Bass Island Rod and Gun Club
Records, 1895-1938


Quantity: 4 boxes (1.0 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: The collection was purchased by the New York State Library from Craig W. Ross, 1981
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections, August 1987; revised July 2011

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Historical Note:

The Bass Island Rod and Gun Club was a private organization that was founded in July 1895 when a group of sportsmen from upstate New York had a lodge built on Bass Island, which is situated in Henderson Bay (Lake Ontario), southwest of Sackets Harbor, New York. A constitution and bylaws was agreed upon in which the explicit purposes of the club were to promote the recreational pleasures of its members and invited guests and to be responsible for the maintenance of the lodge and boat docks.  The charter membership was comprised of ten men: four from Dexter (Jefferson County), New York, and three each from Watertown (Jefferson County), New York, and Syracuse (Onondaga County), New York. Membership was later increased to twelve.  Club members assembled at the lodge every summer for at least two weeks to engage in sport fishing and other recreational activities. They would also gather for a week in the fall for an annual game hunt.

Scope And Content Note:

The records of the Bass Island Rod and Gun Club consist of eight volumes, documenting the business, financial, and social activities of the club from 1895 to 1938. These records include the minute book, which contains the proceedings of the annual business meeting and the annual financial report of the treasurer. A more detailed record of club finances is found in ledgers, journals, and cash books. Details of the annual fishing and hunting trips and other social gatherings were chronicled in the club record book, or diary, which was kept from 1896 to 1935. A companion volume contains a register of members and guests who stayed at the lodge and participated in the activities chronicled in the record book.

Box and Item List:

Box  Item Contents
1 v. 1 Minute book, 1895-1930 (390 p.; 33 cm.); Minutes of the annual business meeting; annual financial report of the treasurer; includes organization charter, constitution, bylaws, history, and details about the design and construction of the club house and lodge
2 v. 2 Cash Account Book, 1895-1896 (175 p.; 20 cm.); Record of cash receipts from members of the club (only 5 pages used in the book)
2 v. 3 Cash Account Book, 1897-1938 (176 p.; 19 cm.); Day book of cash receipts and expenditures details receipt of dues, etc., from members and expenditures for maintenance, repair, and upkeep of buildings and grounds, and payment of school and other local taxes
2 v. 4 Ledger of Accounts, 1897-1915 (162 p.; 21 cm,); Record of receipts and expenditures organized under names of individuals or funds; includes information on related expenditures on its real property and furnishings; bank deposits and withdrawals; expense accounts of members and officers
2 v. 5 Journal of Debit-Credit Accounts, 1895-1896 (28 p.; 30 cm.); Details expenditures for building and furnishing the lodge along with petty cash expenditures for goods and services
2 v. 6 Ledger of Debit-Credit Accounts, 1895-1997 (72 p.; 32 cm.); Companion to the previous volume; includes accounts of members and officers
3 v. 7 Record book, 1896-1935 (ca. 300 p.; 41 cm.); Diary or journal providing detailed summary of daily activities, particularly for the summer outing and fall hunt; entries include details of the catch during fishing trips and game bagged during the hunt; also includes information about weather conditions, boats, and equipment
4 v. 8 Register book, 1896-1936 (ca. 300 p.; 41 cm.); List of members and guests who stayed at the lodge and participated in club activities and events chronicled in the club record; the hometown of each individual is also noted the entries
Last Updated: May 24, 2021