The Cedar Mills Gun Club was conceptualized and initiated in 1938. While details from this time are word of mouth, it is common consensus that Jack Ried was the first president. The club moved forward until the war (WWII), at which time the members put the activities on hold. After the war, they began to hold club activities again. One of the early activities was an annual Fox Hunt.
In 1966 the club hosted a Fish Fry, which has been an annual fund raiser and event ever since. This event has been held at different locations. The information I had at the time of this scripting is the event was held at the Gun Club, then at Cedars Edge, and now at the Gun Club again. In early-mid 2012 the Gun Club was notified that Cedar’s Edge would no longer be available for our 2013 event. The Board of Directors and members had already had a plan in place if this ever happened, and were motivated to erect an addition to the current building and shelter complex. The concrete was poured in November, just two days before mother nature would have made this task difficult and expensive. The building was erected and finished by members and their friends, with Brent Luthens and Leroy Schlueter providing the vast majority of these resources. The interior of the addition was decided to be all wood, and it is beautifully done in red pine car siding. The current facilities are capable of seating about 200 people.
The club has hosted a 4th of July celebration with Annie Oakley Trap Shooting, Soft Ball Tournament, Food, and other activities. It used to be an annual event, but it went by the wayside for unknown reasons.
The club has partnered with the MNDR in the past, providing funds for lake access improvements. The funds for these items were gained by hosting “Pancake Brunches” which continue to this day.
The club provides facilities to the DNR sponsored “Youth Firearms Safety” courses, which are hosted twice yearly. These courses are hosted by several club members, as well as other DNR certified instructors. Alvin Schroeder has been teaching this course for near 40 years. All of this time is volunteer, and is greatly appreciated by the students, the club, and the DNR. Without this course, youth would not be able to continue the tradition of hunting. This program has a track record of reducing accidents and promoting the outdoor sports.
In 1983 the Gun Club and Cedar Mills Karting Association began a partnership. They are a family oriented organization. The following statement is from the Karting Associations Web Site. “Cedar Mills Karting Association (CMKA) is a non-profit organization, which was formed 30 years ago to provide an affordable facility that promotes family relationships through the sport of Go Kart Racing.” In 2016 the Karting Association lease was not renewed for 2017 and the partnership was terminated.
The club provides a place for the Township to hold elections and meetings. We provide support and assistance to the 4-H shooting sports and the Lions club.
In 2011 we made improvements to the backstop (earthen) by removing the tires and enlarging the earthen area. The facility is able to accommodate shooting distances up to 150 yards. The provided backer board for targets has seen a lot of use since this and seems to be difficult to maintain. While that may seem a negative, it is actually a positive thing, as we know people are enjoying the shooting sports in a controlled setting. The current membership is beginning to revive the shooting sports, and has received grants from the FNRA (Friends of the NRA) for 2 trap throwers and “cash” funds to purchase steel targets for pistol and rim fire events. Many of the members are looking forward to this, and we hope to continue to thrive into the future. In 2017 the shooting ranges were improved again with addition of longer distance for rifles and a separate pistol bay.
Presently we have 500+ members