Editor's note: The Herald & Review each day is listing a reason the Decatur region is loved. We're profiling people, places and history that are special to our region — and that make it a great place to live. See more here.
Here's something to consider while looking down the long barrels of history: the oldest shotgun shooting sports club in Illinois is located in Decatur.
Established in 1890, you will find the Decatur Gun Club locked and loaded in the north end of Faries Park. The club was founded shortly after clay pigeon targets were invented and the second manufacturer of clay targets in America, William Brett, was from Decatur. His clays were called the “Decatur Red Bird.”
Club members have included some of the big shots in Decatur history with names like Mueller, Powers and Montgomery. Their names live on as carved memorials in the hand-hewn roof beams of the clubhouse, built as a Works Progress Administration project before World War II.
Shooters blasting clay targets said it gets addictive and it's hard to argue the point with a club that dates to when Benjamin Harrison was president. “Our club is over 100 years old,” former club president Russell Anderson told the Herald & Review in 2004.
“And you don't get to be 100 years old if you aren't doing something that is fun.”