Article Written by Tammy Whitacre, staff reporter | Wayne Post, Wayne County’s NEWS source.
Wayne County Motorcycle Club co-founder Don Cole Sr. was riding his motorcycle into his 90s and was a faithful club member until the day he died at 100 years old.
It was that kind of passion that has helped the club endure for some 75 years.
On Sunday, Oct. 17, The Wayne County Motorcycle Club invites guests to an open house from 9 a.m. to noon as club members celebrate this milestone anniversary. Photographs and items of local motorcycling history dating back to the late 1920s will be on display. Guests can enjoy looking at the memorabilia over coffee and donuts and then take a scenic fall foliage motorcycle tour along the east side of Seneca Lake. The club house is located on Route 31, just east of Walmart in Newark.
The club was founded around 1928 by Don Cole Sr., Ken Manges, Ray Custer, Elmer Draves, Carl Yost, Al Stout, Gerald Reiter, Leroy Palmer, Kenneth Day, and Albert Boutelieger.
“They were just a bunch of guys who hung out together and loved motorcycles,” Club Historian James Mills Sr. said.
In 1935, the club became chartered No. 130 with the American Motorcycle Association.
They first met in a roadside diner located on Old Route 31, Mills said. After becoming chartered and with the new Route 31 complete between Newark and Lyons, the club purchased a small pie-shaped piece of property for a mere $8. Little did they know the structure they would build on that property, they would still call home 75 years later.
The clubhouse itself is an old construction shack that was used by the contractors who built the new Route 31, Mills said. Originally located where the Wayne County Highway Department is now, the small building was slated for demolition. The club was given the building under the condition they would have to move it. So members got together and dismantled it — a project that proved easier than expected, as the building was built mostly out of large panels that were bolted together, Mills said.
The contractor generously moved the panels to the club’s property, but dropped the building off on the north side of the road, and the club property was on the south side. Being an enterprising bunch of guys, Mills said, they made some rollers out of logs, hooked up the ropes to their Harleys, Indians, and Hendersons and pulled the panels across the road for re-assembly.
Today, the club supports both on and off road motorcyclists, Mills said. With 40 active members, all that is required to join is a love for motorcycles. The club is also among the top 10 oldest motorcycle clubs in the U.S.
Over the years, the club has left its mark on Wayne County. They hold the Bikers Ball to support the Humane Society of Wayne County, Ride for Red to support Wayne County disaster relief and poker runs for the American Cancer Society. They also take part in Toys for Tots and donate toys to the Newark Wayne Community Hospital for children hospitalized during Christmastime. The club was always known for previously hosting the Newark Enduro, current events include ATV drag racing, a hillclimb, and an adventure tour over the dirt roads of New York that is gaining popularity.
This was printed in 2010 and anything mentioned is not a current event. This Wayne Post document used with permission 3/5/2014