Decatur Gun ClubCategory: OUTDOORS & PLAY
The origins and growth of the Decatur Gun Club parallel that of the clay target itself, and the games created to hone and test shotgun shooting skill. Shotgun sport shooting with live pigeons and later, glass balls existed in the U.S. from the early 1800's. But the first "clay pigeon" and "trap" to throw it were not developed until about 1880 by George Ligowsky. William Brett From Decatur was the second manufacturer of clay targets in the U.S., which he called the "Decatur Red Bird". Considered the oldest shotgun shooting sports club in Illinois, the Decatur Gun Club was founded soon after clay targets were invented. Chan Powers and Bert Hildebrandt were two of the mentors of the club, first located near East William Street Road and 22nd Street. In the early years, the club occupied sites in the Hess Park area, the Wyckles Corner area, the Macon County Fairgrounds, and an area west of the Fairgrounds before finding it's home of the past 61 years at the north end of Faries Park.