Share our heritage | Big Bear Rod and Gun Club

Photo provided

Today’s photos are from Lorraine Mulfinger, of Centre Hall.

She wrote: “The Big Bear Rod and Gun Club is a hunting camp just over the Clinton County line in the Sproul State Forest. The first camp was built in the early 1930s and has since hosted many members and guests from the Bellefonte area.

“One of the earliest photos of the camp was taken during deer season and includes many vintage cars. It is stamped ‘Finished Jan. 28 1937’ by the Mallory Studio in Bellefonte on the back.

“Some time after the camp’s founding, Lewis Smith became the sole owner and began hosting an annual venison dinner at the Penn Belle Hotel, which stood on the now-vacant lot on High Street across from Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte.

“The enclosed photo of the 1966 venison dinner includes:

“Front, from left: Jack Willar, Wade Witmer, Frank Peters Jr., Hubert Rossman, Fred Blair, Allen Smith, unknown and Paul Antolosky.

“Back row, from left: Sherm Lutz, Lewis Smith, Charles Laird, Bill Kline, Guy Baney, Frank Peters, Curt Wagner, Milford Cox, Will Houser, Dewey Bonnel, Zip Badger, James Kerschner, Fake Friedman and Eugene Smith.

“A frequently told camp story was that in the years that aviator Sherm Lutz hunted with the camp, he would fly over the camp and make an ‘ice cream drop’ some time during deer season. Lutz was also the official group photographer for many of the venison dinners.”


Each Monday the Centre Daily Times will publish an installment in our “Share our Heritage” series, featuring photos from Centre County’s past.