The Sheboygan Rifle and Pistol Club began in September of 1955 when eight former military veterans and gun owners decided to form a shooting club.
In its first year of existence the club had 22 members, but nowhere to call their own. On June 25, 1956 the club signed a land contract with a Town of Mosel farmer, L. Beuchel, for the use of 3 acres. A concrete bunker and target stands were erected on the east end of the property and in 1957 the first club fund raiser was held, a deer rifle sight in open to the public.
With the help of several members making contributions of $50, the property was purchased on January 15th, 1960. In 1964 and 1965 two more parcels on the south and west sides were purchased making the property its current 7 acres.
With a focus on public outreach and education the Sheboygan Rifle and Pistol Club worked with the Sheboygan Recreation Department to finance and build a 50-foot shooting range in the basement of Urban Middle School. Though thousands of shooters, including the public, have used the range for instruction, education and safe firearm usage, the range unfortunately was closed, a great loss to the public after over 40 years of community service.
The outdoor range located at W765 Rowe Road itself began as an open field. Until the mid 1960’s the club members could shoot over or into the lake. This came as a carry-over from when U.S. Army Camp Haven (now Whistling Straights Golf Course) was a neighbor and air and boat travel was banned as it was an active anti-aircraft training area. In time safety and environmental changes caused the club to build a large berm to shoot into preventing projectiles from going into the lake.
In the early 1980’s water levels of Lake Michigan rose to high levels causing much soil erosion. By June 1987 the club had lost 65 feet of shoreline. A decision was made to move the berm 50 feet to the west. A large center berm, 21 feet high was erected with two smaller berms built to each side on the north and south. A concrete bunker was erected, and new target frames built. To further protect the property, drain tile was run and updated in later years.
Since those early days of a simple field with nothing noting it was a firing range except for a sign the club has continued to grow and reinvest in itself and the shooting community. A clubhouse and training facility has been erected, covered firing points as well, a turning target system put it, higher berms in all directions, a bullet catcher erected on the 50 yard range, safety walls, range safety light lights, security system, and camera monitoring all continue on the tradition of growth began by those charter members over 60 years ago, with the continued intent of leaving this all for the future to enjoy as well.