Carpet manufacturers Stephen, John and Laddie Sanford of Amsterdam loved their horse farm in the town of Amsterdam. Other Mohawk Valley movers and shakers didn’t race horses but did go a great distance in the 1900s, over 350 miles, to fish, hunt and enjoy the outdoors.
Founded in 1906, the Bourbonnais-Kiamika Hunting and Fishing Club of Canada had a large Amsterdam area contingent.
The men of the club included industrialists, merchants, lawyers, doctors and the publishers of Amsterdam’s Recorder newspaper. There also were club members from Johnstown, Schenectady, Albany, Troy, New England, Kansas and Canada.
According to a newspaper account, the club leased about 200 square miles of territory in Labelle County in Quebec.
New York State Comptroller Charles Gaus of Albany died of natural causes on a club excursion in 1909. Gaus’ family had unsuccessfully argued against him making the journey which then required a 40-mile wagon trip from the nearest railroad link.
An unnamed club member who could not attend the 1913 outing in Canada because of business wrote a lament printed in the Recorder, “There are fewer days in my life that I can recall with greater happiness than those spent on the annual hunts on our old camp ground. The exciting sport, the complete relaxation.”
That year Conover’s book store window in Amsterdam displayed two trophy Canadian gray trout, one caught by broom manufacturer Charles L. Howard of Fort Hunter.
During an outing the next year at Lake Simon in Quebec, club members caught 447 gray trout and 75 brook trout.
A 1920 newspaper account finds the club…
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