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Historic Marker One Step Closer

Word was received today from the NH Division of Historical Resources that the state has finished their draft of the wording for the proposed 1st Paintball Game Historic Marker to be installed at the site of the first game, held in 1981 in Henniker, NH.

The proposed text is different from what was originally submitted, but still carries the basic and vital information.  Copies of the draft have been sent to a number of individuals within the industry to seek their input.

The Text of the proposed wording (for a two-sided sign) is reproduced below.  If you’ve got anything to say, now is the time, since changes to this draft will be the last changes before installation.

One more step to go after this!



Based loosely on the children’s game “capture the flag” and Richard Connell’s story “The Most Dangerous Game,” paintball was the collaboration of Robert Gurnsey, Charles Gaines, and Hayes Noel. The original game involved capturing four flags in different quadrants without getting tagged by a competitor with an air-powered tree-marking gun loaded with paint pellets. Originally sold in kits as “The Survival Game,” paintball has become an internationally-recognized and played sport.



On June 27, 1981, 12 players were invited to “The First Annual Survival Game.” The players were: Lionel Atwill, Ken Barrett, Bob Carlson, Joe Drinon, Charles Gaines, Jerome Gary, Robert Gurnsey, Bob Jones, Hayes Noel, Carl Sandquist, Ronnie Simkins, and Richie White. White, a New Hampshire resident, was the winner. Gurnsey established the first commercial paintball field in Sutton, NH and founded the industry’s first manufacturing and distribution company in New London, NH.

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