Lazy 5 Regional Park
7100 Pyramid Way, Sparks, NV 89436 (click here to view a map)
Park Ranger Office: (775) 424-1866
In 1950, the renowned Smiths gambling family purchased Jabberwock Gun Club, located on the Pyramid Lake Highway in what today is Spanish Springs, and renamed it Harolds Trapshooting Club. “For more than two decades, [it] was where the elite met to compete,” according to the Trapshooting Hall of Fame website. The Smith patriarch, Raymond I. (“Pappy”) had been instrumental in getting the trapshooting club established. He and Charlie Mapes each had donated $2,500 to secure the building, and Pappy subsequently invested $24,000 into developing the facilities.
Upon opening, they included 12 traps, eight skeet fields and two flyer fields along with a lounge, sundeck, dining room, bar and locker rooms. Later, cases displayed guns of famous trapshooters like Fred Etchen and Arnold Riegger, and the walls showcased hundreds of photos of event attendees. Eventually, the fields would number 32. Pappy also added gambling and a bar to the “gun club,” as it was called familiarly among Harolds Club employees.
Of the three Harolds Club owners, Harold S., Sr. was involved in developing and hosting the inaugural Golden West Grand, the first major Amateur Trapshooting Association tournament, in 1952. He dreamt up the trophy of an engraved, silver belt buckle containing a historic $20 gold piece. At the events, he’d often pass out gifts to shooters and guests. One year he distributed 1,000 white Stetson cowboy hats; another year, it was slot machine-shaped bottles filled with Jim Beam. He’d give rides to contestants’ wives and children up and down the yard line in a yellow dune buggy or on his motorcycle while decked out in a New York Yankees uniform and cowboy hat.
Harolds Trapshooting Club closed on June 30, 1979, when the casino and the landlord of the gun club property failed to agree on terms for a new lease.