LORDSHIP HUNTING, SHOOTING AND FISHING

LORDSHIP HUNTING, SHOOTING AND FISHING

1940outingSM

June 27, 1919 - TOPPERWEIN GIVES FINE EXHIBITION OF SHOOTING: Ad Topperwein, world's champion rifle shot, enthused several hundred spectators at Lordship Park, yesterday afternoon with his wonderful feats given at what was originally intended to be a demonstration of boys' work under the auspices of the Winchester Junior Rifle corps, the Y.M.C.A., the Boy Scouts and the Boys' club of this city. Rain marred a great part of the performance, and the drills by the Y.M.C.A. classes and the Boy Scouts were left off entirely. However, some two or three hundred youngsters were present, together, with a large sprinkling of men and women. The first event on the program was a competition between school boys and after that Marjorie Kinder, a young High school miss who holds the national girls' rifle shooting championship, gave an exhibition shooting a 12-pound gun off hand and breaking walnuts at a distance of 75 feet. Topperwein's stunts were of an exhibition variety. With the pistol he proved himself to be a wonder, breaking clay targets thrown into the air. He did all kinds of fancy shooting with a rifle, from lying on his back and shooting over his head to tossing eggs in the air, turning a somersault and then picking up his rifle and shattering the eggs before they reached the ground. At the close, of his exhibition Topperwein nonchalantly seated himself about 30 feet from a piece of metal and with an automatic rifle peppered the target with shot after shot in rapid succession until finally he had outlined the head and shoulders or Uncle-Sam. Those who witnessed Topperwein's shooting were highly enthusiastic and will all be big boosters in the event that the rifle expert can be brought here again at sometime in the future, as is planned.

October 1, 1919 - DUCK SEASONS OPENS TODAY-HUNTERS OFF TO BAG THEIR GAME: Sportsmen Have a Two-Week Start Over Last Year: Season Opens Earlier: Sunrise this morning - October 1 sees the opening of the season for duck, hunting in the state. The law on ducks went off at the first peep of dawn and many an enthusiastic gunner was lying in ambush in the sedge grass at the mouth of the Housatonic River, Stratford; on the salt meadows, at Lordship; and at other feeding grounds of the succulent mallard and black duck. The mallards, black ducks and "coots" have started their annual pilgrimage toward the South and mouth. With the law going off October 1, this year, instead of October15; as has been the case in other years, hunters look for much larger bags of game than usual. The first day of the season is always the biggest day of the year for the duck hunter and the number of booted, corduroy-coated followers of the sport who were seen making their way to the hunting grounds early this morning was assurance enough that many a roast duck will be the piece de resistance on the dinner table tomorrow.

January 8, 1925 - HUNTERS FOR DUCKS FLOCK TO LORDSHIP IN SPITE OF SNOW: Despite the fact that the recent storm had practically snowed In the Stratford Light keepers at Lordship Point and their families for the past few days many duck-hunters have been venturing out to the Point at daybreak where the wild-duck abounds at this season of the year. Blackduck, broadbill, coot and hell-lover present a variety of coveted targets for the sportsman and nearly all hunters report a good bag. Guests of assistant light keeper Harry Dean and his wife for several days have been their son Henry Dean with h's wife and son. It had been hoped that the epidemic of mumps which has persisted rampantly for three months in the community would have been arrested in its course by the Christmas school recess, but two more small patents were added to the long list of children affected yesterday. Nearly every child not previously affected has been so during this epidemic which in most cases has taken a very mild form.

February 25, 1925 - WILD DUCKS LEAVE LORDSHIP SHORE AS WEATHER WARMS UP: Since the prevalence of milder weather, large flocks of wild geese have been noted flying northward over the Sound towards colder climates. During the very severest weather the local shores have been thickly inhabited by them offering a good bag to hunters venturing out in the storms and cold Gulls are more in evidence with their interesting methods of securing food by pulling the plentiful mussels from the rocks soaring to a height of two or three hundred feet then dash them onto the rocks below to crack their shells and darting swiftly down onto them to salvage their live contents. Sometimes it takes seven or eight such flights into the air to actually open one mussel or oyster.

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September 9, 1925 - LORDSHIP RESIDENTS CATCH BLUE FISH IN HUNDRED LOTS: Every morning for some time 20 to 30 fishing boats have been casting anchor just off the beach shore and unusually large catches of blue fish are being reported daily. John Bodell of Gorham Street (now Washington Parkway), who is perhaps the champion fisherman in the community in all seasons came in on Friday with a catch of 274 for the morning, making a total of 760 for three mornings. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Meachen and Harry Meachen reported a catch of 545 in one boat for a few hours fishing. Many of the juniors in the colony are doing a lucrative business by selling their surplus catches locally as there is a great demand for the sweet young blue fish, which have fattened considerably during the past two weeks.

REMINGTON ARMS GUN CLUB

August 2, 1936 - ANGLE SKEET HAS COME TO STAY SAYS ROY SWAN FOUNDER OF REMINGTON SKEET CLUB: When the Grand National Skeet shoot opens at St. Louis, Mo., this fall it will be on a fine new field fully equipped for angle skeet, the latest phase of this most popular sport which made its debut on our own Lordship grounds this spring, at the Great Eastern Skeet Championship. And after September 1, the new type will be known as official skeet. It is such an improvement over the old type, said Roy Swan of the Remington Club, chairman of this past Junes event, and yet it is so simple to install in your old grounds that you can not see why someone did not think of it long ago. Angle or official skeet as it is soon to be baptized was evolved by E. Field White of Hartford. It simply necessitates certain changes in location of stations and it insures greater safety and better shooting. The first installation was at Hartford and the Remington Club followed suit this spring converting the grounds at Lordship for the improved method. In skeet, clay pigeons are released from two trap houses, one at each end of a semicircular field. One house is elevated approximately 10 feet while the second is at ground level and they are known as the high house and the low house respectively. The shooters are grouped in squads of five men, one squad using each field at a time and each member of the squad fires at the targets from each of eight posts. The posts or tations consist of seven posts around the rim of the half-circle and an eight exactly midway between the two houses on the flat section of the semi-circle. The shooters first fire from each station at targets which are released one at a time, first one from the high house and then one from the low house. Then eight pairs of doubles or targets released simultaneously, one from each house are shot. These are fired at from posts one, two, six and seven. One optional shot which must be taken at the point and from the house where the first target is missed or at the last station complete the 25 targets. Formerly the targets expelled from each house flew directly at the house opposite. At stations 1, 7 and 8 the fragments from the incoming shattered target were apt to shower the shooter and other members of the squad. Also the target boys in the trap houses were in danger of being peppered with shot if an over enthusiastic shooter discharged his shotgun too soon. It was also impossible to have a line of skeet fields as at certain stations the shooters would fire directly into the next field. Mr. Whites observations were hastened and encouraged by the fact that he received a deep wound on his nose from a bit of broken target and this refused to heal properly for a long time. Two years ago Mr. White discovered that if the targets were discharged at an angle of 29 degrees away from the chord drawn between the two trap houses, the fragments of targets would rarely drift back into the field. At the same time it was necessary to flatten the arc of the semi-circle, particularly with regard to stations three, four and five in order that the shooters would not have a greater distance between themselves and the point where the target passes over of near station eight. This problem was worked out but it was nearly two years before the approval of the National Association was received. The Gun Clubs layout illustrates another saving possible through use of the new system. The high house for one field and low house for the second are contained in the same house, a two-decker with one trap on each floor. Thus although there are four traps, there are only three trap houses for the two fields, the lower half of the high house which formerly went to waste being used for the low house of the second field. The Remington Club was started in 1927 by Roy Swan, Assistant Sales Manager of Ammunition for Remington at the companys facility in Bridgeport. With growing enthusiasm it was decided to move the setup to a location where people outside the company could enjoy it and Lordship was chosen for the new location. In 1929 the first Great Eastern Skeet Championship was held with 50 shooters. In 1936 the number of shooters had grown to 300. Junior and Ladies groups have been added. Twelve and sixteen gauge guns are the rule. The Remington Club skeet grounds are located on Lordship Point past the lighthouse.

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1940 Lets go to Lordship

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1936 Gun Club

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Lordship Cup 1936

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Remington #1 Team

April 25, 1947: LORDSHIP AGAIN HAVING RIFLE MEET, FIRST SINCE WAR DAYS: Sharp rifle target work will be undertaken on the Lordship shooting range of the Remington Gun Club on June 20, 21 and 22; Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Plenty of championship matches will be shot including the Great Eastern Skeet Championship and the National Telegraphic Team Championship. Championships in general and most recreational target work were suspended soon after Pearl Harbor for obvious reasons. Junes competitions will be the first which have been held in Lordship since before the suspension. The gun club plans to make the approaching meet as outstanding as any ever held here. Friday, the first day, will witness the Great Eastern Preliminary All-Bore Championship for 100 targets; this is designed as a renew acquaintance affair, especially for the benefit of marksmen who may not have seen each other for years. Saturday will have three other 100 target matches for championships - 410 gauge, junior and 20 gauge. Sunday, the final day and the biggest of the meet, will have four championship shoots; individual and class, womens title, veterans for anyone more than 60 years of age and the Great Eastern Skeet Championship. The Telegraphic Skeet Team match will also be shot. The Lordship Cup, donated by Eltinge Werner will go into one year possession of the championship team of the meet with each member receiving a silver replica as a permanent trophy. The Great Eastern Skeet Championship dates back to 1931 when it was originated here by the Remington Club. It gained instant popularity and two years later the National Telegraphic competition was added. This year will be the 15 such skeet competition, because of the years lost by war suspension. The last local tournament was held in 1942 in the spring following Pearl Harbor.

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Gun Club 1954

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Gun club 1965

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Gun Club 1972

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Ligthouse 1972

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Gun Club 1986

April 27, 1972: REMINGTON GUN CLUB SKEET AND TRAP: In the fall of 1927, word of a new shooting game called Skeet drifted down from Massachusetts. It did not take company officials long to recognize its values. Like trap it was conceived by three Massachusetts sportsmen who desired to improve their grouse and woodcock shooting. Charles Davis of Andover, Mass., his son Henry and Henrys friend Bill Foster designed a shotgun game unlike trap in the early 1920s. It gave each shooter exactly the same change at each target. The layout consisted of a circle with a 25 yard radius that had 12 positions marked on the circumference, like the numbers on the face of a clock. The trap was staked down at 12 and set to throw targets toward six. Starting at 12, each shooter fired two shots from each of the 12 positions. Then he walked to the center of the circle and shot his last shell at a single incoming target. The game had only one drawback it required 500 square yards of terrain to accommodate pellets fired in all directions. The problem was solved by setting up a second trap at the six oclock positioned to throw targets toward 12. Positions 9 through 11 were eliminated and other shooting stations renumbered so that 6 became 1, 12 became 7 and so on. The midfield station was number 8. The same target angles were provided by the semi-circle that the whole clock had previously afforded. Thus the basic elements of a modern skeet field as we know it today became a reality. As word of this new game spread through New England, other skeet clubs opened overnight. By 1926 hunters desiring practice on targets that simulated the actual flights of grouse were flocking to skeet fields in their area. The sport offered targets that trapshooting did not: crossing birds, incoming targets and double shooting. The Remington Gun Club personnel organized the first skeet tournament ever conducted on a national scale and appropriately named it the Great Eastern in 1929. The shoot, now the oldest annual skeet tournament in America is considered a classic among scatter gunners everywhere. It is still held annually in June. By 1934, a new clubhouse, eight skeet fields and four trap fields dotted the rocky shoreline on Long Island Sound. Today, 45 years after the first target was thrown over the Lordship flats, 12 cement block skeet fields and eight trap fields throw over two million targets annually. A spacious second clubhouse with indoor rifle and pistol ranges was constructed in 1968. Hanging on the walls of both clubhouses are original oil paintings by some of Americas best known sporting artists of the past, including Philip Goodwin and N.C. Wyeth. The atmosphere is sporty at Lordship and so are the many targets that scale elusively away from trap and skeet shooters. The gun club is open to the public throughout the year.

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Banquet Hall

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Buildings

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Main Clubhouse

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Main Clubhouse

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Utility Buildings

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Gun Club

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