Just over 80 years ago, Representative James E. VanZandt announced that President Roosevelt approved a WPA rifle range project at Chief Logan Lodge in Riggles Gap, an appropriation of $3,820. The plans called for construction of a target pit, firing platform, shelter building and road.
This announcement was made in early January 1939, work began in early April and it was dedicated on June 24th of the same year with record crowds participating in one of the biggest shooting matches in years. The new range had a covered firing platform with a registration building immediately behind. According to an article in the Altoona Mirror June 22, 1939, “The new range, one of the finest in the state, is up-to-date in every way and has a target trolley, telephone system and all the latest improvements.”
The article also states, “The target pit is 24 feet long, 12 feet deep, and 12 feet wide allowing for 6 stationary targets and the disappearing bear target. The targets will rise five feet above the breast of the pit and will be automatically dropped back after having been “shot”.
Many years have passed since the dedication. The target pit was filled in sometime prior to the 1960’s. The range was expanded to 200 yards and a few years ago, a gong was put out at 300 yds. Unfortunately little has been done to the original building and repairs are needed.