CT Trail Rides Association
History of the C.T.R.A.
The Connecticut Trail Rides Association was first established in 1940 as Camp Wilcox in Cornwall Connecticut. The first piece of information available about CTRA is a mailing list from 1943. There were 265 people on the list but it is unclear if these people were members. There is no record of any meetings from 1940 to 1945.
The first recorded annual meeting was held in 1946 at the West Hartford Country Club. Twenty members were present. That meeting established the first Bridle Trails Committee. The officers at that time were President James Parker, Vice President Nathan Podoloff, Secretary Sylvia Gardner, and Treasurer Helen Poynton.
Camp Wilcox was leased at the time and had two tents for campers. One for women and one for men. Water had to be hand carried into the camp and horses were tied out in the open. A kitchen was out in the open as well. Around 1950, Mr. Parker and Myron Boardman attempted to buy Camp Wilcox but they were turned down by the State Forest and Park Association. They were told to look for other available land close to good riding country. In 1951 it cost 25 cents for any twenty four hour use of the facilities at Camp Wilcox and the membership was only $1.00.
In 1952 a motion was made and seconded that a proposed amendment be made to the constitution to raise the dues to $2.00 per year and that 50 cents of it be put into a sinking fund for the camp. The motion was passed but did not go into effect until January 1st. 1956.
In 1957 the club reported having 114 members but no list can be found.
In 1960 the club official colors were announced as black and yellow which were shown at the Eastern States Exposition.
June 23rd. 1961 Camp Boardman on 81 Eli Bunker Rd. in Goshen CT. was purchased for the sum of $2500.00 and at the time was called West Goshen Camp.
In 1961 a motion was made by Al Hastings to raise membership fees for adults from $2.00 to $3.00, Jr. memberships up to age 14 from 50 cents to $1.50, and family memberships to $6.00.
1961 was when the barns, pole type pavilion, toilets were discussed and started to be put up. The roads and buildings were not completed until around 1963.
1963 started the mailing of the CTRA bulletin four times per year, highlighting the meetings and general club news. Helen Emigh, Betty Hastings, and Jackie Pariseailt were in charge.
1963 started the CTRA life membership proposed by Al Hastings because the camp needed a well and it would cost around $1,000.00. So the proposal was that the first 10 members to send in their $100.00 would receive a camp life membership which included a lot and a horse stall.
It is unclear how many members there really were in this time frame because there is no membership record.