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Centennial Monograph: Maynard Rod and Gun Club


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Centennial Monograph: Maynard Rod and Gun Club


A history of one of the major clubs in Maynard whose origins stretch back to the turn of the 20th century.


Birger Koski





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Possibly the first thirty years of the incorporation of the town of Maynard saw small groups of hunting and fishing enthusiasts get together for that purpose, but we have no record of this 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 pigeon shoots on Wednesday afternoons.

Nothing further is noted in the papers until August 27, 1909, that a Gun Club, with 35 members has been organized recently with Allan Howard, John Petersen and Robert Marsden as officers. April 14, 1911 new note publicizes the fact that this club is holding its Annual Sports Meet at Harvey Broadbent's Field on Waltham Street.

This club was short-lived for on April 15, 1915 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 I6, 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 R. Peterson. The purpose of the club was to be the protection of game and fish.

At a meeting at Peterson’s store (on Nason Street, present location of Boston Edison) 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. Paid-up members were over 50 and weekly meetings were held at Peterson’s store. The club received its charter in 1916.

A news note of April 9, 1920 tells of Arthur J. Sullivan and and Glenn Swett liberating four pair of Mallard Ducks in the Assabet River for the local club, and meetings are being held in the High School building Wednesday evenings.

January 21, 1921 was the date for the first Annual Banquet at Masonic Hall. 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 friends were present.

Mr. Peter Jensen, one of the venerable old timers, wrote reminiscences for me on May 10, 1966 which should prove interesting for us, as he was one of the originals in I915. Peter remembers huntIng fox with all the individuals so far named. In addition, he named the following as members of the club: Alex Marsden, George Stuart, Ed Billett, Jesse Billett, Alfred Annett, Walter Annett, William Annett and Carl Swanson.

A news note of June 7, 1929 tells us of the opening of the new clubhouse at White Pond, Hudson, with 122 members listed as subscribers and shareholders. Also mentioned was the field day coming with the following committee:Frank Moran, William Brindley, George Carey, Thomas Smith, Ralph Barnes, John Moynihan, Eugene Thompson. The property on White Fond Road, Hudson, was purchased in 1928 by the club with the help of club member, Oswald C. Dreschler, former American Woolen Company Agent in Maynard, who was the mortgage holder, according to Pete Jensen in his memo.

The following information is all gleaned from Pete's memoranda who gathered it from Rod and Gun Club sources and old members.

In 1932. after several meetings at the home of O.C. Dreschler on Bent Avenue, a set of By-laws were drawn up and the club was incorporated. Attorney Leslie W. Sims was the club attorney at the time.

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 Malay, Treasurer. This meeting was held at the Elks Hall on Main Street, The club at that time had 42 members and $12.75 the treasury.

The United States Government in 1942 issued orders that there could be no shooting events at the club grounds on White Pond Road on account of the Ammunition Depot adjacent.

In 1943 the club moved to Parker Street into a small building near Parker Street Hall known as the Hessa Club house. Coming back into Maynard the club grew by leaps and bounds. One meeting accepted 40 new members.

In 1944, Pete Jensen and Carl Swanson, representing the club, leased the White Pond Road clubhouse to the non-commissioned officers' clcub of the Ammunition Depot. The year 1944 also saw the consummation of the lease of the 26 acres American Woolen Company filter bed land on Odd Mill Road from the Town of Maynard to the club.

Pete Jensen was appointed chairman of a committee to investigate the possibility of buying the above-mentioned 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 F. Dineen.

In 1944, twenty-six acres of land were purchased from the town of Maynard and recorded In 1946.

1945 - Charles Weckstrom, President; Harvey Shalsten, Secretary; P.N. Messier, Treasurer.

The club moved their quarters from Parker Street to Eagles Building in 1945.

1946 - Same officers as 1945

1947 - F.W, Johnson elected president but retired after two months in favor of Alex Nelson; Harvey Shalsten, Secretary: P. N. Messier, Treasurer.

1948 - Alex Nelson, President; John McNamara, Vice-President; Harvey Shalsten, Secretary; P.N. Messier, Treasurer.

1949 - Peter Jensen, President; Carl Swanson,Vice-President; Eino Ketola, Secretary; P.N. Messier, Treasurer.

1950 - Harvey Shalsten, President; Carl Swanson, Vice-President; Eino Ketola, Secretary; P.N. Messier,Treasurer.

1951 - Stanley Sikorsky, President; Harvey Shalsten, Secretary; W, Johnson, Treasurer.

1952 - Stanley Sikorsky, President; Harvey Shalsten, Secretary; F.N. Johnson, Treasurer.

1953 - Bolis Sokolowski, President; Pete Jensen,Vice-President; Joseph Nastasi, Treasurer.

1954 - Bolis Sokolowski, President; William Mansfield, Vice- President; Harvey Shalsten, Secretary; Joseph Nastasi, Treasurer,

1955 - Bolis Sokolowski, President; W. Hazen Davis, Vice-President; William Mansfield, Secretary; Joseph Nastasi, Treasurer.

1956 - Same officers as in 1955.

1957 - Bolis Sokolowski, President; W. Hazen Davis, Vice-President; George Maker, Secretary; Joseph Nastasi, Treasurer.

1958 - Harold Tyler, President; W. Hazen Davis, Vice-President; George Maker, Secretary: Bolis Sokolowski, Treasurer,

1959 - same as 195S,

1960 - W. Hazen Davis, President; Pete Jensen, Vice-President; Bennie Sokolowski, Secretary; Bolis Sokolowski, Treasurer,

1961 - Stanley Sofka, President; Richard Hudson, Vice-President.

1962 - Stanley Sofka, President; Richard Hudson, Vice-President; David Higgins, Secretary and Treasurer.

1963 - Stanley Sofka, President; Lou Doucette, Vice-President; David Higgins, Secretary and Treasurer.

1964 - Stanley Sofka, President; Lou Doucette, Vice-President; Edward Lawton, Secretary; Richard Hudson, Treasurer,

1965 - Stanley Sofka, President; Walter Raisanen, Vice-President; Edward Lawton, Secretary: Richard Hudson, Treasurer.

1966 - Stanley Sofka, President; Wayne Glendenning, Vice-President; Robert Chandler, Secretary; Edward Lawton, Treasurer.

The club built the present building in 1949 with no outside help and the dedication took place In 1950.

It has grown into an organization of many hundred with the club grounds one of the finest in Massachusetts,

All dates up to 1929 from the Maynard News.
Read at September 1966 meeting Maynard Historical Society.
Birger R. Koski