Founding & History
Lake Island Rifle & Pistol Club was started around 1936 in Carteret NJ by Alan Kirchner and several others who lived on Lafayette Street, located in Carteret's German community. It was for shooting in general, not for the purpose of competition.
Originally, the shooting was done on Lake Island (Isle of Meadows) on the Staten Island side on the Arthur Kill between Fresh Kill and Little Fresh Kill. They would be taken over in Kirchner’s boat the "Pal II". This was before New York City built the Fresh Kills landfill, which was right behind Lake Island. View Map
In 1938, they decided build a more convenient place to shoot so they bought a piece of property on Lafayette Street. On that lot they constructed an eight target range with the bricks from an abandoned linoleum factory on Staten Island located on Fresh Kill. The members moved the bricks to Carteret on Kirchner's boat and brought them by wheelbarrow to the building site. All of the labor was supplied by the members. The eight port range did not have a club room and was heated by a wood stove. Targets and frames were burned as fuel. About 1954, Westvaco bought the range so they could build a new lab on the site.
In about 1955/1956 the present club building was built on Sharot Street. This time the construction was by contractor not members. The first tenant in the apartment was Mitro Fedok, his wife and children for $25 per month. All of the Pine Woodwork was done by Allan Kirchner and John Boraczewski. The bullet trap was rolled down Sharot Street over the rail road tracks and put in the new building which was expanded to ten ports.
Back in 1957, the club was limited to 50 members. You had to be sponsored by another member and be known by other members. The dues were $12.00 per year ($8.00 dues & $4.00 NRA membership). All members were expected to shoot the RVPL (Raritan Valley Pistol League) summer and winter or shoot the 2700 matches. At the time the club had four teams, seven men per team. On RVPL nights, members were expected to work the range and food counter. Our members also shot in the Suburban League.
Sometime in the mid-sixties Alan Kirchner asked Harry Jacobs to start a Junior Rifle Club. Harry organized the Junior Club which is still going today. Under Harry's organizational and coaching skills, the Junior Club has become a real success; our kids win a lot of trophies. The range used to be rented out to the Carteret Police Department, Linden High School, Union High School and Seton Hall Prep Rifle Teams. Sadly, none of these schools have rifle teams today.
The property on the side of the club building was originally owned by a local florist. Alan Kirchner foresaw the time when the land opposite the club would be developed and we would need a parking lot. Club members agreed and after successful negotiation, in the nineteen eighties the club purchased this property now being used as our parking lot.
All of the original members (Kirchner's, Huben, Neuman, Kokolus, Pluta, Brockup and Viveros) have passed.
All this information came from Ed Riley's memory; compiled October 4, 2017.