Two months before the Great Hurricane of 1938 struck the Connecticut shoreline, a group of raccoon hunters met at the Sportsman’s Bar and Grill on the corner of School and Thames Streets in the City of Groton. That was the beginning of what would become the Groton Sportsmen’s Club (GSC).
When World War II ended, the Groton Sportsmen’s Club continued to be active and the growing membership began looking for their own property to hold meetings, conduct raccoon dog hunting trials and enjoy camaraderie. Members purchased the Godfrey Farm located on Al Harvey road in Stonington in 1946 and soon the property was developed to accommodate hunting and fishing activities. The Godfrey Farm consisted of lots of hardwoods, fields, streams and a pond. The homestead was a very small home with no indoor plumbing or electricity. Members chopped firewood to heat the clubhouse and used Coleman lanterns for light. Meetings were held around a singular large circular table that held officers and membership.
Since its founding in 1938, forward thinking leadership of the GSC has grown its property footprint in bits and pieces, acquiring more and more acreage in Stonington and Voluntown. The GSC current footprint is approximately 600 acres. Presently the club has an indoor range, pistol ranges, 100, 300, and 500-yard ranges, skeet/sporting clays fields, trap ranges, an archery course, and a large fishing pond.
The club is proactive within the community offering educational courses, training for youth and regularly contributes to worthwhile causes.