Winchester-Frederick County Conservation Club, Inc.
In the Spring of 1968, Dave Fahnestock, then President of the local Izaak Walton chapter, left the chapter with the vision of starting a club in the area at which members could both fish and hunt on the property as well as provide land for the members and thier families to enjoy. Dave was running the Sports Center in Winchester at the time and as patrons came in to the store, he asked them to sign up to join the new club being formed. The interest was overwhelming and the first meeting was held at the Round Hill store owned by George Kelchner. The attendance by local sportsman was so large that many could not even enter the building. George Kelchner then became the first President of the WFCCC. Numerous people joined that first night and the dues were set at $5.00 per year. The membership fees were used to buy trout for stocking a farm pond for member fishing on the property of Thurman Perry at Whitacre, Va.. Even with the few fish stocked, lots of new members continued to join and the success of the new club continued to flourish since the first meeting. The next endeavor was the purchase of 16 acres of property on Route 259 in western Frederick Co., which had an old cabin on it. The club members fixed up the Old Red Cabin with a bathroom and it became the new WFCCC clubhouse. Cliff Arnold had an idea to have clay bird shoots and with his guidance at making it work, additional funding was made to help pay the clubs bills. As years went by with membership growing, the general feeling of the club members was that a larger property was needed. Carlton Ramey Sr., knowing of a piece of property owned by the Adams family in Gainsboro proposed approaching the family and the first 50 acres of land with Back Creek flowing through it as it is today, was purchased in 1972. The Gore property with the Old Red Cabin was then sold and some profit from it used to help offset the new property purchase. Once purchased, the brushy property was further cleared and a new clubhouse building erection was underway, led by Buddy Marple with help from the members of the club for both labor and materials. The next undertaking was the building of a lake for the members who enjoyed fishing. The water for filling of the lake was originally pumped from Back Creek and the spring seepages from the hillside above as well as below water level today continues to keep it filled year round. The Perry family which owned Stuart Perry Rock Quarry continued to help and support the club over the years. Thurman and Mickey Perry farms would give a calf each year to the club to auction off to raise money to support the club. Shorty Billmeyer, who was club treasurer at the time, worked at Glaize and Bros. Lumber in Winchester and was an immense help in securing supplies and lumber for the clubs building projects. After the Main Clubhouse was built, shelters were the next projects and major contributors were Dorsett Russell of Russell Roofing Co., and Jim Wilson from Valley Redi-mix Concrete. Donnie Arnold and Mac Tlumach started gun shooting competitions at this time raising money and contributing thier time for the benefit of the club. The sucess of the club continued to come about by faithful members of the club and the good ideas and sound judgement of its members and board of directors. The numerous contributions of time and materials by both membership and local businesses have been built upon to produce the buildings and pristine property you enjoy today. Other members who contributed greatly to the club are Carlton Ramey Jr., Dr. Victor Albright, George Quarles, Paul Fahnestock, and Dottie Fahnestock. While there have many members who contributed time, energy, and materials over the years and not enough space to list them all, they are also important to this club and thanked for thier generosity in making this club sucessful today and set up for future generations to enjoy. A Quote from Dave Fahnestock, "It is rewarding to look back at our humble beginning in 1968 and to look forward to what we have been blessed by God Almighty as we enjoy a part of his great creation". Dave's hope and wish for members and thier families is that the club will cherish, enjoy and care for the property that so many have made possible through hard work, so that future generations can enjoy the great outdoors.
The properties today after numerous purchases during 51 years encompasses 460 joined acres where our Club house, Shooting ranges, Pavilions and Lake are today, as well as 97 Acres purchased in September 2015 and 43 Acres adjacent to it in March 2017 for Club use in Shenandoah County, with all being used for a broad variety of conservation & outdoor recreational activities by our members and families. The Club membership now encompasses Four Virginia counties - Frederick, Clarke, Warren and Shenandoah and all cities and towns within those counties and is said to be the largest Conservation Club based on total membership in the state of Virginia.