The club began in 1969, with two dozen members or so. At that time, it was mainly a snowmobile club. It had no grooming equipment. Members drove their machine partially through fields and a lot of road riding back then. Those days, the hot spots were going to Martintown and Dundee.
An old school bus was used as the first clubhouse. It was on property owned by Lilliane Marleau near Richmond Road. It is now owned by Jack Warden.
The first president of the club was Lou Marleau.
In 1971, an addition was put into the old school bus. At that time, Dwayne Hollingsworth became president for the next 2 seasons. In seasons 1973-74 and 1974-75, things were quiet around the club.
For the upcoming season of 1975-76 members decided to build a new clubhouse. All material needed was donated by various people. It was mostly used lumber. This clubhouse was built on Noel Casgrain's property, with his permission, located off of Summerstown Road. There was no charge for the use of the land. As a returned favor, the Casgrain Family was given a "Lifetime" membership to the club.
In 1976, the club purchased an Alpine to start grooming a few local trails.
In June 1978, since the club now had a clubhouse, grooming equipment and more members it was becoming a more serious organization. So, at that time the club was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
In the winters of 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982, The Glendaler's Winter Sports Club members put on a winter carnival for the area. At that time, Lou Marleau was president for 1978-79 and 1979-80. Percy Gadbois was president for 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons. Molson and Labatt's were big sponsors for these events. These carnivals went on for 3 days. Approximately 5,000 people would attend the activities over the 3 day period. Most of the events and activities were done on the St. Lawrence River. It was a huge success. Unfortunately, due to the mild winters following, they could no longer make it happen.
Around 1983-84, an addition was put on to the clubhouse.
After grooming with the Alpine for some years, the Club decided to work along with the Seaway Valley Snowmobile Club. They had better grooming equipment.
In 1987, when that situation was no longer convenient for the club and the membership being around 80 families, the club decided to buy their first groomer. The money needed was loaned to the club by ten of its members. This money was paid back in full to each individual.
As years go by and memberships keep getting better and more kilometers of trails are groomed, some members felt it was time to make a change in our grooming equipment. In the fall of 1997, a newer and bigger groomer was purchased to do the job. It was a 1986 Ford tractor on tracks, along with a drag.
This machine was also purchased with monies that was borrowed from eleven people. It was all paid back in full by January 1999.
As membership grew to about 230 families and the existing clubhouse was in very poor condition, a new clubhouse was built during the summer of 2000. This time, mostly new materials were purchased with the exception of some windows and doors. It should be good for many years to come. The club had a raffle to help raise funds for the new clubhouse, along with membership fees. This building is now located off of Summerstown Road on the South Glengarry Township's property.
Since the fall of 2000, the club has the rights to groom trails on the old C.P. Railway (Peanut Line) and also on the Hydro Lines.
In the fall of 2001, the members agreed to purchase a newer groomer and drag, since we no longer felt the other one would meet the demand of all our trails. Once again, this machine was purchased with loans from its members. A portion was donations from various corporate sponsors and some of the clubs funds were used. At this time, approximately 45% of the debt has been paid back.
The season 2001-2002, once again gives us a new trail from C.P. track (Peanut Line) just west of Lancaster running to Alexandria.
With all these new trails, we groom approximately 140 kilometers. This accommodates many new members. At this time, we have about 395 families that are members who can enjoy these trails through nature.
Due to the mild weather and lack of snow for many winters, most of our members have gone from snowmobiling to ATVing. The percentage is about 80% ATVs and 20% snowmobiles.
This season of 2002-2003, the club has its first female president.
The Glendaler's Winter Sports Club became high tech when they launched their website on the Internet on January 2002.
Since then, over 1,000 visitors have checked us out!
Many good times have been had in the past and hopefully many good memories will be made in the years to come.
All of these years of success are due to past and present executives, and club members who put many hours of their time VOLUNTARILY to get where the club is today.
A great big THANK YOU to "ALL WHO HAVE HELPED THE CLUB TO GROW"! Keep up the good work!
PS: The club has monthly meetings from early fall until spring. The club puts on various activities such as Poker Runs, Observation Runs, Family Fun Day, BBQs, Maple Taffy Day and Pot Luck Suppers. The club also organizes special rides to raise funds to help local charities such as the Snowarama for the Easter Seal Kids, Ride Against Crime for the Crime Stoppers and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).
Written by: Monique Rosa
Dated: September 2002