MCSA's First President
In the early spring of 1978, Don Lindh and Judge David Harper agreed that Martin County needed a gun club. Meetings were held in Judge Harper's courtroom at the Martin County Courthouse. The legal expertise of Judge Harper was used to accomplish the paperwork needed to form a gun club, such as chartering of the non-profit club by the State of Florida, affiliation with the NRA, insurance, registering with the Internal Revenue Service, etc. The non-profit club was chartered by the state on August 1, 1978, as the Martin County Sportsmen's Association, Inc. At that time there were 25 or 30 members and the dues were $30.00 per year. The first president was Don Lindh and Judge Harper was the secretary/treasurer. Edward Matton and Dr. Charles Behring were also founders of the club. Ed followed Don as president and "Doc" was secretary/treasurer after Judge Harper.
Through Judge Harper's contact with the Martin County Sheriff's Office, he obtained permission for the club to use the sheriff's range, which had been the old National Guard Range that the county had inherited from the state back in 1975. It was located at the southwest corner of Cove Road and U.S. 1 and has since been developed into Smithfield Homes and Golf Course. The range had a single earthen backstop at 150 yards and was used for all rifle and pistol shooting. In 1986 the Sheriff's Department began discussions on building a new range out by the county landfill just north of SR 714. Again, Judge Harper was involved and through his efforts we were able to get space alongside the sheriff's range. The county dug the lake that borders our range on two sides, while we share a common berm with the sheriff's range on a third side. The fill was used to build the backstops and side-berms on both ranges. With lots of club members pitching in, we were able to build firing lines, install target holders, and put up a roof over the firing positions on Bay 1 and Bay 4, the rifle range. Later a picnic area was built in back of Bay 1, and the rifle firing positions were increased from 5 to 9 lanes. And of course, from time to time, work parties are scheduled to perform maintenance work and to constantly make additions and improvements to add to the safety and enjoyment of our shooting sport.
Thanks to Jim Lantelme for this great summary.