The earliest record of trap shooting in West Chester, Pennsylvania, was by a group who while not a formal organization, called themselves the West Chester Gun Club. On May 30, 1890, the Daily Local first reported that the Club was to hold a shoot later that afternoon at Isaac Thomas’ grove in Cottage Hill on the north side of Paoli Pike where the West Goshen Township School is now located.
On February 17, 1891, the Daily Local also noted that there were local discussions surrounding organizing an official gun club in West Chester of which several of the county’s best marksmen had signified a desire to instate. After a sufficient number of members were identified, the club was formed one year later.
The first recorded minutes of the Club was from a meeting held June 8, 1894, reporting that the targets and traps for the Club had been secured. Also, mention was made of moving the clubhouse, but nothing was documented within the minutes as to the suggested new location.
A meeting of the executive committee reported that Mr. McClenaghan had been contacted regarding the rental of land for the club however, as no price was ever agreed to, the club instead signed a lease with Martin Darlington, who offered a parcel of ground just off of South New Street for $25 per year. The offer was accepted and the clubhouse was moved to the new location.
At the meeting on March 2, 1898, it was voted to incorporate into West Chester Gun Club and Athletic Association, and the Club proceeded to advertise in accordance with the laws.
On May 6, 1903, the directors reported that the Club had secured a new location on the farm of David Windle; near Five Points School on the West Chester and Philadelphia trolley line. A one-year lease with an option of five years was agreed to for a fee of $50 per year.
Trap shooting continued into the early 1920’s until skeet shooting took over and trap became idle for a number of years.
The West Chester Skeet Club had a field near Goshenville on Paoli Pike and was active until the middle 1930’s. The West Chester Gun Club moved their traps onto these grounds, but very little shooting was done.
On April 28, 1937, a number of the trap-shooters revived the old Club, combined with the skeet club and rented a location on Boot Road, north of West Chester, which is the present location.
On April 9, 1945, At a special meeting it was decided to purchase the property as a permanent home from the Philadelphia electric power company.
The small club house burned down on May 28, 1956 and a much larger one with modern convenience was built.
View our Club History Photo Gallery – Photos that adorn the walls of the club house and from our archives.