prizes for the fishing derby
fishing derby at guild pond
A brief history of the Norwood Sportsmen's Association Inc.
The Norwood Sportsmen's Association Inc. was established in 1921. The association was formed with eleven members as a fish and game club. The preamble to the by-laws of the organization is as follows:
Its purpose shall be to promote interests of legitimate sport with rod and gun; to obey the laws for the protection of fish and game within this state, and to help secure such further legislation as may be required in this direction.
Meetings of the association were first held in various halls throughout the town until land was leased from Winslow Brothers and Smith in 1949. At this time, the members erected a foundation and built the first floor which was capped with roofing to form a flat roof. This made up the cellar, where meetings were held. In 1956, with the help of the board of Selectmen, the Club acquired two of the old veterans' housing buildings on Winter Street, which were dismantled, moved to the site and erected on the existing foundation.
In 1959, Winslow Brothers and Smith sold this property to Forte’ Fairbain, Inc, who continued the lease. Forte’ Fairbain had control of the land and water from Bullard Street to Walpole Street. In the 80’s Forte’ Fairbain wanted to sell of the land for development. At that time they knocked out the dam at Guild Pond and lowered the level of Ellis Pond. Fortunately the town of Norwood stepped in and stopped the development. After a hassle the town bought the land as conservation property.
The Conservation Commission has maintained the lease with the Sportsmen who own the building. The Conservation Commission has been an excellent landlord and we have tried to maintain the property and keep it open to the public. A lot of townies come to the pond to fish, bird watch or just relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility of sitting by water. It is home to many species of wildlife.
There have been a lot of changes since 1921, but the Norwood Sportsmen's Association has kept going through all of them and has always promoted, GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP, SAFETY and CONSERVATION.
The Association has functioned as a non-profit organization, maintaining an affiliation membership with the Norfolk County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council, Inc. Ducks Unlimited, “NRA” National Rifle Association and “GOAL” Gun Owners Action League.
From the days of active hunting in the town, when game was raised and released for hunting, and ponds and streams were stocked with trout, there has been a decline in the available space for public use. The club is active in trying to make use of the available limited space by reclaiming ponds and streams and working with the Conservation Commission and The Open Space Committee to further the use of these lands for outdoor use.
Dinner meetings are held on a monthly basis at the club's home on Nichols Street. There is a small pistol range in the basement for target practice and shooting matches for its members. Guild Pond in the rear is stocked with trout and is open to the public. The Association is open for membership to local area residents.
During the year the Norwood Sportsmen hold a Fishing Derby for local children, a Hunter’s Safety class, a Safe Boating class, NRA Instruction and other various events. It is always looking for ways to make use of what is available for all members of the community. The building is also made available to various sport groups for meetings.
The Fishing Derby is held in the spring each year and has been a tradition for over 50 years. It is open to children up to the age of 15. Many of the youngsters who were in the early “Derbies” now bring there children and grandchildren to the present “derbies”. Many children have learned to fish at Guild Pond and the have passed on the tradition to their children.
The Hunters Safety Class is held in the summer of each year and is open to the general public. The class is free and it is sponsored by the MassWildlife Hunter Education Program. The program is taught by certified volunteer instructors who donate there time. Among the many topics covered are the safe handling and storage of sporting arms and ammunition; hunting laws and ethics; wildlife identification; wildlife management and basic survival skills. The classes are open to men, women and minors from 12 to 17 years with parent’s permission.
We work closely with the MassWildlife and are in constant awareness of updates or any changes in the current rules and regulations. These changes are passed on to our members and other interested parties.
The Norfolk County League of Sportsmen, is made up of member sportsmen’s clubs within Norfolk County. Monthly meetings are held at different clubs each month. They deal in matters affecting the county.
All the different county leagues belong to the Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council.
The Mass Sportsmen’s Council handles issues on a state wide level. They keep us aware of all bills and issues that come before the Senate and House for hearings. It gives us the opportunity to reach our representative and Senator to ask they vote favorable on good legislation for the sportsmen.
Why do we do all this? We are passing on our heritage to the youngsters of today who are growing up today in a very restricted environment. Unfortunately hunting and fishing is an outdoor sport and must be done outside and in the allowable season it must be done in an area which is open for that sport. It is through education and proper legislation the children of today can enjoy the out doors of tomorrow.