the Jolly Boys Club.

The clubhouse’s life began in the 1920s when fishing buddies John Lee and T.A. (Alex) Jordan decided to build it in the woods near Lake Cahoon. It has been a fixture for meetings in Suffolk now for 95 years, having been completed in 1928.


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A small clipping posted on the clubhouse’s bulletin board tells its origins as Jordan decided to come to Suffolk from North Carolina in search of his fortune.

He started up the Reliable Peanut Co., which was where Webb Transfer was located at the time the bit of history was written. 

This was “about the same time Mr. Obici started Planter Peanuts,” the clip states, noting that Lee was into the real estate business.

“The two men and their friends used the clubhouse for card games every Thursday night and Saturday night,” the piece recalls. “They fished on Sundays.”

The generations saw the clubhouse passed through the family, as T.A. Jordan’s brother, Will, inherited it following his death. 

While the men continued to make use of it, it also became a location for Jordan family reunions. 

“Will Jordon allowed church and civic organizations to rent the building for dinner meetings,” the clipping states. “The chief attraction of the clubhouse for those organizations was, no doubt, the culinary skill of Norman Gary, a former Navy cook who had a knack for country cooking.”

Following Will Jordan’s death, the clubhouse was inherited by Old Dominion Area Council Boy Scouts of America per the terms of his will. Today, it is owned by PGK Inc.

PKG Inc. President and Current Clubhouse Owner Lloyd Gatling discussed his history with the clubhouse and how he came about owning it following his brother, George Gatling Jr.

“He didn’t really use the clubhouse as a profit making thing. He just enjoyed using it. He had some friends in his neighborhood that would go out there and sit and watch the lake,” Gatling said. “We’ve been trying to keep it going after my brother passed away last November. We’ve kind of inherited it”

Gatling also noted his own previous history with the clubhouse prior to ownership saying it has been a gathering place for the Gatling family “for many years.” It was used for his mother, Jane Harris Gatling, at her 90th birthday (her father was G.A. Harris, personal attorney for Amedeo Obici at Planters Peanuts). The party was hosted by her son George P. Gatling Jr. 

Also attending the birthday party was Jane Gatling’s son Lloyd Gatling and wife, Judy, of Suffolk, Mary Jane Black and husband, Jerry, of Purcellville and Roxane Gilmore and husband, Jim, of Richmond.

“The Lee-Jordan Clubhouse was an ideal place for this birthday party and other occasions,” Lloyd Gatling said.

He added that his mother Jane was well known to many people in Suffolk for the private kindergarten she operated in her home on Causey Avenue. Later she worked in the public school in Holland, and finally at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. 

Gatling said that due to him and his two sisters — who share ownership of the clubhouse with him — not living in Suffolk anymore, they decided to put the clubhouse up for sale to anyone who is interested.

The sale is being handled by Lee Cross of Cross Realty in Suffolk.

Listed for $300,000, the clubhouse is on a private lot with a dock on Lake Cohoon, a reservoir owned by the City of Portsmouth. 

“The clubhouse has a large meeting room, full kitchen with industrial gas range, sunroom, enclosed porch and lakefront deck,” according to the listing that shows it is 1,882 square feet. “There are exterior restrooms and a large storage shed on the property.”

The piece posted at the clubhouse shows that it has seen some changes through its history.

“Sometime over the years, the original clubhouse burned,” the clipping on its history mentions. “It was repaired or reconstructed and has been enlarged over the years. Never mind the small changes, it continues as a friendly gathering spot for Suffolk people.”