The Jefferson Sportsmen’s Association held its first meeting on September 3, 1953 when all persons interested in forming a sportsmen’s association in the Jefferson area met in the basement of the Serfass Building Lodge Hall. Dues were $2.00 and by the November 4, 1953 meeting there were 56 paid members and 12 free members.
The first New Years shoot was held at the Jefferson Canning Factory. In February 1954 the members built pheasant pens on the ball diamond property and made a donation of coal to the local Boy Scout troop. A shooting match was held in March with a 30-30 given as the main prize. The club also ordered 225 shoulder patches. The first annual Jefferson Carnival was held with the baseball association in 1954 and the club made a profit of $603.26.
In February 1955 it was decided that the carnival would run for a week. In April of that year San Juan rabbits were released. In June the members started discussing the purchase of land for the club. In September Dan Stambaugh and Paul Yost started working on a charter for the club and 106 pheasants were released into the wild. In November a meeting was held to pursue the purchase of the Reuben Wenner property and in December the property was purchased for $4075.00.
The Charter was adopted on January 3, 1956 and the treasurer paid our first electric bill to Adams Electric for the sum of $1.31. That month it was decided to purchase and plant 3000 multi flora rose bushes, 125 crab apple trees and 2000 pine trees. House rules were adopted in June and in August a rifle range was built. In September 1956 the Jefferson Fire Company joined the carnival to help make it what it is today. In October the club joined the York County Federation of the Sportsmen’s Clubs and a total of 82 pheasants were released that month as well.
During the month of September 1957 the club released 106 pheasants and 500 quail. Mortgage burning ceremonies were held at the club farm with George Krebs burning the actual mortgage. In November the club decided to have entertainment at one meeting per month. If we only had movies of those meetings…… There was also a need to trap squirrels that were living in the club house and in December it was decided to have an addition built on the club house for a low bid of $3000.00.
January 1958 the members started trapping rabbits, held a fox hunt as well as a crow shoot. In February we joined the Wildlife Federation and in September the garage was removed to make room for a corn crib. During the September meeting it was decided to permit women to attend the October shrimp feed. The members also released 107 pheasants. In November the club worked with the borough to repair 3 dams. A donation of $903 was received from the community to help with the repair.
In April 1959 the Halderman pond was stocked. However all the fish died due to poison in the water. In May their luck was a lot better when 250 rainbow trout were released into Glatco #2 pond from the federal fish hatchery. Two new hunting activities were added in June 1959 with the construction of a running deer shoot and the purchase and installation of the first clay bird trap at the Rifle Range
In February 1960 pheasant pens were built on the club grounds and in April 200 rainbow trout were released into the Glatco #1 pond.
The club held a Predator Control Program in February 1961 and it was decided to reduce the age to 12 for joining the club. Also during that meeting it was decided to purchase 26 dozen rabbits. In April another 1,000 rainbow trout and 250 brook trout stocked at Glatco and in September, the first Hunter Safety Program was held by the club with 25 people attending. John Heitzel and Dan Landis were the instructors. In October it was noted that the cost to shoot 25 clay birds was $.75.
In April 1962 a petition was signed to oppose the Raystown Lake construction. In May the first Strawberry Social was held. The cost of a soda was $.05. Also in May the construction of a new pheasant holding pen took place at the farm for $1,000.00.
In March 1963 7 dozen rabbits received but 4 dozen died during shipping. Our membership had grown to 240 and the members began remodeling the inside of the clubhouse meeting room and install a new kitchen. In April it was decided to hold Family Day the 2nd Sunday in September every year. Tommy Baum became the first boy to be sent to Conservation Camp by the club and in November 2804 acres were signed up in the Pennsylvania Game Commission Safety Zone program.
In 1964, the club stocked the Sinsheim stream with 1000 legal trout. The farm was once again the scene of new additions, a second clay bird trap costing $625.00 and 100 new chairs and 6 new tables were purchased for the meeting room.
In January 1965 8 dozen rabbits released and the club petitioned the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to place the Sinsheim Stream on the state-stocking program. In February it was decided to hold a weekend conservation camp for 13 to 15 year olds. In June the group joined the National Rifle Association. In July an electric water pump was installed at the club house and in August 92 quail were released.
In February 1966 15 dozen rabbits were released and 245 rainbow trout were stocked at Sinsheim. In July the Jefferson Rifle was invited to join our ranks.
During January 1967 1000 trout were stocked at Sinsheim. In March the state wanted buck season to start on Saturday. The club membership voiced their concern with a NO to that idea. 15 ˝ dozen rabbits were also released that month. More work at the clubhouse in June 1967 included grading of the lawn and building two new trap houses. In September the club house was broken into with various items stolen. That fall 14 wild turkeys were released. The Conservation Club at Spring Grove High School donated 10 wood duck boxes to the club in November.
1968 proved to be a busy year. In February the barn at the club farm was covered with siding at a cost of $2,500.00 and the 20-foot right-of-way was purchased from Harold Bixler to build a new hard road from the township road to the club farm for $4,770.69. In March 15 dozen rabbits were released and 23 individuals attended the hunter safety course. In April $1,500.00 was spent for an automatic clay bird trap. During the May meeting, after a long discussion, Mrs. John Livelsburger was accepted into the club.
The club went on record to oppose any landfill in Codorus Township or surrounding area. In June a letter was sent to Hugh Scott opposing gun registering. Family Day, held in September, brought 175 members, guests and children. By November, the club released 110 pheasants, 31 turkeys and 160 quails.
To aid in mailing notices, an addressing machine was purchased in February 1969. Stream stocking continued in April 540 trout were stocked at Seven Valleys creek and
10 turkeys were released. More problems with squirrels in the club house so Richard Masimore was elected to take care of the problem. In October Bill Senft was reimbursed for the loss of chickens from the fire works and E. Sterner was reimbursed for crop damage from trap shooting.
1970 got off to a roaring start with a Fox Hunt at the club. Ten members killed three foxes. In July, another convenience, a cement block toilet, was built at the farm. That fall, members built call boxes for quail and approximately 250 quail were released on open hunting ground.
The Jefferson Sportsmen’s Association made the bright lights in January 1971 when Harry Allaman from WGAL-TV attended a foxhunt and showed his movies of the hunt on TV. In February 24 duck boxes were placed at Lake Marburg. A new furnace was installed in March. At the May meeting female membership was discussed and approved. 170 members, guests, and children attended our Family Night in June. A Championship Trapshooting Match was held in August and a profit of $309.00 was realized. 318 quail were released that month as well and our membership had grown to 513.
In April 1972, the members installed 62 duck boxes around Lake Marburg and there were 29 in attendance at the hunter safety course. During the flood in July that year we lost all the pheasant chicks. In September there were 350 quail released into the wild.
August 1973, 189 pheasant chick were received and being raised at the Roy Gladfelder farm. and 99 pheasants were transferred to the pens at the club.
There were 457 paying members in September 1973. In October 1973 200 attended the 20th anniversary banquet held at Memorial Hall. We released 25,000 muskies at Lake Marburg.
At the May 16,1974 meeting members were asked not to shoot before 12:00 noon on Sundays. In of that year we released 1,500 tiger muskies into Lake Marburg. At the annual meeting in October the dues and initiation fee were both raised to $5.00.
During 1973 and 1974 a lot of work took place on the club grounds. The old farm house was torn down and an addition was built onto the clubhouse that included a kitchen and bathrooms.
In June 1976 the Jacobsen riding mower was stolen.
In April 1977 600 trout were released into the Seven Valleys stream and there were 23 attendees at the hunter safety course. Wild celery was planted at Lake Marburg and in June the club basement was cemented.
Life memberships were considered by the Trustee in August 1978. The vote was split and the President cast the final vote which was to reject life time memberships.
In December 1981 the Thoman property was purchased.
In April 1982 the Knapp family put on a very impressive demonstration on archery skills.
Jefferson Sportsmen’s Association sent a letter to the Governor in January 1983 in recommending Roy Wagner for the next Pennsylvania Game Commissioner In May the Governor nominated Roy to that position. In November 1983 the Township lawyers said our ranges were in compliance.
In February 1984 eight youth attended the conversation camp. 2,800 trout were stocked in the Seven Valleys creek and the note burning of the Thoman land took place that month as well. In March 1984 the records indicated that our membership had grown to 760. In November of that year we planted 500 Scotch pines.
During April 1985 our members worked with the Jefferson Lions club to construct the pavilion on the carnival grounds. In March we held a rabies clinic with a total of 185 pets checked out. In April 500 Douglas fir and 500 Norway spruce were planted.
In January 1986 34 acres of the Estelle property was purchased. In April the club adopted the south branch of the Codorus Creek and 1,000 were planted. In June a the exterior of the clubhouse was painted. The club sponsored a trip to Raystown and Bedford Village in September.
In May 1987 the clubhouse was broken into. No
September 1988 the discussion to combine the Fish Commission with the Game Commission began. History is repeating its self as the talks started once againin 2003.
In May 1990 we held the first conservation camp on the club grounds and have continued this practice ever since. 27 youth attend that year and has been growing ever since with an average of 60 members now. In October the dues was raised to $12.00.
In April 1991 the indoor archery and .22 range building was constructed for $100,000. In July the club donated two air conditioners to nature center at Codorus State Park and in December the Audubon society counted birds on our property.
Emergency lights were installed at the clubhouse in April 1993. In June the parking lot was paved at a cost of $15,390. The Boyer farm was purchased in September of that year.
In November 1994 5.65 acres of land and the Boyer farm buildings were sold for $8,500.
During August 1995 34 youth attend the conservation camp and a 4 ton air conditioner was install at the clubhouse.
In March 1996 life got a little easier for those working around the club with the purchase of a John Deere 755 tractor for $9800.00. In November we released 100 pheasants.
In November 1997 the Roy Wagner Scholarship Fund was established to provide scholarship money for area youth who are continuing their education in the field of forestry, wildlife, conservation or marine science.
A new floor was installed in the clubhouse in April 1998 and in October the gate was installed at the entrance to the club property. We also hired a care taker for the club grounds.
It was decided in November 2000 to place all 118 acres of the club property into the clean and green program.
February 2003 saw the club enter the information age with the creation of our own web site and email. In June 2003 a new rifle range was built at a cost of $38,000. 30 acres of our property was placed in the C.R.E.P. program.
In the 50 years of our organization, 107 people have held office anywhere from 1 to 24 years and from 1 to 4 different offices.
As of September 2003 we have a total of 1164 members of which 61 are students, 4 Pennsylvania Game officers, 5 active duty military, 47 senior members, 13 farmers and 1,034 regular members.