History of the Maynard Rod & Gun Club

 

The early history of the Town of Maynard saw small groups of hunting and fishing enthusiasts getting together for that purpose, but there is no record of any formal organization until 1902. That year in the June 20th issue of the Maynard News, mention is made of the Maynard Gun Club holding a series of clay pigeon shoots on Wednesday afternoons.

Nothing further appears in the papers until an August 27, 1909 note that a Gun Club with 35 members has been organized recently with Allan Howard, John Peterson and Robert Marsden as officers. An April 14, 1911 news note publicizes the fact that this Club is holding its Annual Sports Meet at Harvey Broadbent's Field on Waltham Street (the area of First, Third, Fifth Streets).

This Club was short-lived for, on April 15, 1915 the Maynard News reports that the new Maynard Gun Club at Brown's Pond has dug pits for traps and will be ready for a shoot on April 19th. Apparently, this group enlarged its horizon for on July 16, 1915 an article appears in the papers and speaks of a sportsmen's club to be organized- the committee being Charles E. Wheeler, Dr. Clifford L. King and Walter Peterson. The purpose of the club was to be the protection of game and fish. At a meeting at Peterson's store in downtown Maynard on August 20, 1915 the following officers were elected: President Charles E. Wheeler, Vice-president, Dr. C.L. King, Secretary, William Collier, Treasurer, Walter R. Peterson, Committee on By-Laws was King, Collier and Peterson. This Club received its Charter in 1916 with over 50 paid-up members, holding weekly meetings Peterson's store. By 1920 meetings were moved to Maynard High School and the first Annual Banquet was held at the Maynard Masonic Hall on January 21,1921. Committee members for this affair were as follows: P.J. Schnair, William McGarry, Eugene Thompson, William Millington, Henry Ledgard, Joseph Marsden, George Stockwell and Henry Slyvert. Ninety members and guests were present.

A news note of June 7, 1929 tells of the opening of a new Clubhouse at White Pond in Hudson, with 122 members listed as subscribers and shareholders. The Club with the help of member Oswald Dreschler, who was the mortgage holder, purchased the property on White Pond Road in Hudson in 1928. In 1930 a set of By-Laws was drawn up and the Club was incorporated.

Up to 1936 the club had a let-down in activity but at a re-organizational meeting on January 4th, Carl Swanson became president, Pete Jensen, Secretary, Vincent Maley, Treasurer. This meeting was held at the Elks Hall on Main Street in Maynard. The club at that time had 42 members and $12.75 in the treasury.

In 1942 the United States Government issued orders that prohibited shooting events on the Club grounds because of the adjacent Ammunition Depot. By 1943 the Club had moved to the Hessa Clubhouse, adjacent to Parker Street Hall in Maynard. Coming back to Maynard, the Club grew by leaps and bounds. At one meeting, 40 new members were accepted.

In 1944 the Club leased the White Pond Clubhouse to the Non-Commissioned Officers Club of the Ammunition Depot. The year 1944 also saw the consummation of the lease of 26 acres of American Woolen Company filter bed land on Old Mill Road from the Town of Maynard to the club. Pete Jensen was appointed chairman of a committee to investigate the possibility of buying this land. The Sewer Committee which was composed of Thomas Tierney, Robert Hatch and Walter Denniston was very co-operative about the matter as was the Board of Selectmen, comprising William Stockwell, Walter Cheslak and Joseph P. Dineen. The 26 acres were purchased in 1944 and recorded in 1946. Additional land purchases through the years have increased Club owned property to the present 93 acres, about half in Maynard and half in Sudbury.

The original ranges were in Maynard, in the area of the present ball fields. In 1970, new and expanded ranges were built on the Sudbury land. In 1997, additional ranges were completed on the Maynard side of the property.

The present Clubhouse was completed in May 1950 with a major addition to the Function Hall in 1977, built over an indoor pistol range. The pavilion was first built in 1984, and rebuilt in 1996. All structures and improvements have been made by labor provided by the membership of the club.


Originally presented at the September 1966 meeting of the Maynard Historical Society by Birger R. Koski. Updated in February 2001 by Frank Ignachuck.

 

Copyright , Maynard Historical Society , Maynard Massachusetts.
This page was revised on: March 31, 2001