The Casino at the corner of Cottage and Bridge streets in Bar Harbor where the newly formed rifle clubs met. POSTCARD FROM THE COLLECTION OF EARL BRECHLIN

Historical records: Rifle club organizes

By Deborah Dyer, director, Bar Harbor Historical Society

From the April 1917 Bar Harbor Times

Members of an unidentified rifle club pose with their weapons in the years right after World War I. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

The Bar Harbor Rifle Club has been reorganized into two divisions. Division A is composed of men between the ages of 18 and 35. These are the men who may be called to active duty in an emergency.

The second division or “Silver Grays” is composed of entirely of men over 35. These are the men who will compose the House Guard, if one is organized under the provisions of the new federal act.

The younger men will continue to drill on Wednesday evenings and at such other times as may seem advisable. The Silver Grays will have Thursday as their drill night and will also drill at such other times as may be decided by the members of the company.

There were nearly 200 men in the ranks and the progress made by both divisions under the crowded conditions at the Casino was very commendable.

With more room next week and with each division drilling as a unit the progress should be even more satisfactory. There is room for more men in each division and if two nights are not enough to accommodate the men there will be work on other nights either at the Casino or out of doors as soon as the weather permits.

The Silver Grays will organize Thursday evening. Officers will be elected and plans made for the training of an organization which can be called out at any time as an efficient home guard. The enthusiasm and spirit of this older division is exceedingly fine. The men are taking a very real interest and show that they mean business.

The physical exercises under the direction of Leon Conary are enjoyed by nearly all the men. This branch of the work is not compulsory and none need stay away because he does not feel up to this work. Each man is privileged to take as much or as little of this work as he wants. Most of the men want it all and apparently enjoy it as much as do the youngsters.

Division A, composed of men between the ages of 18 and 35, promises to develop into an efficient military organization.

Nearly 60 men were in this company recently. Perhaps half of these had been drilling with the Rifle Club for several months. As many more had had practically no drill. Yet the progress made was fine with the officers in charge expressed themselves as very well satisfied with the work of the evening.

The boys under 18 were asked to withdraw because of being under military age. If they will affiliate with the Boy Scouts or any similar organization and present themselves as a unit, there is not much doubt that they will be furnished with instructors if same is requested by a Boy Scout Organization.

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