Amherst Meadowlarks Motorcycle Club
Address: 6600 Crosse Rd, Amherst, OH 44001
Mailing Address: PO Box 83 Amherst Oh 44001
Amherst Meadowlarks MC History
By: Dane Leimbach
President: Dan Holub
Vice President: Grant Sirow
Secretary: Angie Widener
Treasurer: Bobbi Holub
Trustee: Bob Albrecht
Trustee: Brian Widener
Trustee: Jeff Buchannan
Supporters: Members, Sponsors, Racers, Spectators
After World War II, the economy of the United States began to grow dramatically, because of the production capabilities that the U.S. workers provided to support our troops in the European and Asian theaters. Here in the Amherst area, there were a number of motorcyclists that would gather at Bud Ernst’s Shell gas station, just east of down town Amherst, to talk about their machinery and experiences. After numerous discussions, these gentlemen made a decision to create a club of motorcyclists, called The Amherst Meadowlarks Motorcycle Club.
The first formal meeting of the Club, was held at the gas station on Thursday, October 21, 1954. At that meeting, John Penton was elected President, Ted Penton Vice President, Jerry Flock secretary, Henry Ernst treasurer and James Evans publicity officer. Also at the meeting, were Starling Hunt, Joe Ellison, Elmer Reichert, and Ike Penton.
During the meeting, a motion was made to purchase a 25 acre piece of property from Omer and Mildred Quigley. This is the property where the Club exists on Crosse Road in Amherst today. Another motion was made that beginning in November of 1954, that the Club meetings will be held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, at 9:00 pm. The dues of the members were voted to be $1.00 per month. In order to raise enough money to purchase the property, each member agreed to purchase 1 share of the Club, for $50.00. Further discussion on the subject was held in regards to selling a members stock, and a decision was made that stock could not be sold unless the Club members would agree to the sale.
There was no further business to be discussed and the meeting was adjourned. Refreshments were served by Ted Penton and Jerry Flock. The next meeting was to be held on Tuesday, October 26, 1954 at Starling Hunt’s house.
Shortly after purchasing the property, the Club constructed a driveway from Cooper Foster Park Road into the property and built a building on the west end of the property where they held their meetings. The gate off Cooper Foster Park Road under the high tension power lines, was where the original driveway to the Clubhouse existed.
After a couple of years, Ohio Edison was planning to put some power lines across the property, and the Club sold part of the property to Ohio Edison, and then built the new clubhouse where it is today. The roof of the original building, was removed from the structure, and moved to the new building and the remainder of the building was torn down. If you go back into the woods on the west end of the club grounds, you will find a concrete slab that was the floor of the original clubhouse.
In 1962, the Ohio Department of Transportation was planning to build a new highway which was going to pass through the club grounds, and the Club lost part of their property where State Route 2 sits today. The original driveway to the present clubhouse, was on the south side of the building, where the highway sits and when ODOT built Route 2, they built the driveway that is the access to the property today.
The very first race track at the Club’s property, was actually being built on the west end of the property, but when Ohio Edison wanted to purchase the west end of the property, the Club decided to build the scrambles track on the east end. The initial track was built in 1956, way before motocross was a sport in the United States. Scrambles were basically a smooth track with a hill or two in the track and there were no events when it rained.
The first motocross track was built on the property, in the early 1970's, after the Meadowlarks assisted John Penton when put the InterAm event in New Philadelphia in 1969.
The Club also put on a number of hare scrambles around the Club grounds, including the quarry area between Quarry Road and Crosse Road near the railroad tracks.
When the Club was first formed, the organization was not just all about racing machines, because most of the members had street bikes. There were a number of poker runs and field events with the street bikes on the property. Today, the Club still puts on a single poker run that has been done since when the Club was created in 1954.
At one time, the Meadowlarks restricted the membership to 25 members, and after the Club needed more assistance, the membership was bumped up to 50 members. Today, the membership limit is up to 125 members as well as the life members, who have been in the Club for 25 years or longer.
There are only three of the initial Charter members of the Club still alive and they have been gracious to provide much of this information.