1877 - First know public record: "Fitchburg Sportsmen's Club" The Weekly Fitchburg Sentinel, Friday July 6, 1877.
An association has been formed in this city under the name of the Fitchburg Sportsmen's Club, having for its object the protection of game and game fishes, as well as to provide healthful and manly recreation for its members. A constitution and set of bylaws have been adopted, and the club, which has already an active and rapidly increasing membership, is officered as follows: President, John C. Howard; Vice Presidents- Charles E. Sheldon and Elliot N. Choate; Secretary, Henry F. Piper; Treasurer, Frank T. Nobel. The above with Dr. D. S. Woodworth and H. P. Tyrerell, constitute the executive committee. Rooms have been procured in the Crocker Block for the use of the club, open all the time for the use of its members and provided with the sporting papers of the day.
The objects and aims of the club are more fully stated in the following preamble to its constitution.
The end of this organization is to secure the existence of a sportsmen's club in the city of Fitchburg, whose object shall be to promote, by concerted action, the interests of all honorable sportsmen; and may comprise in its scope, game and pigeon shooting as well as rifle and target practice; and to furnish those individuals who compose it a better opportunity of finding that recreation and diversion from business cares so essential to the health and happiness of working men; firmly believing that if the officers of this association are fairly administered we shall be more and not less efficient in our several business capacities.
Believing also that by association we may be enabled to provide and fit up grounds suitable for practice and trials of skill, that we may be better enabled to secure the enforcement of the existing laws for the preservation of game and to influence the enactment of such further laws and ordinances as may be necessary for the protection; and , by so protecting, secure the interests of all sportsmen, whether or not members of the association; and, when these objects are not attained, its members have a right to alter its government and take measures to secure its prosperity.
It is the design of the club to hold its first public shooting tournaments at the Fair grounds on the 4th of July, the public generally being invited to participate and compete for the prizes offered on equal terms with members of the club. The Glass Ball shooting is a novelty in this city and furnishes fine practice for wing-shooting. Stationary targets will also be provided for those who wish to test the accuracy and power of their guns at long range.
October 5, 1921 - Fitchburg Sportsmen's Club Incorporated
Click Here to see a scanned copy of our original incorporation document.
May 2, 1935 - Fire sets the stage for the acquisition of club property: "Costly Antiques Burn in Ashburnham; $100,000 Summer Home Is Destroyed" The Boston Herald, Thursday, May 2, 1935.
ASHBURNHAM, May 1 - Swallow Hill," summer home of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh H. Churchill of Brandon, Vt., and its contents were destroyed today in a fire of undetermined origin that caused damage of $100,000."
The blaze, which was fought by the fire departments of Ashburnham, Ashby and Rindge, N.H. was first seen on the upper floor shortly before noon by Mr. Churchill, who has been occupying the house about a week. The fire quickly spread until a hot air explosion scattered the flames and enveloped the whole structure.
The house and contents were insured for $20,000, but officials said that it was but a small part of the actual value. Mr. Churchill and William Tilton, an employee, succeeded in saving some of the prized possessions, including an old grandfather clock and other antique articles.
Yesterday's rain was all that prevented numerous grass and brush fires, started by sparks and embers, from gaining a foothold in the woods which surround the property.
The house was built 26 years ago by the late Herbert I. Wallace of Fitchburg and was once a show place. It was located about a half-mile south of the Massachusetts-New Hampshire line on the Fitchburg-Rindge state highway.
Water was pumped from the large pond on the property 150 feet below the level of the house.
Fire Chief M. G. Derrick said the blaze was probably caused by defective wiring. Most of the damage was due to the loss of hundreds of valuable antiques.
Later in 1935 - "Sportsmen's Club Votes To Buy Swallow Hill Estate For $3500: Cash Donations Made At Meeting" Article from unknown source, sometime in 1935.
The Fitchburg Sportsmen's club last night agreed to purchase Swallow Hill for the club's recreation, hunting and fishing grounds. The 900-acre estate will be cleared and prepared for the immediate occupancy of the club. Deed to the property will be passed early next week. Mrs. Hugh Churchill of Brandon,Vt,. owner of the estate, sold the property to the club for $3500.
Plans were immediately formulated for the holding of a carnival, probably in February, to raise funds for the purchase of the property. James Shea was named general chairman of the carnival.
The club also voted to hold a harvest supper at the Hotel Raymond, at a date to be announced. The executive board of the club was named a committee in charge of the supper.
The pruchase of Swallow Hill, the estate of the late Herbert I. Wallace, was consummated by a vote of 63 to 22. The vote was taken after two hours of debate on the subject.
Immediately (after) the club had voted to buy, donations started to come in, led by Dr. Ubert C. Russell and President Levi Lashua. A cash sum of $145 was raised and pledges brought the total to $256 last night.
Membership fees in the club will be raised from $2 to $3, it was announced. A membership drive will be inaugurated and it is anticipated that the Fitchburg Sportsmen's club may become one of the largest in New England.
It was disclosed by John F. Markham of the Fitchburg Savings bank, that the state was interested in purchasing Swallow Hill at $5 per acre. The club paid a price of approximately $4 per acre for the 900-acre tract.
There will be a meeting of the board of directors at the Hotel Raymond Tuesday night to complete the transaction and to make further plans for improving the new club grounds at Swallow Hill.
1971 - Current clubhouse at Swallow Hill erected.
2000 - First annual National Hunting and Fishing Day Exposition.
2001 - Workday improvements to the clubhouse and grounds.
Flagpole erected and dedicated to the memory of Joseph R. Morin Sr. Handicap access added to the clubhouse and restroom. Kitchen Updated with cabinets, counters, and a new refrigerator. Roof added to the shooting stations on the pistol range. Gates and locks added to limit access to members and guests only.
2001 - Second annual National Hunting and Fishing Day Exposition.
April 1, 2002 - Logo Copyright Announced.
At the regular monthly meeting, club Secretary George LeBlanc reported his receipt of the Copyright Registration of the Club Logo issued by the Library of Congress.
May 15, 2002 - Fitchburg Sportsmen's Club website goes online.
September 22, 2002 - Third annual National Hunting and Fishing Day Exposition.
November, 2002 - Clubhouse gets new roof and chimney.
December, 2002 - Oil heat added to the clubhouse.
January 12, 2003 - Annual Ice Fishing Derby
Our annual Ice Fishing Derby was held on Sunday, . There were 40 registered participants. Even though the catch was low, a good time was had by all. First place went to Tom Forgues, second to Esa Kiirrikki, and third to Joe LeBlanc.
April 7, 2003 - Club apparel offered to members.
Polo shirts with the club logo embroidered above the left breast are available for purchase by members.
April 24, 2003 - First Newsletter posted online .
The online newsletter is instituted in hopes of saving time and expenses related to the monthly mailing.
July 23, 2008 - 883 Acres of land entered into Conservation Restriction with Mass Division of Conservation and Recreation
The purpose of the CR is to retain the premises predominately in its natural, scenic, and open condition, to protect and promote the conservation of forests, wetlands, soils, natural watercourses, ponds, water supplies and wildlife thereon; to protect the horticultural and natural resources of the premises; to protect and enhance the value of adjacent and nearby conservation areas.
2009 - 2012 - Extensive upgrades to Facilities
Using some of the proceeds from the CR investments were made to upgrade the facilities. The club house was stripped down to the studs, and rebuilt. A handicapped restroom was added as well as a chair lift and a handicap entrance ramp. The kitchen was rebuilt and modernized to code. The BBQ pit was also rebuilt. The rifle range was rebuilt to the latest range standards with enclosed shooting stations and overhead.
February 11, 2013 - Revocable Trust Created
Proceeds from the Conservation Restriction vested into a revocable trust: "The Grantor has established this trust in order to provide a means for the management and investment of the proceeds of sale of certain of the grantors real property interests, and for the management of such further property interests as may be deposited with the trustees by the grantor."
The trust is designed to protect the club and its property from any future unforeseen financial issues with the intent that our land will be protected for future generations.
September 2015 - First Annual Open House Pig Roast
2017 - Forestry Management project including 190 Acres of land.
Forestry plan to selectively cut trees on land that had not been cut in about 80 years. This type of selective cutting is needed for forest regeneration and wildlife habitat. We also clear cut a six acre stand of pine behind Wallace Pond to restore it to fields.