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My oldest just graduated high school, so sifted through photos the last few weeks and found ones of her at Vandalia. She would’ve been about 18 months…

Good memories there for lots of people! We also have good memories of Sparta and continue to make more…

She saw the old photo and said - wow, trapshooters really haven’t changed. They look the same now as then. Haha. I take it as a compliment!!!
 

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I was there 5 times. Place was neat but old and needed a face lift. Parking was a nightmare but I loved riding the trams. I have photos and memories. Didn't they leave Vandalia because they were forced to leave? ATA didn't own the property, airport expansion? I believe the 9-11 attack didn't help things either. Memory is foggy but I thought the ATA was told to leave at the time.
 

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Never been there but my high school gun club sponsor was enamored with the place. This was 1974. Either way I have looked at recent satellite photos and it seems there are new runways very near the shot fall area.
 

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Similar to the “Mather’s Land ‘O Sports” in Springfield, IL that used to host the IL State Shoot. Was a big rush to sell and vacate the premises because of development intrusion. Now, 20 years later, the trap houses are still there, trees and brush have exploded. Doesn’t appear any development has occurred anywhere close to the property. Also much like Vandalia/Sparta, we now have Brittany Shooting park with perfect backgrounds, lots of parking and nearly unlimited space. Memories are good, but sometimes the change is for the better. And gives us another place to create memories!
 

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Drove past the old grounds on the way home and saw that nothing has been built yet. Brought back some old memories. With the reduced number of shooters today we would fit in quite nicely there. Oh well, Sparta it is and I love it!
I use to haul freight into the airport for Emory at night. There would be 50+ planes getting loaded and unloaded.
By sunrise it was a ghost town.
I am sure they were part of the reason for the expansion too bad they didn't go bust sooner.
 

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I was there 5 times. Place was neat but old and needed a face lift. Parking was a nightmare but I loved riding the trams. I have photos and memories. Didn't they leave Vandalia because they were forced to leave? ATA didn't own the property, airport expansion? I believe the 9-11 attack didn't help things either. Memory is foggy but I thought the ATA was told to leave at the time.
Primarily, a multi tier parking garage was to be built which would eliminate a substantial sector of the west trap line.

Also if we left quietly we weren't responsible for lead contamination and such if I recall correctly.

We could have shot there a few more years possibly with a significantly reduced trap line but possibly with more implications.

The airport authority each year had a list of requirements/stipulations that they expected from us to operate. Our manager would go into negotiations with their representative to establish a more realistic alternative. Our time was over.
 

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I used to look forward to going to Vandalia each year,haven't been to Sparta yet and don't have plans to go.
Don’t short shrift yourself. It’s not healthy to hold a grudge this long. Go. If for no other reason than to confirm you were right to boycott the place all these years.
 

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If anything, looks like there's more space now. My dad was a cop at the airport for a while. He told me there were times when he could drive down the edge of the taxiway and occasionally have some shot lightly bounce off the side of his car.
Since my grandmother lived near there, I went several times when I was a teenager to look at the vendors. At the time, I didn't shoot trap. Now I wish I'd gotten to shoot there before it moved.
 

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I grew up in NW Ohio and would drive down to the Ohio State Shoot & Grand American, in the 70's: would stay in Troy. In the earliy 90's, I moved to SW Ohio and would shoot the entire State & Grand while driving up to Vandalia every morning. The moving of the Grand American devistated several of the local businesses as well as many smaller gun clubs. The need to register targets, in order to avoid penalty yardage or classes, was gone because many shooters had no plans of going to Sparta and the OSTA target requirements were much less. I know that I was spoiled by having a great venue close enough I could sleep in my own bed. The expansion of the Dayton Airport never took off like the City of Dayton had hoped. But, the deed was done and the ATA was forced to relocate. Nothing will be what it once was but we are forced to move ahead. Hopefully, the ATA will succeed and the OSTA will continue to grow and expand at the Cardinal Center. Let's don't forget the past while we move on to the future.
 

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Thank You "V10 for the aerial view (23Aug2005) of Vandalia airport and ATA home grounds. As I look at the aerial photo, I can see where I parked every day behind the classification building, along the fence by the service station on U S 40 highway. I had to arrive at the grounds before 6 AM every morning. I attended the last Grand held there in 2005 which was my 33rd Grand American. I got my 30 year patch at the 2003 G.A. and was looking forward to getting my 35th year attendance patch at Sparta. I never got the chance to travel to Sparta for the Grand.
Tom
 

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I made it a point to attend the Grand at Vandalia a few years before it was to close. I really enjoyed myself so kept attending for quite a few years as ATA kept pushing the move forward.

I did not make the first Grand at Sparta, hoping more motel chains would build. When I finally decided to attend, I lucked out and got into a home in northern Sparta. That home owner retired and sold the house. She referred me to her friend that lives on the very northern edge of town. Now I am a mile closer to the range.

Jason
 
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