January 20, 1946
Incorporation of Southborough Rod & Gun Club
The first annual meeting of Southborough Rod & Gun Club, Inc. was held at the Fayville Town Hall. A small group assembled to witness the reading and official signing of the charter, constitution, and by-laws.
Property Acquired in Hopkinton
Having searched Southborough township thoroughly but unsuccessfully, a 79.5 acre parcel of land was found in an ideal location in the neighboring town of Hopkinton.
Construction of the Main Clubhouse & Trap Facility
It became evident that a central facility was required, so plans were laid to erect a clubhouse. Because finances were somewhat limited, the construction was planned in phases - the first phase to build a shell including siding, roof and windows was initiated in 1957 and as additional financial resources became available additional work was performed. During regular club meetings, members would arrive an hour or two early with saw and hammer in hand. Finally a knotty pine interior and ceiling were in place and we had a clubhouse of which we could be proud.
In 1957, a small group began to carve out a trap facility from the side of the hill adjacent to the skeet field. Lacking sophisticated equipment and the funds to afford it, all excavation and grading was accomplished by pick, shovel, wheelbarrow, and the sweat of volunteer members. Over three years and many blisters later, the trap field opened on annual field day, 1960.
Building of the Outdoor Range & Trout Pond
In 1964, the club installed electricity and rebuilt the road to the skeet and trap fields. Today’s skeet field bears little resemblance to those early years. The high and low houses were obtained from St. Mark’s school, hauled to the top of the hill, and positioned where the current concrete houses now stand. The traps were loaded by hand and released by a pulley situated behind station 4. The skeet team was unbeatable and they went up against some very stiff competition.
Next came the outdoor rifle range. This became the envy of many benchrest shooters who came from all over the eastern seaboard to compete. Arriving on weekends, they would set up camping facilities and loading benches and begin making their precision loads for the following day's shoot.
In 1967, through the generosity of an anonymous member, a trout pond was constructed which finally lent true meaning to the name Southborough Rod & Gun Club. Again, volunteer labor from the club members came into play. Preparing the site by cutting down trees and clearing brush, the pond was excavated, stocked, and ready for fishing the following spring.
Club Improvements & Women Allowed to Join
A major undertaking was initiated in 1984 to improve and expand the outdoor range to 200 meters. This required the removal of hundreds of mature trees, movement of tons of earth and boulders, much planning, but mostly toil and sweat from the membership. A trailer was donated and completely refurbished which served as a field house for the rifle range.
A new skeet registration house was erected by the members in 1985. Concrete walkways for the trap fields (there were now two) were built in 1986. That same year, the by-laws were revised to permit women to become full privileged members of the club. The trap registration house was expanded to twice its original size in 1987, and automatic trap machines were installed.
In 1986, the parking area was paved and the old flooring in the clubhouse was replaced after serving underfoot for over 25 years. The clubhouse kitchen became a focal point for some of the finest dinners this side of your mother’s kitchen and a tradition was underway which may well add a knife and fork to the rod & gun.
Rebuilding of the Outdoor Range
In 2008, the Outdoor Range was completely reconstructed. A no-blue-sky baffle system was built and 15-foot berms were formed at 50 feet, 50 yards, and 100 yards to provide solid backstops for the newly constructed target stands.
Continuing Improvements & Growth
Today, the Club continues to thrive and grow, with the volunteerism of our members still at the core of our being. Improvements to the ranges, grounds, and other club facilities are on-going thanks to the time and resources that our membership provides.
The Southborough Rod & Gun Club has emerged as a shooters club; an organization dedicated to sportsmanship, training, and education; and above all, an organization composed of men, women, and families that are proud to be a part of the membership.