Tennis came to the Pacific Northwest in the 1880’s, and soon tennis clubs were formed in the major cities of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.

Prior to 1900, annual tournaments were held for the championship of British Columbia at Victoria, Mainland of British Columbia at Vancouver, Washington State at Seattle, Pacific Northwest at Tacoma and Oregon State at Portland.

The need was obvious for a regional tennis organization. In 1904, R.B. Powell of Victoria called together delegates from the various clubs. The first meeting was held at the Union Club in Tacoma, at which time plans for organizing the North Pacific International Lawn Tennis Association were fully explored.

On June 25, 1904, the first annual meeting was held in Victoria, at which a constitution was adopted, and the following officers were elected:

  • Arthur Remington, Tacoma – President
  • W.D. Rudy, Portland – Vice President
  • R.B. Powell, Victoria – Secretary/Treasurer

There were five original member clubs – Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma and the Multnomah Athletic Club. The Irvington Club joined the Association shortly afterward.

In 1916, Walter A. Goss of Portland approached the United States Lawn Tennis Association to develop a plan to bring the member clubs of the North Pacific International Lawn Tennis Association into the USLTA. This required a change in the constitution of the USLTA in order to accept the British Columbia clubs in membership.

In 1921, the USLTA adopted the necessary change in its Constitution, and all the clubs in the Pacific Northwest became members of the USLTA. The name of the regional organization was changed to Pacific Northwest lawn Tennis Association. This is the only part of the United States where Canadian clubs are members of the USLTA.

More recently, when the USLTA dropped the word “Lawn”, the PNLTA became the Pacific Northwest Tennis Association.

Membership in the association grew very slowly in the early years. In 1928, there were only twelve member clubs, including four from Oregon – Irvington, Multnomah, Waverly and Salem.

In several years after its organization in 1904, the Association published annual handbooks containing the draws of tournaments, pictures of players and other Pacific Northwest tennis news. We have some copies of these old handbooks.

In 1950, the annual publication was reinstated with a brochure containing the tournament schedule, rankings, officers and committees. Publication of the annual brochure has been continuous since 1950. Today, by comparison, it is a sizeable document, a testimony to the tremendous growth in tennis.

Document Archive
PNW Charter
Official Guides: 1909, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1920 & 1928
Association Records 1904-1954
Annual Brochures 1949 – current

Document Source: Sam Lee, 1995