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The History of Glenmoor


Around the transition to the 19th Century Father Brunner left his native Germany and migrated to America.  His purpose was to establish his faith among the German people in Pennsylvania.  The order was to be "The Society of the Precious Blood."  Their descendants have kept alive the Society and established Brunnerdale Seminary High School for boys preparing for the priesthood. They named the school in honor of Father Brunner.

The original site for the school was donated by two bachelor brothers by the name of Race, who owned the farm which surrounded the school.  The classic Gothic building was built during the years 1930-1931 with the first class starting in late October of 1931.  The building contains approximately 167,000 square feet.

For those of you who remember the depression you can realize how much an edifice of that magnitude meant to Stark county and Canton, Ohio.  The building contains Belden Brick, East Canton Tile and Republic Steel, not to mention all of the labor force required to complete such a building.

Sometime, shortly after the school was completed, bandits came through the area and seeing the building in the middle of a corn field decided the brothers must have been wealthy to have built such a building.  So they tied the brothers up and burned their feet with hot lids taken from the old wood burning stove.  However, the brothers were able to convince their captors that they had merely donated the ground and were very poor farmers.  It is interesting to note that their life savings were hidden under the floor boards they were sitting on.

Following that experience the two brothers came to the priests and asked to be taken in and to live out there lives here in the school.  The brothers willed the farm to the society at their death.  Thus the School came to own nearly 400 acres which was farmed to produce the food to feed the students and staff over the year.  The seminary was almost totally self-sufficient until the last few years when enrollment dwindled and not enough man power by the students could be provided to keep going.  The students who have come back to visit tell lots of tales about the various chores they performed while here in the seminary. By the way, the boys were here year around except for a two week vacation sometime in the summer.  So all summer they were busy in the fields doing those chores necessary to feed them the next year.

The enrollment increased from the beginning year until approximately 1968 when it reached a peak of about 400 boys in the four grades.  It was during this era, that the Timken Foundation graciously supplied funds to build the finest gymnasium in Stark County for the boys.  Earlier the foundation supplied funds to build an indoor swimming pool and diving area.  These two areas have now been transformed into the Spa at Glenmoor.

If you stop and think about the attitude of the American public during the 60's, it isn't hard to understand the decline in enrollment.  I'm sure the rugged life caused a many of the boys who started out with good intentions to drop by the wayside.  We know from the records that the last class to graduate in 1980 had 13 students and the class of 1979 only five.

A few of the brothers tried to keep going after the school closed by having retreats for various surrounding parishes, but that did not produce enough income to heat the building, so around 1985-86 the doors were closed for good and it was put up for sale.

The Wolstein's purchased the 381 acres of land and building in 1989, that many considered to be one of the most desirable tracts in Stark County.  After two years of renovation, the spa portion of the club opened in December of 1991.  On July 1, 1992 Jack Nicklaus took part in the gala celebration which opened the golf course.  The Grand Opening of the Clubhouse in September of 1992 followed.