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ATA HOF Museum

7308 Views 67 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  WPT
I haven't heard much about the HOF Museum lately except the rumor that the contents are in storage. If in storage, where is this storage facility? What is the plan for a new place to display everything?
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Phone: (937) 660-5663

Fax: (937) 660-5664

E-Mail: [email protected]

Send Postal Mail to:

Trapshooting Hall of Fame

P.O. Box 281

Vandalia, Ohio 45377
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Everything got packed up back in September and shipped out to the Sparta area, though I don't think they yet have the facilities for displaying it.
The last I heard,that storage unit is up for auction on Storage Wars. Would you like to donate your stuff?
Dave Berlet and I make a trip to the HOF every spring, most likely March. We will report what we find. Brad
Included with my 2013 average card (rec'd in Nov. '12) was a copy of the HOF Annual Gift Letter. It clearly states the status of the HOF Museum and requests donations to assist with the new building project.

No investigations or road-trips needed. You can read the letter on the HOF website.
Didn't Mr. Fishburn offer the ATA and HOF land and a building free of charge, but now they want donations for the HOF building fund?
Its one of those like the relocation fee that was collected from every shooter at every shoot prior to moving, what happened to that ..? WPT ... (YAC) ...
I saw the Grand when it was at Vandalia several times. Problem was I was always in a plane landing at the Dayton Airport. When I started shooting trap in 2010 I heard about the Grand in Vandalia and realized then what I saw out that jet window. I was told the event moved to Sparta. And I learned that the Hall of Fame was still at the old site by that airport.

At my club that first year I heard about a road trip taking place to go and visit Dave Berlet as one of the members of the club wanted Dave to make him a rib. We are from southern Ohio and Dave resides north of us. We would pass through Dayton on the trip. There was talk of a stop at ATA headquarters. I knew the Hall was also at the site. I asked if they had any room to take me along.
The one day trip was a crash course in the history of trap shooting. One of my fellow passengers in the car that day was a grizzled veteran trap shooter named Norm Fitch. The lesson started as we approached the Vandalia exit on I-75. Norm told us of his early days shooting at the Grand.

When we got to Dave’s house I had no idea of the reunion about to take place. I quickly found out that I was in the presence of the two ATA members with the longest attendance record at the Grand. It seems these two men are continuing every year to add numbers to a record that surely will never be broken. Perhaps Dave can respond to this thread and tell us how many years in a row he and Norm have gone as I do not remember the number. I do remember that number was astounding.

I know it took me a while to get to the meat of this post. But here it is. On the way back from Dave’s we stopped at the ATA headquarters and the HOF. When we went into the headquarters old Norm greeted all the women there by name and they responded much the same way as did the patrons at Cheers when ever Norm walked in to Sam’s bar. They all yelled “Norm”! After the catching up was concluded they let us into the museum.

For the next three hours I was memorized. I would go from exhibit to exhibit, from showcase to showcase. I soaked it all in. The pictures. The guns. I met Pumpkin and fell in love with her. I walked to the chain link fence behind the museum and saw what was left. I envisioned what had been. I did not want to leave but the all aboard was sounded. The epiphany occurred around the time we passed Middletown heading south on I-75.

I had just been shooting targets. I had no idea. It was as if I was playing baseball. But I didn’t have a clue as to the name “Babe Ruth.” My day changed everything. I would no longer just shoot targets. I was now in a sport. I knew a history.

There are lots of guys like me out there. We are the new shooters. We are the survival of the sport. We are also the future. And what kind of future can there be when we lose history and have nothing to look back on.

I hope the ATA gets its act together and brings the HOF Museum back to life.


P.S. Subliminal message to ATA EC.... we new guys do not like dumbed up targets and trinkets.
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Attendance record: Dave counts his attendance starting with the time he went to the Grand in his parent's baby buggy. But thats OK with me.
The musuem will be built at the World Shooting Complex at Sparta. It was decided that the history of the sport should be located wherever the Grand was being shot. A capitol building campaign is underway to make the new museum as "grand" as possible. Two events that Leo and I will be personally involved with will include an auction to fill four posts of Leo's squad for one event at the Grand and the silent auction. New this year will be a reception that will close out the bidding. Details will be announced as they become finalized.
I think we can all agree that the history of our sport must be preserved. Who knows how far into the future it will be before guns and shooting sports are no longer allowed and soon forgotten.
Once the Hall of Fame broke away from the ATA they can do what ever they want, but they have got there last dollar from me. Trevor Dawe.
I believe that the ATA and the HOF have ALWAYS been separate organizations. When/how did they "break away"? The purpose of the HOF is to preserve the history of hasn't always been the ATA, others came before and they deserve to be remembered.
My father was a trapshooter and we only lived 50 miles from the ATA grounds. I have been able to attend every grand since my first birthday. The Lord willing this will be my 70th to attend and this will be my 57th to shoot in. Between the grand and the Ohio State Shoot I shot a total of 128,400 program targets on the Vandalia ATA grounds.
I don't remember just how many grands Norm has attended or participated in.. but we are close.

Sorry, but I am worried even though I was told that I shouln't worry about the HOF.
At the Grand American in 2009 there were newspaper articles about the new HOF museum ground breaking to take place in the spring of 2010 including a picture of how the new museum would look. Now it is soon to be spring 2013 and our history is in a storage facility. I do hope that it is resolved soon.

Dave Berlet
Karla, we will continue our monthly support of the HOF. I sent you a PM that we will be donate some items for the auction as well. Probably more Black Hills Gold.

Thank you for your efforts with the HOF.

Bud, Char, Foster and Matt Bartholow
Dave, we share your concerns, that is why Leo and I have taken a personal interest in getting our history out of storage and out on display. Can I count on you and Sandy to help with either a donation or a purchase at the silent auction? This can happen soon, but only if we all do a part. Hope to see ya both soon.
~~~Who knows how far into the future it will be before guns and shooting sports are no longer allowed and soon forgotten. ~~ Good point Karla !

Leo and you are really going the extra mile for this cause, and thank you. I can see Leo shooting doubles from this trap..LOL

I'm afraid that this could be a very "possible" happening in the statement Karla made, and to build a museum on "leased" property would be something any good business man would not want to do. IF, and I say "IF" there were that possibility that there would be no more Grand in Sparta, how would the HOF get their money out of the building sitting on leased land ?

Sad, very sad situation. I try not to look negative towards the new museum, but it's difficult knowing it may be placed on Leased Land controlled by the State of Illinois. I HOPE that the THOF Board would be looking to at least buy the land the building would sit on from the State.

Had the museum been built out side the Cardinal Center on a major highway, it would continue to draw people in, just to see what was done with guns in the Yesteryear, and be on land that would be deeded to the THOF. Whether that offer by Mr. Fishburn would still stand is anyone's guess. As of now, it looks like a mute point anyway.

The THOF is / was a wonderful collection of shooting sports memorabelia, it needs to be before the public eyes, and perhaps not for just a two week showing each year.

I am a supporter of the THOF, and wish them well in whatever direction they choose to take. I don't believe it's too late to change one's mind on location. A lot would hinge on the "Lease" contract as to the building placed on it in Sparta.

Since the passing of the late Dr. H. Lynn Parsons, does anyone know if the Trapshooting Hall of Fame has replaced him on the Board of Trustees ?

Dave in SC
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The people that want to attend the Trapshooting Hall of Fame aren't average Joes and they don't take an exit from any highway just to see what it's all about. The people who want to see the artifacts and people of the trapshooting world most are those that are the most avid participants of the game.

The center of that world of trapshooting used to be in Ohio because the Grand was held there. If they wanted to keep it they should have done a better job of making an effort to make that so. Mr. Fishburn's efforts to help the OSTA, as fabulous as they have been, came about 15 years short of the mark. Not his fault. Maybe not anybody's fault. Just the way the chips fell. Economics and timing determined the present outcome.

The Hall of Fame should be where it can be seen by those that support it the most ....... and they come from all corners of the US and Canada. Should the Grand ever move again. The Hall of Fame should follow.
Karla, if you get a chance to look at the new HOF stickers that were being passed out at Tucson last week you will see that the ATA name has been removed. Trevor Dawe
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