Commentary: Club celebrates 50th anniversary

Next Sunday, the New Carlisle Sportsman’s Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

According to Treasurer Ron Kaehr, it all started with the New Carlisle Sesquicentennial in 1960.

To have some fun during the city’s 150th anniversary, many of the men grew beards. They called themselves the “Brothers of the Brush.”

Beards were unusual in 1960, so these men stood out in a crowd, and many became friends. It didn’t take long to figure out that, beyond the beards, some of these guys shared an interest in hunting and fishing.

First meetings of The New Carlisle Sportsman’s Club, according to the club history, were held in the basement of the library, which was at that time in the building at the corner of Main and Madison streets. Lady Fingers Nail Salon is now located there.

The club got its non-profit charter in 1961. Members held fox hunts and paper target turkey shoots at Silver Lake, until they got their own land.

In 1964 the club acquired 30 acres at 1475 Folk Ream Road on the far eastern edge of Bethel Twp. and north of Enon. Ladies got involved with the organization in the 70s.

Over the years, step by step, the club has improved the property by adding trails, storage buildings, a club house that has grown and improved over the years, and a fishing pond and trap shooting facility.

Additional ranges and large backstops have been erected. The fireplace, modern kitchen and restrooms were welcome additions as the club could afford them.

Today, this private club has more than 200 members. Membership includes people from all over the area, not just New Carlisle and Bethel Twp. The club is particularly grateful to the local businesses and individuals who have supported the group’s efforts over the years and includes a list in their history.

The club’s stated “purpose and objectives” starts out with “encourage, teach, and actively support finer sportsmanship in all matters pertaining to the outdoor sports.” Attention is given to conservation and restoration of natural resources.

The club calendar is full of events. Some of the most popular are sporting clays, trap shooting, and pistol and rifle matches, that include the M1 Garand, M1A and vintage bolt-action rifles. Safety classes are also scheduled seasonally.

This facility was used by the Clark County Fair for its 4-H shooting competition a couple of weeks ago in July.

After a weekend of activities and a catered banquet for club members, an open house is planned for 1-3 p.m. Sunday.

Those who wish to learn more about the club can visit or call (937) 882-6641.