ELIMSPORT - The White Deer Valley Hunting Club, 4034 Gap Road, celebrates its 100th year anniversary with an open house from noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 17 and 18. The public can tour the cabin and meet some members, and door prizes and other giveaways will be held.
On Nov. 14, 1912, the 25 men who founded the club purchased the land in Washington Township for $500.
Doug Buss, club treasurer, said the men who founded the club were from "the valley," referring to areas such as Washington Township, Allenwood, Montgomery and Watsontown.
One hundred years later, the club still has a 25-member roster. They hail from some of the same areas in which the founding members lived but also come from Williamsport, South Williamsport and Hughesville.
At one time, Buss said, the club had about 140 members, some of them lawyers or doctors from places such as New York state, Maryland and Philadephia.
"Over the years, it (membership) has stayed pretty local," he said.
Buss said the current members mostly are in their early 60s. William Harline has been a member longest. He joined in 1978, and his father was a member before him.
"The original house still stands," Buss said.
When the founders bought the property, it came with a house, which is what the members now call "the cabin." The former owners were Charles and Emma Person.
The cabin has been expanded a bit and some remodeling has been done to it to give it what Buss said calls a homey feel.
While remodeling, the members found a cardboard box containing the deed to the property and a ledger that showed who paid dues throughout the years. Both were in very good condition.
Tradition always has been a part of the club. Buss said he and his father hunted the area for years and knew some gentlemen who were part of the club. That's how he became a member.
"They were members here, and my dad would stop in because we were friends with them," Buss said.
To date, 10 potential members are on a waiting list to join the club.
Work days are part of the traditional activities at the club, a way to keep the club in ship-shape and also a way to raise funds.
"Our dues are $125 a year, and if you miss a work detail, it costs $25," Buss said.
Dues help pay for everything - electricity, taxes, coal to heat the cabin, insurance and other expenses.
Hunting seasons - mostly bear and deer in rifle season - are the most active times for the club, when the most members are there.
"We have some very avid hunters up here," Buss said. "We all respect the hunting rules and regulations and we respect the surrounding forest."
During those times, neighbor Gloria Burrows comes in to serve as a cook. Buss said she has been cooking at the club for eight to 10 years.
The club is just off of Gap Road and is bordered by state forest land, which affords members many opportunities for hunting.
Last year, 13 hunters held a drive for bear, but no bruins ever have been harvested out of the camp.
Also in the area a original CCC camp from the 1940s can be seen along the Gap Road.
Aside from hunting, Buss said, families come to the cabin to have picnics, get-togethers and birthday parties. The camp has hosted Boy Scouts and a group of young anglers who attended a fishing derby down the road.
"We got a great bunch of guys," Buss said. "It's (all about) the fellowship."
Club members also host "card parties."
The day before the open house starts, a gun will be given away to one of the members. Buss said it was built by local manufacturer Keystone Arms, and the anniversary date and club name will be lasered in the wood of the butt.
The club has established its own Facebook page.