McSherrystwon Fish and Game Association

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History of our Club

In 1946 a general concern for the future of fishing, hunting, trapping and the outdoors in general prompted a cigarmaker from the town of Centennial in Adams County to form an organization that has become a mover and shaker among county sportsmen for over 63 years.

A meeting was called on January 6, 1946 by Philip A. Wagaman of 25 people from the McSherrystown and Centennial area to organize a group of sportsmen. The meeting was held at the Knights of Columbus and was the root for the founding of the McSherrystown Fish and Game Protective Association. Mr. Wagaman was elected the first President of the club and a mission statement was adopted establishing the club for the purpose of:

  • Organize members for the purpose of conservation, restoration, and management of
    game and fish and other wildlife in the Commonwealth.
  • Improve relationships among landowners and sportsmen
  • Promote the passage of better laws to manage our game and fish and laws concerning wildlife.

Some of the early activities of the new club was trapping pesty rabbits from raiding gardens in town partnering with the Boy Scouts Troop 107. The club adopted the first farm game project-labeled Project 107. The club started planting numerous species of tress and shrubs to assist wildlife and built blue bird boxes to enhance wildlife. A few years later the club provided a strong stand to purchase deer for adams county and joined the PGC to raise and stock pheasants.

The first pheasant program was started in 1947. The pheasant program exists today at the club. Five years after its founding the club held meeting in Knights of Columbus, McSherrystown Fire hall and the Annunication School.

In 1951, a local businessman saw the potential to purchase a 19-acre property in Oxford Township, on the East banks of the Conewago Creek, the former site of the Guist Mill known back then as the Mount Pleasant Mills. Robert Burkee co-sponsored the club in purchasing the property for $1,000 on April 24th, 1951. Three months and four days after David Swope birth.

Because of empty coffers the club members decided to rebuilt the structure into a clubhouse. The old chicken houses on Rt 116 were donated to the club and used for reconstruction. Starting with just a shell of four brick walls, it took six months of hard labor before the clubhouse was reconstructed.

The first meeting at this location was October 31st, 1952. A coin box was placed in the clubhouse and members were encouraged to drop a quarters in the box. Essentually, each quarter would purchase a cemeent block for the building.

In June 1954 an addition was added with a fireplace for $1,921.00. In 1954 a building commitee was formed. Members approved a loan for $1,000 for the project. The loan was satisfied and a mortage burning was held in 1955. Another addition followed in 1989 with a new kitchen, storage rooms, office, new heating system, and restrooms.

The club purchased more acres which added up to 90 acres of land. In 1961 a club pond was established by John Walter of Newville which would hold over 12,000 tons of water, costing $3,600. In 1963 the club stocked the pond with bass and bluegills acquired from a federal hatchery with the help of the Adams County Soil Conservation office. The pond was rebuilt in 1995 and restocked. Fishing derbies started annually since 1971. In 1996 the club installed aerators in the pond and annually treat the pond. That same year, 1996 the club celebrated 50 years of Conservation.

History compiled by Dave Swope

Club Affiliations:
  • Pa. Federation of Sportsmen Clubs (PFSC)
  • National Rifle Association (NRA)
  • Pa. State Archery Association (PSAA)
  • Adams County Chapter 323 of Trout Unlimited
  • South-central Outdoors for Youths (SOY)
  • Pa. Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC)
  • Pa. Game Commission (PGC)
  • Pa. American Long rifles Association (PALA)
  • United Bow Hunters of PA (UBP)
Please contact Dave Swope or an officer of the club if
you would like more information on these affiliations.

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McSherrystown Fish and Game Protective Association
2 Fish & Game Road, New Oxford, PA 17350
Phone: 717-624-2668