Saturday afternoon, the Rock Falls Rod & Gun Club opened its doors to the public in celebrating its 90th anniversary. Along with grilled brats and burgers, was an array of home cooked sides for attendees to enjoy as well as games; providing a little something for all ages.
Upon hearing of the celebration, former Town of Rock Falls resident Tom Vaughan fondly recalls his own piece of the rich history of the clubhouse, especially the days when the club was a local hub for public dances and gatherings.
“This country dance hall – something that was common all over Lincoln County when I was growing up – was founded in 1927, so it would have been only about 20 years old when we moved back to the Town of Rock Falls from Merrill after WWII ended,” he explains. “My recollections go back to the late 1940s, when I was 7-10 years old. My ‘Uncle Dick’ (Arnold Joseph Vaughan) was a town constable at one time, so he would have been on duty at the Rod and Gun Club at times. My parents, George and Alicia Vaughan, were often working in the kitchen area at the dances. I was detailed sometimes to go around the dance hall and pick up the ‘dead soldiers’ (empty beer bottles) some of which I finished off before bringing them in!
“Lots of memories of oompah, schottisches, polkas, waltzes and the Flying Dutchman. Also lots of bodies packed on the dance floor and sitting around the sides; going outside to cool off and get fresh air. (Rock Falls Rod & Gun Club) was quite an institution, up there along the Wisconsin River.”
Club members estimate over 60 people turned out to attend Saturday’s anniversary bash and enjoy the warm late-summer weather.
*Editorial Note: In the Aug. 9 edition of the Merrill Foto News, incorrect information was given regarding the Rock Falls Rod & Gun Club serving fish frys on Friday nights. The clubhouse does not currently serve fish frys on Friday nights, but does serve food from time to time during special occasions.