Bay State Military Rifle Association, circa 1906

  • Bay State Military Rifle Association, circa 1906
  • "'Systematic instruction' in military rifle shooting was deemed essential by the government in 1875. As a result, the Massachusetts Volunteer Rifle Association was created and the first military rifle competition in the state was held in the South Framingham Campground. The Richardson Light Guard rifle team was organized in July 1878 and went on to take first place in the Regimental Matches from 1890 to 1907, as well as in many other significant matches. Company A's first permanent range was located in the rear of the Wakefield Rattan Company, with an established range of 200 yards. The local Militia was issued Model 45/70 Springfield breech loading rifles. State qualification requirements called for shooting at greater distance, and as a result, the local company moved to the Massachusetts Rifle Association range at Walnut Hill in Woburn. In 1891, the Selectmen vote to permit firing at the required 500 and 600-yard distances enabling the company to return to Wakefield. This was short-lived as the area became more densely populated. The Cox Woods, at the corner of Haverhill and Pine Streets (now Bay State Road), was selected by the company as the site of its new range and it was soon equipped with a shooting house and 200, 500 and 600-yard ranges. The Wakefield range became home to the Massachusetts State Rifle Team after it left Walnut Hill. The range so impressed the Inspector general of the Rifle Practice that a canvas of top military men was taken, and the Bay State Military Rifle Association was established. The association paid the town $200 each year for the remaining two years of the Town's lease and allowed the local rifle company to use its facilities. The facility was used as a rifle range for the US Navy during World War I. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts took over the range in 1925 and the name was changed to Camp Curtis Guild to honor Massachusetts Governor Curtis Guild, Jr. During World War II, extensive changes were made and the camp was used for military training and as a mobilization and overseas evacuation point." -- Text from calendar by Jayne M. D'Onofrio.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2006
  • ca. 1906
  • [Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Bay State Military Rifle Association, circa 1906,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed October 28, 2020,


Please let us know if you have any corrections, additional information or questions about this item.