Mallory Conservation Club History
by D. H. Giffin, 6-3-59
The Mallory Conservation Club was organized in February of 1949. The first election of officers was at the March 1949 meeting with Kenny Hall the first President, Harold Jenkins was Vice President, Clarence Kingston was Secretary and Rod Mann was Treasurer.
Membership at that time cost $2.00 per year and we had about 650 members which brought in $1,300.00. With the proceeds from a raffle, we were able to purchase our first 115 acres for $1,500.00 on August 22, 1949.
We then started planning for a club house and sold concrete blocks for $1.00 each on which we realized $967.00. On January 1, 1950, dues for the year were raised to $5.00 as we now had something to offer and needed additional funds for proposed improvements.
In June 1950 we purchased 120 acres additional for $2400.00 or $20.00 per acre. We acquired 39 additional acres for $600.00 in 1952.
As there was no road into our grounds, we had to build the present road from the top of the hill where the last 2 houses are down into our grounds; a distance of 8 tenths of a mile. This was originally a county road but had been closed for about 12 years and there were 2 ditches 10 to 12 foot deep and the whole thing was grown up in weeds and small trees. About 20 of us went down on Sunday morning armed with all kinds of cutting tools and started hacking our way through. Tiny Groninger was there with a grader and bulldozer and by afternoon we had a road shaped out. We then covered it with 6 inches of gravel and have been adding rock and cinders ever since. The road and gravel cost about $950.00.
We started our tree planting in 1950 with 1200 trees, in 1951 and 1952 we planted 5000 each year and add 1200 to 1500 each year now to insure a crop of Christmas trees for each year. We sell about $300.00 worth each year. We have over 18,000 trees to date.
In June of 1951 the dam was built. It is 268 feet long and 23 feet high. Part of the dirt was taken from the bottom and one point that ran right out into the present lake was taken out completely. The rest of the clay came from the parking lot. There are about 14,000 yards of clay in the dam. The base of it is 115 feet thick. It cost $5500.00. It was named Mase Memorial Dam in honor of Nick and was dedicated in September.
In the spring of 1952 we sold bass for $2.00 each to members with the idea of planting them in our lake. We sold 225 and they were brought in by truck and planted in April. 210 were actually put in and they ran from 1 pound to 4-l/2 pounds. A lot of these fish spawned that year so we were advised by the State Conservation Department to open the lake for fishing, which we did that fall.
By October 1952 through various promotions, we felt that we were ready to talk Club House and plans were made to build the present one. Contracts were let to Harry Johnson of Mooresville for the erection of the foundation, 2 fireplaces and front porch for $6700.00.
The Circle City Cabin Company built the cabin part which ran about $9200.00. Mr. Cain gave us a personal check for $3000.00 to furnish the kitchen and Ray Sparrow and P. R. Mallory gave us $1000.00 each for the two fireplaces. The whole thing cost a little over $18,000.00. We borrowed $10,000.00 of this and paid the balance cash. The loan was paid down to $3,600.00 in April of this year, but we increased it to $7,700.00 to build the 4 room cabin now in process for the caretaker. The old trailer was unsightly and literally falling apart. The new cabin will be logs to match the club house and will cost about $4000,00.
Our methods of raising money have been varied. We have had 3 or 4 raffles but not recently. On one of these we cleared over $1600.00. We have had fish frys, the Carnival several times (profit $603.00 this year), the Horse Show, sale of dishes, pens, flashlights and other various items. Mallory night shows at the Lyric which the Company subsidized making it possible for us to give the people a bargain and still make a 50¢ profit on each ticket or about $425.00 for each show.
Our expenses yearly including payments on the loan run about $4500.00. This includes salary of caretaker $1980.00, insurance, taxes, upkeep on tractor and tools, telephone and many other various items.
Our fixed income is dues approximately $1400.00 and Coca Cola commission $2700.00 so we must keep promoting something at all times to keep in the black.
The Club has been used by various Scout Troops, Farm Bureau, Church and private groups. We make no charge for these.
Since building here, land adjoining us and in the entire neighborhood has increased in value to $75.00 to $100.00 an acre. On our financial statement, we list ours at $50.00 and using this figure, we are worth about $45,000.00. We owe $7600.00 so in 10 years we have built up an estate of about $37,500.00 that is ours.
We have kept the club clean and our membership have seen to it that there has never been anything in the way of improper conduct so that they can always bring their friends and children and know they can spend a pleasant day at their club.
I hope it will always be kept this way.
D. H. Giffin