†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A SHORT HISTORY OF THE TWIN LAKES GUN CLUB
Contributed by Bob Warford #191
The Twin Lakes Gun Club has been in existence for over 30 years.† It was formed by a small, dedicated group of sportsmen who were simply looking for a place to shoot.† Many of the men who worked so long to build this club are no longer with us. These founders spent their own time and money to build their dream.
The story begins at a rock quarry near Oakland Arkansas in the early 80's.† About 20 shooters began using the quarry for target practice.† However, prior approval to this site had to be requested from the Corps of Engineers in every instance.† The group decided to find a venue where less paperwork would be required.† During this period occasional firearms programs were held at the old Chamber of Commerce.† At one of these programs some of these shooters were discussing the need for additional places to use their firearms.† They were overheard by a person whose son had a small range behind his house.† The group ended up leasing the approximately 5 acres containing the range and the Twin Lakes Gun Club was born.
The leased acreage was used until the founders became aware of an area north of Midway AR known as the Beckman property that was for sale.† The group purchased this property and erected an 8' x 10' building to use as the first clubhouse.† This building survived until the late 1990's.† The facilities had no covered areas, no benches, and only a 200 meter berm erected for bullet impact.† Only rifles were used at the time.† In the mid 1980's a group identified as the Foothill Muzzleloaders approached the newly formed club and suggested that the clubs merge.† The muzzleloaders were losing their shooting area and offered to help develop the property owned by the TLGC.† The Foothill group dismantled their covered range and it was erected on club property.† This range was of sufficient size to accommodate up to twenty four shooters at a time.
The Foothill Muzzleloaders also brought with them the concept of a monthly newsletter and the knowledge to produce it.† The first editor was Pearl Gillham.† The merged club continued to grow and by the late 1980's the club had expanded to offer facilities for rifles, black powder, pistols, plus trap and skeet ranges.† By 1989 the membership had grown to almost 200 and the club purchased additional acreage, cleared the land and erected a two bay pistol range.† Soon it was decided to build a combination skeet/trap range complete with houses and cement walkways.† The annual dues at this time were set at $25 per year.
During the next ten years the club purchased more land and grew from 40 acres to over 200 acres (see History of Land Loans) thanks to member donations and bank loans.† Some of this expansion was used to build an extensive Sporting Clays facility.† At first the Sporting Clays operation was leased to a group of members, but eventually problems lead to the club proper taking over the operation when the initial leases expired.† A club house was eventually built and the discipline expanded to the present twelve stations.† Archery and Cowboy Action areas have been established over the years.
The club has paid for the acreage expansions by selling timber present on the property and by funds donated from many members.
In 2009 one of our members, Paul Sauer, became very ill and realized he only had a short time to live.† He bequeathed property to the club with the understanding that it would be sold and the funds used to build a new club house.† This great new clubhouse stands as a memory to a great member and friend to all.
In 2011 the club has grown to almost 700 members and boasts some of the finest facilities in the state even as we boast the lowest usage fees and membership costs anywhere.
Over 3300 people have joined the TLGC over the past 30 years and each member has been issued a membership badge in chronological order:†
Badge #1† Charlie Frazier
Badge #2† Robert Treece
Badge #3† David Rose
Current members still with us are:
#4:†† Bob Burnham
#5††† Carte Davis
#13† John Ahrens
#38† Roger Schwager
#46† Jack Coffman
#74† Joe Gies
#76† Pearl Gillham
#80† Joe Gross
#84† Phil Hardin
#86† Ron Hayden
#97† Robert Johnson
John McKinney, who served as combination secretary/treasurer for many years prior to his death held #30.† The club meant much more to John than anyone can imagine. These are the people that brought life to the Twin Lakes Gun Club.
Whatís next?† If itís new and it shoots we will find a place for it!
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† History of Land Acquisition
1/31/83† A 200 ft by 1000 ft plot was rented for the sum of $425.00 per year.† Work was then started on the rifle range.
4/4/83††† Forty acres designated for the rifle range was purchased with a loan of $24,000.† As additional land was purchased the original loan was amended to include the price of the new land.† The loan was set up with quarterly
†††††††††† ††payments during the presidency of Roger Schweger.
12/04/91 The 40 acres located just north of the original 40 acres became available and Roger Schweger purchased this plot and assigned it to the gun club.† Roger contacted the owner via ship to shore radio and consummated the
†††††††††††† Sale to ensure the opportunity was not lost while membership approval was sought.
11/2/93†† Forty acres just east of the original site was purchased for $25,000.
5/17/96† Two additional 30 acre parcels were purchased for $25,000 each; one was east of the land purchased in 1993 and the other was just north of this parcel.
3/2/98††† The club became aware of 80 acres just north of our property and solicited donations to buy from the membership.† Within a few weeks we had almost $18,000 donated by over 70 members.† After the land survey it was†††
††††††††††††† determined the actual size of this plot was 88 acres.† The cost for this club addition was $56,000.
4/25/02† Purchased 10 acres for $15,000 adjoining one of the 30 acre plots purchased in 1996.
1/30/04† Purchased 10 acres across the road from the main gate for $28,000 on a separate loan.
3/22/05† Paid $495.59 as the final payment of all the land, which makes the club debt free.