History of the Bradford Fish and Game Club (Part 1)
First published in 1948 as part of a flyer for a sportsman show sponsored by the Bradford Fish and Game Club.
Even the oldtimers can’t remember exactly when the Bradford Fish and Game Club was first founded, but the consensus is that the group was first formed during the year 1927. Old records date back to only 1930.
The club prospered for a few years and when the group felt that enough money was in the treasury to warrant making greater strides toward helping the sportsmen in this area, along came the bank holiday in 1929 and the assets were frozen for a good many years to follow.
During the next few years, until the depression slacked off, many of the men found plenty of time for fishing and hunting and the monthly meetings gave them ample opportunity to swap fish stories and the club held together until the late “Thirties”. Shortly before the last World War, the organization collapsed entirely.
Three years ago, during the summer of 1945, a group of sports minded citizens in Bradford decided that the community needed a solid front to better the hunting and fishing in the surrounding territory and through their efforts a small body of sportsmen were gathered and the Bradford Fish and Game Club was reborn.
Under the leadership of Edwin Westerberg, president of the newly formed group, the club grew rapidly and the members, led by President Westerberg’s fellow officers, sponsored special events to help the community and keep their activities constantly before the eyes of other sportsmen who joined the group which soon grew to more than two hundred strong.
One of the first projects undertaken by Westerberg’s cohorts was to start erecting a clubhouse. Through the generosity of Henry Wright, one of the members, the group was given the deed to a desirable tract of land and standing timber was donated by former selectman Ruben Moore.
Weekends and holidays were then utilized by the club members in cutting the timber and having it cut into lumber. In the Spring of 1946 the club started constructing the clubhouse and the project continued for nearly two years until March of this year (1948) when the group moved into the new quarters which is being used as headquarters for this, their first annual sportsman show.
During the Fall of 1940 the group laid plans for a winter carnival which they hoped to make into an annual affair. That winter their carnival plans became a reality and the show was so successful that success in future years was assured. The youth of Bradford and surrounding communities were given a chance to compete in every phase of winter sports.
Always interested in bettering the fishing and hunting in the regions nearby, the club undertook to reclaim a pond with the help of the State Fish and Game Department. Simmons Pond near Lake Blaisdell was selected by the Department as a desirable body of water and the pond was cleaned of undesirable fish and restocked that Fall with fingerling trout.
The pond proved to be such an excellent food producer for the fish that during the following summer hundreds of legal trout were taken from its waters. During the fall of last year the pond was again stocked with a thousand fingerling trout to help perpetuate the good fishing in this area.
Through the efforts of the organization several thousand trout and other species of fish have been planted in surrounding waters and rabbits and pheasants have also been released in the area to give sportsmen the best hunting and fishing possible.
Always looking for more ways in which to help advertise this section of the state and to show interested parties the advantages that the area around Bradford offers to sportsminded persons, the club decided to sponsor this sportsman show.
We hope that your stay with us will be an enjoyable one and that we will see you again in future years.