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History

The Salem County Sportsmen's Club originated shortly after World War II. A small group of duck hunters met and formed a club called the Mallard Club. They met in people's homes, in social clubs, anywhere the dozen or so could assemble. In 1947 they renamed their group as the Salem County Sportsmen's Club and were incorporated by the State of New Jersey.

As the membership in this new club grew, they decided they needed more space for their meetings. In the early 50's they pooled their resources and bought the 33 acre Boardman Farm off US Route 40 in Carney's Point Township. The Club meetings were held in the barn that was located behind the family homestead.

In the early 60's the Club members were approached by contractors looking for fill dirt for the construction of the divided highway section of Route 40. With the funds they were paid for the fill dirt, they decided it was time to built a permanent Clubhouse for their members. As a side benefit of the excavation on their grounds for fill dirt, the "hole" continues to fill with water from natural springs under the ground. From this "watery hole" developed the 11 acre lake, now known as our Lake Hudson.

In 1964 after several problems with original contractors who went broke and with the help of many friends, the original Clubhouse was opened. Charlie Sparks as the first President in 1947. As the club membership grew and the years went past, the Directors were knowledgeable enough to lease adjoining lands from the Dupont Company. The use of these lands, along with their own 33 acres, provided a large area to develop.

The Club members built a garage for their vehicles, rifle and pistol ranges for the use by its membership, Skeet and Trap ranges for the enjoyment of many, and provided the area now used by the Scouting family.

At the far end of the Dupont property where the land reached the Salem Canal, they developed an area for picnicking which is now known as the Charles D. Sparks Picnic Grove.

This area, which can hold up to 1500 people, has been the home of many Clambakes, Chicken BBQ's, local Police and Fireman outings and family camp outs. Currently it serves as the home of the Parent-Child Camping Weekend.

With the permanent Clubhouse came the responsibility for a "Caretaker". A one-room efficiency apartment was included in the original building and member Irv Hand became the first to live on the grounds. Ray Davidson, the current "Live-in Custodian" became the on-site man when Irv moved to Florida.

In the early 80's the building known to everyone as the "Pole Barn" and aptly named the Glenn Young Pavilion, was erected and has become a gathering spot for many during the warm weather months. Archery ranges were added for those members who used that form of hunting. Membership grew and the need for additional space again surfaced.

In 1993 the Directors took the bold step of expanding the Clubhouse to almost twice its original size. The Main Hall and Kitchen were enlarged, a beautiful Bar and Captain's Lounge was added, Office facilities were developed and a full-size basement and workshop were available for all the maintenance required for the Club to prosper. The Caretaker's facilities were enlarged and the former small 6-seat bar became the Visitors cloakroom.

The present Clubhouse facility was dedicated in 1995 and serves as the premier Club in South Jersey. With over 1600 families in its membership, and its continued commitment to the original purpose of "Conservation of resources, Education of its membership to preserve wildlife and Respect for the natural wonder of our lands" ,this club has become a landmark in Salem County.

In 2001, the DuPont Company donated a portion of the previously-leased lands to the Sportsmens Club. The 125 acre portion must be preserved for "Open Space" use but is a great addition, bring the Club holdings to over 170 acres

Because of his long involvement in the Scouting program and the Club activities, the area used for Scouting purposes were officially dedicated as the Joseph J Dyer Sr. Scout area.

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Copyright © 2001-2007 Salem County Sportsmens Club. All Rights Reserved.
November 24, 2007

 

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