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In October of 1952, five men, Dick Blair, Loren Basler, Ralph Lehman, Bob Hill and George Jones, Jr., met in Lehman’s Sporting Goods to organize the Oklahoma Wildlife Protective Association which eventually evolved into the Bartlesville Sportsmen’s Club. This organization’s goal was to stop the government’s coyote control program of distribution of cyanide gas guns and poisoned meat in early fall and through the hunting season. After the first few meetings, they realized they were going to need to have access to some money in order to accomplish their goal so these men anted up $50 each. The meetings were moved to the Chamber of Commerce rooms east of Baldwin’s Rexall Drug Store (then located at the southeast corner of Frank Phillips and Keeler) and, in January 1953, a slate of officers was elected. They elected Dick Blair President and Russell Walker Treasurer. They also elected three directors: Curtis from Copan for birds; Scally Hale from Dewey for fur; and Tim Dutcher for fish. These officers served until the following August when Bill Blount was elected President, Louis Eaton Vice President, and Loren Basler, Ralph Lehman and Sam Kier directors. They served until the annual meeting in December 1953. By the summer of 1953 membership had grown to 500 members. A membership fee of $1.00 per year was charged.
This group decided to see if they could have a field trial for their running dogs and, in the process, make a bit of money. There was a loose-knit organization of coon hunters who had a field trial every Sunday with a different group hosting each week. There was one Sunday each month that was not scheduled. The Bartlesville group attended one of these trials to see how they were run and were told that if they would like to, they could have the vacant Sunday each month to hold a field trial. They decided this would be something they would try to do so they got a coon hide and when their turn came they drug that coon hide all over the black jack and scrub oak in Osage County. That was hard work! They smartened up in a hurry and Loren Basler got a saddle horse from Paul Johnson in Dewey and they drug the hide at the end of a rope tied to the saddle horn. The only thing they had to remember was not to put any 90 degree turns in because those running them wanted to be sure their dogs got to the tree where the coon was. A live coon would be put in a chicken wire cage and hung in a tree and the dogs would try to follow the trail laid down to the coon in the tree.
It would not be at all unusual to have 50 running hounds on the ground by the time the preliminaries would open. The Club would make an average of about $100 each field trial. They soon got a bit smarter and bought a three-burner stove and started cooking hamburgers and hot dogs. This increased their income by about $50 or $60 per trial. When dark came every fourth Sunday, the Club members running the trial were very, very tired but everyone had had a good time.
About this same time the Isaac Walton League was beginning to flounder and asked the Sportsmen’s Club if they could help them. Someone had some wild game movies that Isaac Walton wanted to present at the Civic Center and the Sportsmen’s Club helped them put this show on. It wasn’t enough to keep Isaac Walton from going completely under. J. T. Beckham was president of Isaac Walton and he told the Sportsmen’s Club they would take the money they had and, if the Sportsmen’s Club would contribute some money, they would build a boat ramp at Hulah as their last hurrah. There weren’t very many in the Club then but each one pitched in what he could afford and gave of their time and energy to build and install the first boat ramp at the east end of Hulah Dam. There is an Isaac Walton League emblem on this ramp and it may even have the Sportsmen’s Club name in the opposite corner. This ramp cost between $500 and $600 and both the coon hunters and the Isaac Walton League were broke. J. T. said that Isaac Walton was going to turn their charter in; they felt the joint funds had been spent for a worthy cause, and wished us well in our endeavors.
The Club held monthly membership meetings in the American Legion room at the old Civic Center. After that the meetings moved across the street north of the central fire station at the old Haupt(?) Funeral Home for two or three years. This is where Arnold Moore’s is now. The old folks who had the funeral home let us meet in the funeral chapel for a number of years. The Club also met at the First National Bank in the basement and held meetings in the late 1950’s at the Union Hall for three or four years or so. During those years, monthly membership meetings usually had several tipboards to pay for rent and coffee and doughnuts and always had one door prize. Ralph Lehman always gave us the prizes for the tipboards and then sold us the door prize at cost.
For several years, as fast as the Club could raise money, boat ramps were built and installed. We poured another boat ramp on the river; we poured the ramp up on Skull Creek; we poured the ramp on Hudson Lake; we poured the ramp at the river bridge on the north bank of the Caney (it survived the flood and is still there); we poured the ramp at Bar Dew Lake; and we poured one way, way up on the river at Hulah, above Pond Creek, where a road goes back to the river about two miles below the main river bridge on Highway 99. Each one of these ramps had a pin in it where boats and other vehicles could fasten a safety chain to keep them from rolling back. We couldn’t keep the chains on the ramps because someone kept stealing them.
The average cost of these boat ramps was $750. These ramps could not be in excess of a 3-1 grade and Glen West, who was resident engineer at Hulah the time, and Harold Walker spent some time up there with a rule and survey instruments to see that those specifications were met.
We built a fishing pier at Jane Phillips Hospital in the 1950’s. The hospital was very small then and they had just finished building the first of the geriatric buildings out there when we built the fishing pier and poured the sidewalk so that the old folks could go down and fish. We stocked the lake and the pier was heavily used by old and young alike. Lots of fish were caught and returned to the water because the old folks wanted to catch them again tomorrow. Some 2-3# fish were caught and turned back.
Cecil Krigbaum was in charge of building the fishing dock and Loren Basler decided to play a joke on him. Cecil had cut the lumber before he left home so there wouldn’t have to be all that much cutting done after they got there. Two men, who acted as if they didn’t know what was going on, came out to help him and one of them asked where the blueprint was. Cecil told him the only blueprint he had was in his head. One of the guys grabbed a Skil saw and acted as if he wanted to do some cutting on the lumber. It turned out that Loren had become acquainted with some fellows who were working on the Adams Building who were more than qualified to build a fishing dock and had asked them to come out and help Cecil. Cecil says he was completely taken in by their pretense and they just worked him into the ground. If you’ve never seen Cecil work, that would be one heck of an accomplishment. Bob Marshall was one of those men and became an active and valuable member for several years.
One of the first major attempts at making money was at the Pennington Hills intersection where the 3700 Mall is now located. This was within the City limits but Loren Basler was acquainted with the Chief of Police and went to him and asked him if the Club could hold a turkey shoot at this location and finally got him to agree to this activity. This was a very successful corner for several years. In the best year we made about $1000. This was enough to build one of the boat ramps.
In 1957 or 1958, we started a quail-raising project. The first place we tried to raise quail was at Jack Wassom’s ranch south of Bowring. We built pens and flyways but there weren’t too many members who were willing to drive so far in order to take care of the quail. We then got a place on Butler Creek north of Sunset Boulevard and got with Joe Allyn Lowe to have boys from the Boys’ Club help with this project and we raised several bunches of quail there but met the same problem we had before. These birds all came from the Fish and Game Department hatchery at El Reno.
After these two not so successful attempts, Cecil Krigbaum let us come out to his place in the country south of Phillips’ softball fields where he had a building half built. We helped him finish this building to use as a brooder house and built some flyways there. We got some more birds from the El Reno hatchery and raised them to release size. We then decided to keep some brood stock from the birds we raised before releasing them and raise our own. Cecil made a movie film of our quail raising project showing how the eggs would be incubated, hatched and the quail later released. This film was requested by and shown to a number of schools and civic organizations in the area with Cecil Krigbaum going along as narrator. One night, when the Club was meeting at the Union Hall, Cecil was explaining to the general membership how they had discovered if they would turn lights on the brood stock they would reach fertility much sooner than if they waited for nature to take its course. The roosters were a little slower to prime than the hens so they would turn the lights on the roosters about two weeks sooner than they did the hens. By doing this, even the first eggs would be fertile. After Cecil had explained this very carefully, one older gentleman in the back of the room spoke up and asked, “What kind of light did you say you used on those roosters?” That brought the house down.
We released 2000-3000 quail a year while this project was in existence. Cecil informs us that we quit raising and releasing quail in 1966.
The Bartlesville Skeet Club had a field out on what is now Swan Drive on some land owned by Roy Hughes. They had been a very active organization but by 1958 or 1959 interest had dwindled quite a bit and Roy Hughes was thinking about selling the land. Carl Thompson learned of this and went to Roy Hughes and asked him if the Sportsmen’s Club could buy the traps and trap houses and start a skeet shooting facility of their own. Roy said he would talk to some of the Skeet Club members and get back to Carl in a week or so. He later contacted Carl and told him the Skeet Club had agreed to let the Sportsmen’s Club have everything at their field if they would tear down the old clubhouse and clear everything off the land. Carl checked around and found out it would cost about $200 to have everything moved from the field and went to the Board of Directors of the Sportsmen’s Club to ask for the money to do this. One of the directors told him if he wanted to spend so much money, he should get out and make it first.
After mulling things over for a time, Carl presented President Don Watkins with the idea of having a fresh channel cat fish fry for the public. At that time commercial fishermen were not allowed to catch channel cat in Oklahoma and fish had to be ordered from Missouri in iced-down 55 gallon wooden barrels. The fish were freshly caught — never frozen. The Directors agreed to this suggestion and the work began. The Club members sold between 2000-3000 tickets and 1300-1400 people attended the fish fry. Sonny Eng was the key man who made these fish fries so successful. He knew how to cook in large quantities and worked from start to finish, as did many others, to make this project such a success. One tremendous surprise was when the fish were taken from the ice in the drums it was discovered they had not been skinned — only gutted. Jim Crain and Loren Basler spent eight or nine hours skinning 700# of fish to be fried for the public to enjoy. The first year we had the fish fry at the YWCA. We very quickly found out this facility was much too small and moved it to the Dewey Fair Grounds the second and third years. The first year of the fish fry we cleared $700 (more than enough to pay for moving the traps) and the third year we had the fish fry we cleared $2700 and used 1100# of fish. By this time (1961) fish had gotten so expensive we tried to have a chicken fry. This was not as successful and after several years it was discontinued.
Claude Hudson had a ranch east of Hog Shooter Creek and told the Club if they wanted to put the skeet facilities on his land he would lease them enough land for $1.00 a year to have the field. Floyd Engelbert got a flat bed truck from D. P. Bonham. Floyd, Loren Basler, Roy Bodkins and Carl Thompson went out to the field and winched the high and low houses up onto the truck and took them out to Hudson’s. Loren and Carl thought Floyd would tear the houses completely apart when he started winching but it didn’t even loosen a nail. They then took the control house and the concrete shooting pads out to Hudson’s. Wally George and Winston Beers, and other members, tore down the old clubhouse and cleaned up the site. The Skeet Club later decided to contribute their treasury of approximately $200 to the Sportsmen’s Club.
When we moved to the field out at Hudson’s, we didn’t have 110 volt available to us so we had to rewind the solenoids in order to be able to use then with two 12-volt batteries. Later on, when 110 volt became available, we revised them again in order to be able to use the 110-volt. The electricity was used to trip the traps after someone had manually cocked the trap and loaded the target. We were afraid someone would be injured by a broken target so we devised a shield out of expanded metal to protect the person sitting in the trap house loading traps.
During this same time, we were devoting a portion of the money in our treasury to conservation by building the boat ramps, raising and releasing quail, planting blackberry bushes, multiflora roses and other wildlife habitat. We also planted vegetation that would grow near the water’s edge at the new lakeshore of Hulah to attract ducks and geese. This seemed to have worked because there seemed to be many more ducks and geese back then than there are now.
To recap the 1950’s, we should mention that after acquiring the skeet field it was decided we should have the Club incorporated to protect the individual member and did so in 1959 or 1960. Also, the reason we even attempted skeet shooting was the growing popularity of shot shell reloading in the late 1950’s. The reloading of shot shells brought the expense of the clay target games within reach of the average shooter. One fact that bears this out is when the National Skeet Shooting Association relaxed its rule of shooting new shells and allowed reloaded shells to be used, their membership nearly doubled within a year.
Following is what we believe is a fairly accurate list of the officers in the 1950’s:
Bill Blount Louis Eaton George Morrison
Louis Eaton (3 months) Loren Basler (3 months) Harold Runty Loren Basler (9 months) C.O. Sumpter
Loren Basler Harold Runty(8 months)
Dick Lehman(4 months)
Loren Basler Lee Still Dick Lehman
Lee Still Don Watkins Melvin McKlusky
Don Watkins Melvin McKluskey A. W. Bates
Don Watkins Wilbur Hall John Kennedy
Going into the early 1960’s, one of our moneymaking projects was field trials for bird dogs. We held two at Hulah and one east of Dewey. We advertised through other sportsmen’s clubs and had a good turnout from outsiders as well as from our own membership. Some dogs found quail and some didn’t, but everyone had a good time and money was raised for Club projects.
In 1964 it was decided we should try to locate some land closer to town and a Land Committee composed of C. O. Stark, Loren Basler and Les Hugo was appointed to find the right spot for us to locate our skeet facilities. It was about this time that the Junior Rifle Club was being evicted from the Army Reserve building, since the army needed the space for drills, and Les Hugo approached the Club to see if the Junior Rifle Club could have shooting facilities at our field after we relocated. The Committee looked at several pieces of ground and considered 13 acres south of Dave Ware’s corner west of town but that too, was too far from town. They located another plot close to Hudson Lake but a creek cut across the road into the land and there was a problem of accessibility to the land when the creek was up and it was also some distance from town.
They found the present site and talked with Walt and Era Thompson, the owners of the land, and asked if they would be willing to lease it to the Club for shooting facilities. Mr. Thompson wasn’t sure whether he wanted to lease it or sell it but C. O. Stark asked Carl W. Jones to draw up a lease on the off chance that Mr. Thompson would agree to lease it. When Mr. Thompson finally decided to lease it to us, Mr. Stark pulled the lease out of his pocket right then for Mr. Thompson to sign. Mr. Thompson said he was going to lease it to the Club for so little that we would be sure to keep it for the 20 years of the lease. He leased it to us for $200 a year.
A few of the present members may remember that C. O. Stark passed away in 1967, two years after he had retired from Phillips, and in his honor the Club officially named our facility “Stark Field”.
After the lease was signed, the work really started! Jim Crain, Jay Radebaugh, Cecil Krigbaum and Loren Basler cut the weeds from the southeast corner of the property to the southwest corner of the property because Les Hugo and Jack Greenawalt were shooting a property line and couldn’t find the pin set in the southwest corner. These fellows cut a pathway through the weeds from the southwest corner of our property to Tuxedo Boulevard. Jack and Les shot the line from there with Jim Crain and Loren Basler dragging a line through the creek (which at that time was the creek into which Dewey dumped their sewage). They found the pin at Tuxedo Boulevard and measured from there to the section corner and dug around there and found the brass pin for the southwest corner of our property.
When we got ready to build the trap houses for skeet shooting, someone was supposed to come down with his trenching machine and dig the footing for the houses. Something happened and he didn’t show up. The cement trucks were supposed to be there at a certain time and there was no trench for them to pour the cement into. John Kennedy, Jay Radebaugh, Walt Sires, Alfred Highfield, Bob Marshall and his two sons, and Loren Basler each took a section and started digging the trenches for the footing for the three skeet houses. They hand dug the trenches and had the rebars in the holes by the time the cement trucks got there. Jim Crain, John Anderson and Floyd Crabtree laid the cement blocks for the three houses with Richard McDonald and Loren Basler acting as gofers and mud men.
As skeet shooting increased, we decided to put in a trap shooting field, too. This field was laid out in the customary skeet/trap combination in the center of the west skeet field.
During this time we had so many skeet shooters they had to wait quite a while for their turn to shoot. One very busy day, Phil Phillips took Loren Basler out in the middle of the road and asked how much it would cost to buy another set of traps so the east field could operate simultaneously with the west field. Loren told him it would take about $1500. Phil Phillips told Loren to order the traps and send him the bill and not to tell anyone. (Loren felt that after 20+ years, Mr. Phillips would not object to this being made known.)
In the late 1960’s the interest in skeet shooting continued to grow so the Club decided to add lights to the fields in order to permit night shooting. Loren Basler learned the micromidget racetrack was closing and went to them and asked them how much they would take for the lights and disconnect. They said that if we would remove the poles, lights and wire and clean up the site they would give the lights and poles to us. Loren and Cecil Krigbaum took the lights down and moved them. Loren knew Harold Shelts, who was with Public Service Company, and he agreed to help pull the poles and transport them to the field. Jay Radebaugh, Jim Crain and Loren Basler got everything ready for the poles and got them set and the lights working.
Les Hugo was a tremendous help in laying out the rifle range. Gene Berry set the stakes and we got a grader to come in and level the dirt for the base of the rifle backstop. It took 4320 cubic yards of dirt to build the backstop and cost $1020. The base was built first and then Walt Thompson’s dump trucks brought loads of dirt in and dumped them on both sides of the base. The Caterpillar ran nearly straight up and down pushing the dirt into place to build the backstop.
The pistol backstop took only about half the dirt and money that the rifle backstop took.
Loren Basler and Jay Radebaugh laid the blocks for the pistol storage building. As neither of them were brick masons, the job was a little less than professional looking. Jim Pugh thought the pistol house would look better if it were plastered and asked the Club if they would object to his plastering it. No one objected so Richard McDonald mixed the plaster and Jim plastered the pistol house.
In 1967 an irrigation pipe was run from the little pond south of the shooting fields to get the grass started on the fields. At several board meetings from 1968 through 1974 it was recommended the Club buy a mower to keep the fields mowed and it was rejected every time. Loren Basler used his mower and mowed during this time.
Sometime in the 1960’s, we started saving money in order to build a clubhouse. A good many of our fund-raising efforts were for this purpose, as well as our conservation activities. We had to pay our cash rent of $200 each year and were afraid we would not have enough to pay our utilities so when we did build the clubhouse we held $1200 back to see us through any lean time we might have.
L. G. Rice was in the construction business during this time and he brought his crew down to the Club and built our clubhouse for us at cost. Jim Pugh was in the floor covering business and offered to tile the floor for us at no cost if we were willing to use tile samples and odd lot leftover tiles. We agreed immediately and Jim laid a very nice looking floor that lasted until the Great Flood of 1986.
Searching through our records, we found that on February 23, 1967, Loren Basler, who was the president of the Club at that time, sent the following letter:
“Since the development of our leased acreage was started last July, many people have contributed money, machinery, material, and lots of personal effort. The officers and directors of Bartlesville Sportsmen’s Club want to thank you for your personal contribution in this development.”
This letter was sent to John Anderson, Kenneth Babcock, Gene Berry, Denzil Burch, Jack Cochran, Floyd Crabtree, Jim Cramer, Jim Crain, Ed Davis, Jack Greenawalt, Charlie Gorman, Melvin Heine, Alfred Highfield, Jay Holland, Roy Hughes, Tom Kane, Karl Kolb, Dave Luinstra, Bob Marshall, Steve Marshall, Bryan Patzkowski, Phil Phillips, Earl Postlewait, Jay Radebaugh, Wayne Ramage, L. G. Rice, Herb Sheller, Walt Sires, Tex Tannehill, Carl Thompson and Walt Thompson.
Something I failed to put in the History for the 1960’s is that a delegation went before the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission to explain to them the use to which we proposed to put the land. The MAPC approved our petition to use this land for a shooting range for pistols, rifles and shotguns.
During the early 1970’s we were still having monthly Club meetings and for two or three years had a weekend outing each year. Some of the members stayed overnight and others came and went, as they felt like. We would have a big feed and a keg of beer at these outings and usually had a pretty good turnout. During this same time, we also had several Club shoots. The Club also had a night once a year for the wives. One time we played bingo and another time we had a dance. The ladies, as well as the men, seemed to enjoy these times.
In 1972 we decided to get rid of the hand loaded trap machine and replace it with an automatically operated one, such as we were using on the skeet fields. This is the same machine we are using at the time of this writing. Tom Vermiere was the main one installing the automatic trap and moving the trap location, with some help from John Shepherd and Bryce Hodges.
We also covered the rifle range during this time. Charlie Roberts took on the job of covering up one end so we could shoot, regardless of the weather. He insulated it and put in a heater, also.
The most significant happening during the 1970’s was the acquisition of the land we had been leasing.
In 1979, the Board of Directors was not too receptive to the idea of purchasing the land. Carl Thompson called Bryce Hodges aside after one meeting and suggested asking some members to put up $1000 each in order to raise the purchase money. He told Bryce that these contributions could be in the form of stock purchases or interest free loans. Bryce felt this idea had merit and the membership list was divided among several people, each of whom called the people on his list to present the idea of purchasing stock for the specific purpose of buying the land. By the time the calling was completed, $23,000 had been raised and at the next meeting the Board voted to buy the land and passed a resolution that Club membership would carry the requirement of purchasing 50 shares of stock.
When the people calling the membership explained the purpose of their call, they said they were asking for commitments of up to $1000. Bryce Hodges had D-M on his list and one of the people he called was Paul Hefty. After explaining to Mr. Hefty the purpose of the call, Mr. Hefty said he never went into anything like this without first discussing it with his wife and that, while he felt it was a very worthwhile proposition, he would have to call back after discussing it with his wife and he would get back to Bryce the next day. Bryce thought this was a very smooth way of saying, “No, thank you” and did not expect to hear from Mr. Hefty again. He called the next day and said he and his wife both thought it was a very worthwhile project and would anyone be offended if he purchased $2000 worth of stock. He was our only $2000 contributor.
After all was said and done, we ended up with 23 people who bought 23,000 shares of stock and, with what the Club had, we ended up with a little under $40,000. Arnold Puckett knew Walt Thompson personally so we sent him as a delegate to see if Mr. Thompson would sell the land to us. Mr. Thompson wanted $60,000 but Arnold talked him down to $50,000.
Four people, Ed Sheldon, Arnold Puckett, Jack Featherson, and Bryce Hodges signed a note at the First National Bank for the rest of the money needed to buy the land. They got the money on the first business day of 1980 and the note was paid off on April 1, 1980. We established one heck of a credit rating with First National Bank!
Early in the 1980’s we realized the Club, being a non-profit organization, should probably have a holding company for the ownership of the land. Bruce Robinett spent a great deal of time working on this problem and forming Sportsland, Inc., and writing the bylaws for Sportsland. He had quite a bit of hassle doing these things and we will forever be grateful for his contribution to the organization.
At the time Sportsland, Inc., was organized, the Club bought about 12,500 shares of stock and by 1982 had acquired a total of 19,100 shares. In early 1982 the Club signed a 25-year lease with Sportsland, Inc., agreeing to pay yearly rent of $2000 worth of stock plus $700 x CPI (Consumer Price Index) of the preceding year until such time as the Club divests itself of all stock. The rent them becomes $2000 plus $1000 x CPI per year.
In 1982 the City of Bartlesville requested that Sportsland, Inc., sell 150 feet by 150 feet of the southeast corner of the property for the purpose of constructing a water line booster station and eventually a ground level water tank. After approval by both Boards the sale was completed for a price of $9570. The Boards of Directors of Sportsland and the Club felt this would be somewhat like selling mortgaged property without paying the mortgage off so they decided to try to reimburse some of the larger stockholders. The Club took some money out of their treasury, as did Sportsland, and offered to purchase stock from people owning 1000 shares or more to the point where no one stockholder would own more than 500 shares. All major stockholders, with the exception of two, elected to accept this offer. One of the larger stockholders was reported to have said, “This is the first time I have ever gotten money back from something like this.”
At the time of this writing, there are 34,700 shares of Sportsland owned by individual members and the Club. Bartlesville Sportsmen’s Club owns 9100 of those shares. There are a total of 254 stockholders with approximately 30 members owning 100 or more shares. Two own 1000 shares each.
Since we are in the flood plain, we have been victims of floodwaters four or five times. Because of this, in 1984 or so, we decided to buy a trailer from Millstead Van Lines, put it on a concrete pad and use it to store our clay targets. Our original plan was to leave the axles and wheels under the trailer so that when we did have floodwater we would be able to get a tractor to come in and pull the trailer and its load of clay targets to high ground. We built the concrete pad, had the trailer brought out and, in the process of placing it on the pad, the front part of the trailer, including the fifth wheel, was pulled off. We then put a new front on the trailer, pulled the back wheels off and left it permanently parked on the pad. Because of this, we were not able to pull the trailer out during THE FLOOD and lost $1600-$1700 worth of targets.
The Flood of 1986 affected us greatly, as it did a good portion of our community. Our entire facility was under water. Our propane tank floated away from its location, as did the gun racks that were outside the clubhouse for the use of shooters. The trailer of targets was inundated, our clubhouse was completely immersed, as were our skeet houses (water was over the high houses) and, of course, the trap house. A lot of people didn’t think we would ever shoot here again including a Vice-President of Phillips Petroleum.
The Board of Directors asked Alan Barnes to contact Carl Thompson about being President and trying to rebuild the club facilities and at first Carl declined but after talking it over with his wife, Dorothy, he went back to Alan and told him if he could have Cecil Krigbaum as Vice-President and Dorothy as Secretary so we could have a monthly newsletter he would tackle the job. Cecil didn’t want to be Vice-President but he gave his word that he would help rebuild and ramrod all the carpenter work. Carl then asked Charlie Roberts, a long time member if he would help him and Charlie accepted. The Board accepted and the work began.
We were able to get the low house skeet traps and trap machine out before the flood but since we had never before had water in the high houses, we did not remove the high house traps. As a result, the high house trap motors had to be removed, taken to an electrical company and “baked” and cleaned and oiled. The traps had to be cleaned, the transmissions drained and completely serviced.
The ceiling and entire interior of the clubhouse had to be removed and replaced. We insulated the clubhouse walls and ceiling and put a “chip” board on the walls and ceiling of the house. We removed the old familiar patchwork floor and replaced it with a new tile floor. The window air conditioner is in the process of being repaired with new thermostats and switches and the fan motor is being cleaned. New gun racks were made and fastened down so they won’t be able to float away again.
Besides the repairs mentioned above, we have improved the drainage system on both skeet fields by moving a lot of dirt and increasing the size and drop of the drainage ditches. Bob Harton and Kenny Larmore did all the electrical work and put most of the electrical circuits underground. They also installed new high intensity lights on both skeet fields so we could shoot skeet and trap at night using regular orange targets. A great big “Thanks” to Charlie Roberts, who mentioned to Phil Phillips that we needed restrooms, Phil told us to build them and give him the bill for the cost of materials. We also opted to buy new skeet machines for the west field and decided on Beomat and were extremely pleased with their performance. We couldn’t afford to buy machines for the east field so Brian Whitworth (Phillips VP) told Carl that if the club could raise $3000.00 he would donate $3000.00 anonymously so we could get another set of machines. We ran a gun raffle and succeeded and got the second set of machines.
A lot has happened in the last two years and enough cannot be said to thank the many people who worked so long and hard to get the facilities back into operation. We have laid Petromat and chat around both skeet fields and the clubhouse and have improved the drainage ditch to the south of the clubhouse. The rifle and pistol sheds have been cleaned and put into better than old condition and much work has been done on the trimming of grass, spraying of weeds and cleaning out of tree rows. Without the fantastic operation of the many volunteers who made this magnificent contribution, our Club would not be in condition for us all to enjoy the facilities as we now can.
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This completes our Club History thru 1987. A lot of Club records were lost in the flood so we had to rely on the memory of a number of the older members for some of this information. I am sure there are corrections and, perhaps, some additions that need to be made to what we have written to date If you have anything to add or know of any mistakes that have been made, we would also like to know about these things so we can make corrections. This has been an interesting project and we hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have.
Carl and Dorothy Thompson
in 2019 there was yet another flood at the range, this time the damage was pretty good. it was decided at this point to tear down the original clubhouse and rebuild.