The Club

The El Paso Amateur Radio Club was formed in May 1946. The first president elected was Bill Dickerson, W5JOT. Former members of the Transmitting Amateurs Association (TAA) assisted in the organization of the new club. The TAA was organized in 1927 and was active until the start of World War Two.
A building fund was commenced in March 1949. Approximately $7,000 donations to the fund were made through selling chances on a Chevrolet sedan. This project netted about $4,000. On June 19, 1949 Field Day was held at Cowboy Park (then located on Alameda Avenue). There were eight amateur radio transmitters in operation, including transmitters of EPARC and the US Naval Reserve. The prize drawing for the Chevrolet and other prizes were held during the Field Day Activates. An estimated crowd of 2,000 people attended the drawing. In July 1949, the constitution and bylaws of the El Paso Amateur Radio Club were approved. The club was incorporated on December 12, 1949. The new club immediately started radio classes, radio demonstrations and field trips such as the trip to White Sands Missile Range to observe the firing of a German V2 missile. The club continued to add to the building fund by raffles and auctions. Due to the generosity of Henry Woolridge of the Lone Star Motor Company, the property at 1501 Golden Hill Terrace was purchased at the bargain price of $1,000 in 1951. Records are not available on the cost of the building, but the building was constructed by the John Chamness Contraction Company at no profit. The materials used in the construction were also furnished at cost. The members of the club did all the painting, put up the ceiling, laid the floor tile and furnished chairs and tables. The antenna tower was donated and erected by Tex Burdick W5BQU. The club has operated a Club Station since it was organized. From 1947 to 1950 the club call was W5MGI. The club call was W5PEW form 1951 to 1954. From 1954 to the present the club call has been W5ES.

In the spring of 1985 an offer was made to the Officers and Trustees which allowed W5ES to have a larger, more accessible clubhouse. A local businessman offered to build a new club house in exchange for the old smaller one which was next to his home. Several sites were investigated and an agreement was finally reached. The new Clubhouse was built with paved off street parking about a mile east of the old location at a site almost 1000 feet higher up the mountain.
There is a large meeting room which is separate from the radio room and the workshop. The facility also has a kitchen and a storage room. The 48 foot free standing ROHN tower was also erected as part of the deal. On November 5, 1985 the new clubhouse, with a commanding view of El Paso and Juarez Mexico, the new club was dedicated. The event was attended by local dignitaries including the Mayor of El Paso, Suzie Azar.