Hunt Club - Port Royal Winchester Rifle Club

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READY FOR THE START: Members of the Port Royal Winchester Rifle Club begin preparations for the fall hunt. Kneeling (l-r) W. E. Towsey, ???, Sam Taylor, Stoey Groninger, ???, ???, ???, ???, Darwin "Skip" Kohler, Frank "Babi" Eby; Standing (l-r) ???, Evard Meloy, ???, Melvin "Mugs" Frankhouse, (remainder not identified).
Contributed by ray on 6/15/13 - Image Year: 1925

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Port Royal has had a long hunting tradition. It was common for high school classes to be cancelled the first day of deer season because so few student were in attendance.

Port Royal Winchester Rifle Club was formed in 1883 and reorganized in 1904. It lasted into the 1930s. The club held meetings in the S. R. Bashore and Son Hardware store. "At their October meeting they elected captains for each day's hunt, arranged for still hunts and group drives well in advance of the November season, and then carefully packed the essentials. They bought their Winchesters and ammunition at Bashore's Hardware together with the other equipment needed for a camp." (Suder article)

The hunting camp was located in the Seven Mountains. It was in an area known as Rag Hollow a few miles north of Greenwood Furnace State Park.

"For the fall hunt the club got into the mountains two ways, both difficult. In the early days, before anyone owned a Model T, they caught the train at the [Port Royal] station, took it all the way through the Jack's Mountain narrows to Lewistown, then the short line spur to Big Valley where they made contact with the Amish man who had the wagons and sleds ready. Then the pull up steep logging road grades into the mountains unloading their supplies and setting up camp, spending a week or two hunting and having some success even though it was –“buck only”- in those days. After two weeks they returned from the Seven Mountains, hung their trophies on the pole by the station and posed for the now fading" photographs. In the late 20's they had the Model T to get them to camp over a paved road through the narrows, then on dirt roads through the gap in Stone Mountain, up and back to Rag Hollow in the heart of the Seven Mountains. Probably took them eight to ten hours to cover the fifty miles when the roads were dry and hard pack. With rain or snow, it was back to the Amish man and his team." (Suder article)

(Most of the information and photos of the Port Royal Winchester Rifle Club are taken from an article written by Dr. Robert Suder and published in the Winter 2013 edition of THE WINCHESTER COLLECTOR magazine. Robert learned of the club when he served as pastor of the Port Royal Lutheran Church from 1977 till 1985. Eventually he purchased, for his collection, a 32-40 Winchester that belonged to Melvin "Mugs" Frankhouse, a second generation member of the Club.)

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Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/20/10 - Image Year: 1923
APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN A SUCCESSFUL HUNT: Evard Meloy (Front Row 2nd from left), Melvin Frankhouse (4th from left), Stoey Groninger (2nd row 2nd from left) John L. Robison (2nd row, kneeling, right), Alton Meloy (standing 2nd from left). (If anyone can identify additional persons in the photo, please notify Ray Kohler at rkohler3@comcast.net)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 6/16/13 - Image Year: 1923
The same hunt as the previous picture, but with fewer hunters in the gathering.
Contributed by ray on 6/15/13 - Image Year: 1904
The Port Royal Winchester Rifle Club Membership List from a page in the club journal.
Contributed by ray on 6/15/13 - Image Year: 1925
The Port Royal Winchester Rifle Club Letterhead.
Contributed by ray on 6/15/13 - Image Year: 1928
HUNTING CAMP: The Port Royal Winchester Rifle Club Hunting Camp in the Seven Mountains. It was in an area known as Rag Hollow a few miles north of Greenwood Furnace State Park.



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