From Our History Files:

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From The Trail Blazer, January 1941

September 20-21, 1941 Mt. Margaret
Round “Mt. Margaret Circuit” up St. Helen’s Way into a country new to the club. An early morning start from overnight camp at Spirit Lake, a stout 13 mile trip by a fine alpine trail past St. Helen’s Lake, the Dome, the Castle, over Bear Pass to Harmony Falls. By boat across Spirit Lake to starting point. Coffee and tea and fine views furnished. Camera! Total charge $2.50. Register by Friday night with Winona Gulker MU 5796

From the June 1938 Trail Blazer


JULY 2, 3, and 4 -- SOUTH SISTER AND BROKEN TOP FROM GREEN LAKES: South Sister is one of the easier of the major climbs, but is one of the most interesting. From the top a commanding view is obtainable of Oregon’s most scenic country. Opportunity to explore the lake in the crater at the summit will be afforded.

Broken Top is a comparatively easy rock climb. The view from the top gives one a splendid opportunity to see the effect of nature in forming the ruggedness of our country.

Leave Portland Saturday (morning if possible), drive to Sparks Lake, 30 miles out from Bend; pack in to Green Lakes where we will camp. Climbing fee 1.00 for one mountain, $1.50 for both. Transportation $4.50. Register by Thursday, June 30, with Ding Cannon, EA9369.

From November 1940, Trail Blazer

Say, young feller, wuz you at the County Fair up to Nesiky Lodge last Saddy and Sundy?
If you wuzn’t, you missed one of the best gol-derned shindigs them Trail Clubbers has ever throwed. We might-near bust our sides laffin’ at the signs 'n pitchers, and eggzibits by the eggsperts, not ter mention the customs some of ‘em was slicked up in.

That there mayor, Ebenezer Lenzer, seed to it that sump in was poppin' all the time. He just handed over the keys of the place to Hiram Haystack (K. Martin) and Alfalfa Hereford (Mad Russian Thomson), and plenty of snuff was snoosed, and terbaccy chewed before they pin the right color ribbons on the proud-chested winners. The shuriff, a right SMART feller, wuz busy too, seeing that folks was singin’ and not breakin’ jail and just havin’ fun.

Wish you hedn’t missed:

Herb Rasor, handy-andy, cleaner-upper and johnny-on-the-spot.
Christie, in a crazy quilt shirt­ prettier'n a pitcher.
Melvin Becker, champeen "milker" and bell-ringer.
Burt Crary, (one of them Chenani­gens from Salem) whisseling thru his steam shovels‘n such.
Claribel, recognizin’ a Holstein heffer by sayin, "How do do?"
Alf Ross, in boom-time overhauls.
The punchwork boys, right handy with their darnin’ needles.
The prize porker (a guest) an his bust wuz jest full of blue ribbons.
Some of the swellest chow ever ter come outa a grub wagon.
Close harmony on a wettish Point.
Hog Callin’ by the specialists.
George’s orkesstra of sweet 'n sours.
Larry comin’ in from trampin' around, with his arms full of "flora and fauna." Danged if I know what them things be.
Daisy May, with her patriotic braids.
And all the rest of the games, ‘n stunts ‘n hikes ‘n fun.

From July 1988 Trail Blazer

July 12-14 (Tues-Thur) MT YORAN CLIMB (7132’) Class B
Mt.Yoran is located at the north end of the Diamond Peak Wilderness Area and west of Odell Lake. We will drive down and backpack in on Tuesday. We will camp at Divide Lake, located at the base of the two peaks. On Wednesday, we will climb both the north and south peaks. The south peak is a hike up, whereas the north peak is a somewhat more challenging rock scramble. On Thursday, we will hike out and drive home. Call by Thursday, July 7th for additional information and ride-drive instructions.
LEADER: Homer Brock, 397-3362 in St Helens

From September 1988 Trail Blazer

Trips Remembered

Four members and one guest, all experienced backpackers, motored 22 miles past Oakridge to the trail head. We packed in about four miles the same day to Divide Lake, which was to be our “home” for the next three days. We arose not-so-early the second day and hiked up the south peak of Mt. Yoran. After returning to camp, we all took a rest before proceeding to the saddle between the north and south peaks. We inspected the “rock scramble” gulley, with two deciding to proceed and three being content with the view and a rest. All enjoyed the outing, including estimating when the lake would be free of floating ice. On the third day, we hiked out and motored home.

From the Trail Blazer, June 1976

NESIKA – As It Was

Are you planning on going to a Nesika Outing over the Fourth? You may have to give some thought to arranging time, and what to take, but you certainly don’t have to think twice about how to get there. That wasn’t so simple in the Twenties. Getting to Multnomah Falls via the Union Pacific Hiker’s Special was no trick, but it only ran on weekends. If you missed it on the return trip, well --- you walked to Bridal Veil to catch a bus. Since the bus only ran on weekdays, you would be lucky to reach Portland by 11:00 a.m. Monday. However, the biggest job was getting supplies delivered to the lodge. They had to be carted over Palmer Road, a logging road, to Arrington camp. From there they were transferred to wheelbarrows and packs to make the last half mile. How many of us would take the trouble if it required that much effort today?

Interestingly, though not surprising, the use of the Lodge in those pristine days was much greater in proportion to the membership than it is now. There were 450 registered guests in 1929, the same as in 1971

A big attraction was the annual May Day Party, a tradition that seems only recently to have bit the dust. It was a headline event of the Thirties and even the war years did not dim enthusiasm for it. Some 70 members and guests turned out for the 1944 party to enjoy a weekend of good food, dancing, hiking, and loafing. Yes, Nesika has had a good life. May it enjoy many more days.

Mary Mason, Historian in 1976

From the March 1944 Trail Blazer:

April 1-2, Nesika Trail Building Trip - Plans are being made to develop a few more trails from our lodge. Building trails is fun especially with the T.C. gang. Everyone is invited to come up and make his mark. If you can't come for Saturday evening, Sunday morning is still good. Don't be an April fool and miss this trip. Transportation arrangements are important. Call Henry Waespe, TR 1758. (Thanks, Ken)

From the August 1939 Trail Blazer

The Lodge Committee has again made a hit with those who attended the last work trip. Perfect weather, comradeship and a bill-of-fare fit for a king rewarded those present. For a paltry 49c (with a profit of $1.90 to boot) hot cakes, scrambled eggs and bacon, fruit juices and coffee were served for breakfast, and Swiss steak, escalloped potatoes, string beans, beets, green vegetables, rasp­berry cobbler and coffee for dinner. Wait -- That's not all! For the work­ers (no drones allowed), a 10 o'clock pickup of lemonade and strawberry tarts was provided.

From Trail Blazer MARCH 1966: Trails Ahead ...

MARCH 5-6 TYEE BALLOON BUST -- Tyee is humming. The Balloon Bust ski races on Sunday are serious fun - a real challenge and interesting to watch too. Return to Tyee to help crown the winner and enjoy a luscious lunch at 1:00 p.m. (75c unless you took ski lessons). Ray and Leona Schiewe will host this weekend. Register with David or Alice Wagstaff, 774-5426 by Thursday, March 3 at 10:00 p.m.

From THE TRAIL BLAZER May 1966: Trails Trodden

BALLOON BUST -- This year the Balloon Bust turned out to be a real “show your skill” event for the 55 members and guests who were on hand March 6. A challenging course was laid out, the slope packed with the help of Everett Darr’s “Hill Cat”, events well organized, all under the able guidance of our Hill Captain, Bob Steinle, with the help of Jerry Reneau. Darrelyn Tarter took honors in the beginning group. There were two divisions in the intermediate classification; Linda Steinle kept up the family tradition as winner in the first division. Duane Smelser flashed down the slope to capture the prize in the other. Joe Hook showed fine form and speed to walk off with the award in the advanced class. There was a pint-sized demon on the slope - he made it through every gate with a fine show of determination - Mike Smelser by name. Watch for his name at the top in a few years. Racers and guests all returned to Tyee for a delicious lunch and presentation of awards.

A Tidbit from the Past
From the April 1936 Trail Blazer

"Your trip to the Skagit River Project will leave you with memories that will last a life-time", states one of our Board members -- and that, we believe, hits the nail on the head. Anyone who can possibly get away June 14-15 will want to take advantage of this splendid two-day outing. Our mode of transportation to Rockport, Washington, which is 105 miles northeast of Seattle, is still under consideration of the Committee, but from Rockport the Seattle Power and Light Company will be our hosts. Features of the trip are a 23-mile ride on a narrow-gauge scenic railroad up Skagit River to Gorge Camp, an educational tour through the old and new power plants, view of the illuminated cascades of Ladder Creek, a thrilling ride on an inclined railway to the top of Diablo Dam, a 12-mile ride on the Lake, not to mention good food, movies, and a dance. The cost of the trip is $11.00, five of which must be paid by April 25 and the balance not later than May 20. Leader, Art Heusser; assistants, Art Johnson and Darrel Tarter. Darrel’s telephone number is MU 1207. Call him about details.

From The Bulletin – Issued monthly
by the Trails Club of Oregon
March 20, 1930

Considerable effort is being put forth this spring toward making the girls’ dormitory more comfortable and attractive, and it has been decided by the Board of Directors to offer a prize for the best name. The contest is open to all members and everyone is urged to submit something they believe to be suitable.

1. Name to be submitted by members only.
2. Not more than 2 names may be submitted by any one person.
3. Your name and address must accompany your entry, written on separate paper.
4. Contest closes at Midnight, Saturday, April 5, 1930.
5. Mail entries to Trails Club of Oregon, P.O.Box 233. Portland.

Name of winner will be announced in next Bulletin.

From the Bulletin Issued Monthly
by the Trails Club of Oregon
Portland, Oregon. February 15, 1930

February 22-23: A Trip to the Lodge:
This is the first double holiday of the year and will give a fine opportunity to visit the lodge and make a climb of Larch Mountain under winter conditions. As everyone is expected to take care of his own commissary, it will be unnecessary to register. If you cannot come Saturday morning, come Saturday evening or Sunday morning. George Henderson will be the leader, which is an assurance of a good time.

March 2: Ski Trip to Swim, Oregon
Swim, as you know, is just beyond Government Camp on the Mount Hood Highway. Harold Bonebrake will be leader. Those not having transportation please register early; also indicate if you have room for passengers in your car.

January 15, 1930

The Annual Banquet will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Multnomah Hotel, February 8th, at 6:30 P.M. Reservations close Thursday, February 6th.

Tickets may be secured from any member of the Board of Directors or the Entertainment Committee. Per plate, $1.50.

From The Bulletin Issued Monthly by the Trails Club of Oregon

Ho!! For The 1930 New Year's Party

(Take note of the telephone numbers at the end of this piece.)

December 31st and January 1st The Annual New Year’s Party will be held this year at Cascade Lodge located on the Columbia River Highway, one-half mile east of the town of Cascade Locks. Distance, about 45 miles from Portland. A special New Year’s dinner will be served at 7:00 P.M. December 31st. The evening will be spent in dancing and cards. After breakfast, which will be served about 9 o'clock, a short hike of about tw miles will be made to Dry Creek Falls. This is an interesting bit of scenic beauty not often visited. Luncheon will be served at the Lodge at 2 P.M., the party leaving for return to the city about 4 P.M. As accommodations at the Lodge will be limited to 75 persons, it will be necessary to register early in order to insure your being a member of the party. The lodge is very comfortable, with furnace heat, and hot and cold water in every room. The charge for the party, including three meals, bed and dancing party will be $3.25. For those requiring transportation a bus will be chartered. Fare approximately $1.75 round trip. Registrations will close Saturday, December 29th. The Committee in charge kindly requests that everyone register at the earliest possible date. Come and bring your friends.
Register with the Secretary, Esther Butterworth, and Garfield 3551 or with Martin Deragisch, East 7916, or Herman Erren, Garfield 8361.

Start Construction of Tyee Lodge (letter)
June 4, 1989
To Graham Townsend

With the new information you sent I now believe this is an accurate account of the start of Tyee Lodge construction.

Jake and I went to Zigzag Ranger Station on Saturday, June 18 and got permission from the Forest Service to begin work. Then we went on up to Site#3. Laura and I had been there on Memorial Day and had found deep snow. It was surprising, I thought, that Jake and I found that the snow was gone! We hurried home and set up a telephone campaign for people to come and work the next day.

On June 19 considerable effort was devoted to clearing the site. I recall setting up a string line establishing the location of the building and then working to remove all obstacles on that line. I hacked away on one old stump for two or three hours. After the site was cleared we started digging the basement. Digging seemed easy that first day, but as you know, it got tougher as we went down.

Basement excavation was our primary project on June 25 and 26 and on July 2 and 3. We had also planned to excavate on July 4 but we were so nearly finished and so tired that little was done that day. Counting 1/2 day for June 19, the excavation was done in 4 1/2 days! That's hard to believe, but I think it's true.

Then we moved to excavating and pouring the concrete foundation piers and afterward began the framing of the building. Along the way, I think on one of the August week-ends, we built a stone retaining wall inside the basement. Stones for the wall came from the excavation. Remember that we left them there for that purpose?

A bit later, still in August, I think, we added concrete walls all the way around the perimeter of the building and, with lumber, enclosed the space between that wall and the 6 X 8 sills at the base of the main structure. Thus we enclosed the basement.

Was a full basement ever intended? I still doubt that very much. The concrete pier foundations were in the plans all along and I felt we had to keep our excavation well inside those piers to avoid undermining them. That, I believe, accounts for keeping the basement smaller. Actually, the basement area was large enough for our needs. The space there was adequate for the furnace and fuel storage.

I am still curious as to what was done in 1958 when the old basement was enlarged. Were the sides lined with concrete block walls? Were the original foundation piers left in place? Do new concrete block walls bear any of the weight of the building?

I would value critique of the foregoing, Graham, and any knowledge you might have about the 1958 changes.


From The Bulletin, June 15, 1929

If you like to sit around a Campfire, here is your chance. We have been invited to join the Mazamas on Wednesday evening, June 19. Take Willamette Hts.car, or drive your machine to Rugby St. Be there at 8 P.M. sharp. Short hike to Inspiration Point. Bring flashlight; also auto robe or cushion. Wear oxfords or comfortable shoes. Hiking clothes should be worn by any who wish to hike after the campfire. There will be an unusually fine program.

The Bulletin of the - Trails Club of Oregon - April 15, 1929

Trip to the Lodge -- April 21: It’s going to be a good trip, and a little work won’t hurt you, there’ll be fun too. Thelma will demonstrate the most approved way to spill the gravy and Ed Sucher has new trousers for the mop-up. Meals $1.00.

The Educational committee is going to give us another chance to remove some of the dumbness. They are going to take us through the Oregonian plant and show us how a newspaper is made. Wednesday, April 24, 8:30 P.M.

SCHEDULE: May 22 - Two nice looking young ladies are going to take us for a moonlight stroll. Yes – I’d prefer two moonlight strolls with one young lady on each, but the Chairman of the Outing committee is an old married man.

Quite a party made the trip to Larch. They didn’t get much of a view, but everyone had a good time. George Henderson parked his breakfast on the stove to keep warm - it got too hot to hold – Faw down, and went B-O-O-M.

Garry Desiata was experimenting on how to fall down while standing still on skis and suffered a broken bone in his wrist. Can’t hike for a little whi1e, which is hard luck.

The Treasure Hunt Trip was a big success, with the largest turnout ever 187. I have one little suggestion for leaders of this kind of trip in the future. Kindly arrange to have the shivers removed from the
Atmosphere during the lunch hour. I didn’t get a prize, and am going to charge Fred Steeble more for space from now on.

The Trail Blazer, June 1944
June 24-25

Salmon River Falls - This is the feature trip of the Year. Salmon River Falls are rarely visited because they are so inaccessible. The only other record of a trip there is one many years ago led by our present leader. This hike was featured in the Oregonian with many pictures taken on the trip. This time we again plan to visit all three falls and want to get some good pictures, so please bring your cameras. It is necessary to limit the number to thirty so register early. This is an overnight trip with a pack-in of 2 or 2½ miles so make your pack as light as you can. It is preferable to leave Portland in the afternoon but some late cars will be driving. Register by Friday

(Earlier is suggested) with the leader, Henry Waespe, TR 1758. Return trip driving distance, 90 miles. Total trip expense, $1.15.

From Trail Blazer: July 1937 - AUGUST 22 - NIGHT CLIMB OF MT. HAMILTON:

A different way to trod upon the trail up Mt. Hamilton. The moonbeams filtering down through the trees, the sparkling rush of waters of beautiful Rodney Falls, the Columbia River Gorge bathed in the silvery moonlight, makes a picture that one will never forget. Bring flashlights and enough money to have breakfast before returning home in the morning. Register by Friday evening with Margaret Hoglund, BE 4548. Bring no lunch but eat a good meal before meeting the group at SW Sixth and Alder at midnight. Fare 90¢, trip charge 10¢.

From The Trail Blazer, November 1936:
Instead of being mere trail walking some of our past hikes have been exciting adventures. On the Salmon River Falls trip we built bridges. On the Greenleaf Falls trip the second section of the party had built a fire, rationed out the food and prepared to spend the night when some efficient scouts from the first section found them and inconsiderately dragged them back to civilization about 2:00 A.M. It was here, too, that the thrill of following a trail in utter darkness was experienced. We strongly recommend that anyone going that way in the future carry some poison oak preventative with them.

The Trail Blazer, August 1939 - To Nesika:
There's a place I know where I love to go and it's off the beaten path, Where the ice and snow and the cold wind blow, and the tempest shows its wrath. It's a sweet retreat from the busy street; it's a rest from toil and strife. It's the kind of spot where you live a lot and can get the most from life. No, it's not a dream nor an idle scheme that was born to a restless mind, Though it is ideal, it is also real and a place any man can find. Yes, I love to roam to the Trails Club home, to Nesika place of birth; And I love to stay -- just to work and play with the best of friends on earth.
By Larry Upson

The Trail Blazer, June 1943 - Hamilton Mountain:
A train ride, wild onions, flowers, water falls, and good weather were features of the April 18 climb of Hamilton Mountain. Four hikers, Ed Hughes (Mazama), Pop Hildreth, Ruth Woughter, and Graham Townsend, boarded a train which pulled out of the Union Station at 9 A. M., got off the train at Skamania, Washington, and hiked into the Beacon Rock State Park, where they met Eva Arrington, who had come across the river to see "the gang." Eva, resting from a blood bank donation, had not intended to go on the hike; however, with Pop urging, "Come on up to the falls, Eva; it's just a little way," and "Come on up to the shoulder (Little Hamilton), Eva, it's not much farther" -- well, you know Pop's persuasive ways. Eva went all the way to the top. After lunch on top of Hamilton, Pop hastened the descent with such remarks, as "We haven't much time "and" Cut across here (Tsk! Tsk!); Pop just didn't see any point in missing the train and Skamania-ing over night, so he saw to it that the train pulled out with the gang on it.

The Trail Blazer, June 1939 - Nesika Lodge:
It has been nearly two decades since a small and enthusiastic group of members determined that a home for the Trails Club would be beneficial. While gathered around the campfires and at weekly luncheons they talked about a home for the Club. The establishment of a mountain home eventually met with approval and, because the Trails Club had its inception on the summit of Larch Mountain, the territory surrounding this famous peak was selected as the logical place for a mountain home.

More than a year was spent in searching this area before the spot in the Columbia River Highlands, upon which Nesika Lodge now stands, was found. To Herman Erren, George Bickel and Fred Steeble, who formed the first Lodge Committee, the Club pays a tribute for their far-reaching vision in choosing this spot. Ground was broken and construction started on the Lodge in 1922. Bus service terminated at Bridal Veil and it was necessary either to walk from there or to take the Union Pacific Hikers' Special, which ran each weekend from Portland. On Sunday afternoon this train left The Falls at 4:15 P. M. and, if you missed it, you were in for an additional 3-mile walk to Bridal Veil and, with good luck; you could reach Portland by 11 o'clock Monday morning.

Not withstanding the hardships and inconveniences, each weekend members came to help. All supplies and materials for the Lodge were carted over the old Palmer Road, a tortuous logging road, full of mud holes and broken puncheons, to the Arrington Ranch

From there they were taken over the last half-mile in packs and wheelbarrows. The Club Roster still carries the names of some of the men and women who helped pack materials on their backs from the Basin to the Lodge site.

During the excavation, a huge rock was encountered. This was blasted and the fragments used to build the fireplace. Construction proceeded rapidly; and as the building neared completion, a name was selected in keeping with Western tradition. The Indian word "Nesika," meaning "Our," was finally chosen and today the phrase "Nesika Lodge" is familiar to the members and to many others.

Nesika Lodge was dedicated in October 1924 and with the passing of the years, it stands out, beckoning those who tread the mountain trails to stop and enjoy.

Down Memory Lane

The Bulletin
Issued monthly by the Trails Club of Oregon
Portland, Oregon June 23. 1930

Steamboat: Excursion and Picnic Sunday, June 29, 1930

Write the date on the wall with chalk, red if you have it! -- burn it into your wife's best tablecloth so she'll remind you of it! -- carve it into your desk! -- have it tattooed on your chest, where you'll see it every morning! -- anyway, see to it that you don't forget that the Trails Club Annual Steamboat Excursion and Picnic will be held next Sunday, June 29th.

The Steamer "Undine" has again been chartered for the occasion, and from all indications this picnic should be the best ever. This year we are going to Lady Island, about 3½ hours ride from Portland, down the Willamette and up the Columbia River. Because of low water condition in the river this year, the Island is in much better condition than it was when we visited there two years ago.

The Island is ideal for holding a picnic such as this, -- there is plenty of room for games, races, etc., a sandy beach and good swimming. There will be dancing on the boat both going and coming. We shall leave the Island late in the afternoon and go up the Columbia towards Cascade Locks before returning home, which will give us a nice long evening on the river. The boat will dock at Portland about 9 P. M.

Bring your own lunch, -- enough for two meals. Coffee, tea and sugar will be furnished free by the Club: ice cream and cold drinks sold on the boat. This will give you an opportunity to take the family and your friends for a most unusual and pleasant-day's outing at a very nominal expense. Tickets are $1.00, children under twelve, 50¢.

Tickets may be secured from any member of the Board of Directors, or from S. Thouvenel, 108 West Park.

DON'T FORGET -- The date -- Sunday, June 29th.
The time -- 8:30 A. M.
The place -- Foot of East Washington Street.

Historical Materials Shared:
Mountain climbing was popular with many Trails Club members in the 1930s. Frequently climbers were also members of the Mazamas and the two organizations enjoyed a number of joint adventures and activities.

June Smeltser, Trails Club Historian, has made a 1930s, 16mm motion picture by climber, Herb Rasor, available to the Mazamas Archives for duplication. The Mazamas had copies made in VHS format and provided a copy to the Trails Club.

Ken Becker, former Historian, donated Mazamas memorabilia saved by his father, Mel Becker, a Mazama member. In addition, Mel had saved and meticulously bound all of the Trail Blazers publication dated from 1928. Ken made these available for duplicating. Three copies were made — one to supplement the Trails Club’s collection and one to be donated to the Oregon Historical Society. This helps ensure long-term preservation of this historically significant publication.

The Mazamas wish to extend our appreciation to June and Ken for their consideration and generous donation of time.-- Barbara Marquam, Archives Director, Mazamas

The Bulletin, issued monthly by the Trails Club of Oregon, January 15, 1930
You will recall that last month the Entertainment Committee asked that we “hold everything” for January 18th for the Trails Club‘s first social evening of the
New Year – here it is:
Avast, you land lubbers, come shake yo’ feet Saturday evening, that’s the eighteenth.
On the Battleship “Oregon,” you may slide and glide, or walk through the ship, led by a guide.
An opportunity is afforded you to inspect this historical battleship. Good music, good floor, and refreshments. Cards for those who prefer that diversion.
Dancing: 8:30 to midnight. Tickets 50¢