The History of the Founding of the Trails Club of Oregon

By Charles Paul Keyser, sometime Superintendent of Parks of Portland, Oregon, and an old-time member of the Club.

Transcribed by Ken Becker 10/9-11/6/2004 from an original located in the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, “Manuscript 1605, Volume 7, Trails Club of Oregon Records collection” written in 1953.

The history of the Trails Club of Oregon begins with a lantern slide lecture delivered by Samuel C. Lancaster before the Progressive Businessmen’s Club of Portland Oregon on January 28, 1915. The Columbia River Highway from Troutdale on the Sandy River to the Multnomah County line, a notable promotion that Lancaster had been intimately connected with, was virtually complete. As J. B. Yeon, one of the builders remarked, “now she speaks for herself”. But Lancaster and others continued to do a lot of speaking for her and the scenic beauties of the gorge thus made accessible to automobile travel. It will be remembered that about that time touring by automobile had become a national pastime. Because Lancaster became the first President of the Trails Club of Oregon, and is given credit for touching off and christening it, some characteristic traits of the man may be of interest in this connection. He had come a long way up from his native Tennessee to the City of Roses through the medium of publicity for the Hill Great Northern interests. Jim Hill had recently completed the North Bank Railroad from Portland to Spokane, Golden Spiked March 1, 1908 at M.P. 50 ½. Particularly Lancaster was a proteje of Samuel Hill, the husband of Mary Hill, the daughter of James J. Hill the Great Northern “Empire Builder”. Samuel Hill, along with his passions for the Mary Hill Museum where his ashes repose on the brink of the Horse-heaven country high above the Columbia, and for hobnobbing with royalty all over Europe, was an enthusiast and pioneer demonstrator of the good roads movement in America, with his own well conceived ideas of how and where roads should be built. From his Mary Hill height above the North bank, he got the vision of a highway on the Oregon side skirting the bluffs of the bold scenery of the great gorge of the Columbia through the Cascade Mountains. And recalling what he had seen in the Alps, he dispatched Lancaster to Europe to take items preliminary to projecting a route. Then a brace of retired “timber barons”, J.B. Yeon and Simon Benson became intensively interested and joined forces to lend their influence and constructive ability. They built Lancaster a Corniche (Cornice) along the cliff running down to Crown Point, the Latourelle Loops a little farther down, and a tunnel with five windows to see the Columbia River through, at Mitchell’s Point. This latter was designed to outrival the celebrated tunnel of the Axenstrasse said to boast of but three side portals. These were only a few of the notable features of the scenic highway which became renowned. Benson who had made a fortune in timber operations on the Lower Columbia, had bought Wahkeena intending to build himself a retreat, but with the prospect of the highway he thought it should be publicly owned. Not only that, but he bought Multnomah Falls to go with it and in 1915 donated both to the City of Portland – eight hundred acres of high class scenery that was very properly named Benson Park. The first mile or so of the Larch Mountain Trail, that is: up to the puncheon bridge, was laid in Benson Park. The trail was built in 1915 and became the “front way” to Nesika Lodge which was built not until 1924.

By 1915 this great exploitation of the scenery of the Columbia Gorge had been virtually achieved, the highway in Multnomah County finished. Following Benson’s donation other parks along the highway came into being – Crown Point, Talbot Park, Shepperd’s Dell, Ainsworth. Other acquisitions into public ownership designated as recreational, were added later, notably Oneonta Gorge and Horsetail Falls, and McLaughlin Park near St. Peter’s Dome. Benson became the first Chairman of the newly created Oregon State Highway Commission and continued to give great impetus to the good roads movement in Oregon, while Yeon reverted to the enterprises he had previously engaged in. Samuel Hill was not sticking around, and Lancaster was left to occupy himself in producing a hand-illumined book, and otherwise glamorizing the Oregon Country through the medium of illustrated lectures. [Note* Lancaster has included Sam Jackson, Publisher of the Oregon Journal in a tribute written in 1930 in these words: “Three Sams: Sam Jackson, Sam Hill, and Sam Lancaster, sat around a table at the west portal of the Columbia Gorge, and outlined their plans for promoting and building the first great highway in the Oregon Country:. The first unit, (Multnomah County, 39 miles) cost $1,683,854. according to Lancaster.]

Lancaster was a large man with plenty of “presence”; and he had the touch. In fact it might seem fair to say that a marvelous touch was his principal stock in trade. He had even had a touch of poliomyelitis that had affected his gait somewhat, but had not spoiled his noticeably as a diplomat. He was the sort of a diplomat that belongs with the speech and manners of a gentleman of the South. His was a persuasive method always; an argumentative, never…. He never descended to any mean statement of the truth. It was images and imagery that he gave forth. Your successful lecturer will retail the truth colored or exaggerated, or the truth ridiculous, or the gospel truth. Nobody will flock to listen to the ungarnished or unplastered truth.

In 1915 there was a great War raging in Europe, and thousands more business men in America than could find expression in Rotary and Kiwanis, were belonging to noon lunching clubs. Keen on the scent of war prosperity ans what it might afford, all were nothing if not Boosters of Something. And of course it was customary to have a Speaker. Lancaster was the speaker at the meeting of the Progressive Business Men’s Club of Portland held on January 28, 1915. He portrayed the magnificence of Larch Mountain with its commanding view of the Columbia Gorge so effectively, that printer Henry R. Hayek, lunch clubber extraordinary, popped up and proposed that the Progressive Business Man’s Club progress - - in this instance by undertaking to make this great footstool of Mt.Hood accessible to the scenery-hungry public, and by all means fan its fame. That move got Hayek appointed chairman of a committee of five keen and eager spirits. The others were Jacob Kenzler, J.P.Jaeger, G.F.Peek, andT.H.Sharrard. Anon in March, when it looked like there was not too much snow remaining, they organized an expedition twentytwo strong, including representatives of the Mazamas, the Portland Advertising Club, engineers, newspaper reporters and others. They arranged to be taken by truck on a rainy night from Bridal Veil to Palmer, but the truck could not negotiate the steep grade loaded, and they had to walk a good bit of the distance. They spent the night at Palmer, and next morning March 14, starting at 7-30 a.m., they marched over the ridge and down Big John Creek, to what they described as the east fork of Multnomah Creek, thence down the canyon to the crest of the high fall, back a bit and over and down the cliff to the railway station, where they flagged The Dalles local and returned to Portland. There is a rather full account of this trip, written by Earl Godwin who was a member of the party, in the Oregonian of March 15, 1915. It appears that Lancaster and his assistant, W.H. Hoeffel had scouted this trip a few days previously, and allowed they were the first white men to traverse it. That should make colored folks out of quite a few less colorful deer hunters, surveyors, and others who had been up and down and across Coon Creek canyon, as designated in the Government land surveyors’ field notes, dating back to 1852. But let it pass. If Columbus discovered America it may be fair enough to aver that Lancaster discovered Multnomah Creek back of the falls, for he told the world about it.

Goodwin reports that Hoeffel vicaring for Lancaster acted as guide, and Ralph S. Shelly of the U. S. Forest Service substituted for Sherrard. Shelly was as good a man at trail locating and building as one might find. He made reconnoisance notes as he went over the topography. Also on this trip was Chester J. Hogue, a civil engineer who was to become the third president of the Trails Club. The following week-end, Hayek and the other four of his original committee ganged up a task force to ascend to the summit of Larch Mountain, adding S. C. Lancaster, Harold Wold, a landscape architect attached to Reed College, and R. S. Shelley, to make up a party of eight. As reported in the Oregonian of March 22, 1915, sites for the observation tower and Lodge proposed for Larch Mountain were selected on this occasion. Hayek has given us an interesting reminiscence of the Saturday night bivouac. As it fell out the printer et al did need a diplomat more than anything else when they came to arrange for shelter and cheer at the Palmer saw mill. They had a nice visit with Ed Hazen the urbane and congenial General Manager down in headquarters in Bridal Veil, but the fellow at Palmer from whom they had anticipated a welcome as warm as a boiler room was not only unsympathetic, but was downright dour. Maybe he thought the comings of the white man were coming too often. But Lancaster stretching forth his hand so to speak, soothingly, applied the technique of the soft touch to the bristles, asking the man “please suh”, would he kindly lend them a bucket? Not a pail, mind you. After he had got the bucket he made it appear reasonable and natural that it should be filled with coffee. Talk about your conjurers! The bucket was taken to the cook house and brought back filled with coffee, hot and freshly brewed. When the task force started out next morning, the mill man was on hand, not only altogether obliging, but also as nice as pie, giving helpful advice on how best to accomplish the mission.

Hayek’s party on that occasion did considerable exploring of the mountain above the 2000 ft. level, and returned from the summit following Multnomah Creek, east fork as they knew it, down to a ford a little above the confluence with Big John branch, marking what passed for a road in those woods then (and still does) as the only wheel track into the Basin. The road led them back to Palmer on Bridal Veil Creek, four miles up from the town of Bridal Veil. Later this road leading to the Arrington place was known as the back way into Nesika Lodge. It is so much of County Road No. 695 as legally established in 1896, extending from Palmer through the Basin, over the bluff and down to Oneonta siding on the O.R.& N. railway, and on to Dodson just beyone St. Peter’s Dome. However it had materialized only as a foot trail from John Teuscher’s cabin in the Basin to Oneonta. This stretch of trail has long since become pretty well obliterated, following an extensive slide that occurred about 1913.

Shelley’s estimate of the cost of the projected trail, plus the shelter and the lookout tower at the summit, was $6000; of which the Forest Service could allocate $1000 for the trail and $500 for the tower. Simon Benson subscribed $3000. The Progressive Business Man’s Club had theretofore provided a nest egg of more than $500 at a production of “the Whirl of the World” for the benefit of the promotion, as reported by Goodwin. They undertook to raise the balance through an organized campaign to sell souvenir pencils on the street. The day appointed was June 6th. The pencils were blue, gilt lettered – 200 gross @ 3 cents cost $864, and priced @ 10 cents or what anyone might wish to pay. The press accounts relate that Jerry Bronaugh, then President of the Mazamas had the entire 1500 membership of his organization enthusiastically behind the drive. A lady Mazama, Sarah Stark, turned in $25. David Starr Jordan, President of Stanford University, who happened to be in Portland exhorting in vain to keep the U.S. from getting entangled in the great Eurpoean war, bought a pensil for a dollar. $1200 was realized on June 6th., and there were left over, pencils to last quite a spell, selling for one dollar to anyone who might be inclined to enlist in the movement. For instance Lancaster took a dollar from John N. Willys of Willys automobile fame who was making an appearance at the Portland Chamber of Commerce in January 1916, and he was only one of many high and low. He touched his barber for a dollar. The older members of the Trails Club will remember Thouvenel, who was one of the very few who had retained a membership after a winnowing, which came after Lancaster’s vision of thousands and thousands of members. Only two of these ancient specimens still belong: Hank MacLeod and Paul Keyser.

The Bensons had contributed considerably more than the promised $3000 before the end of September 1915, when the trail and the shelter and the crow’s nest lookout on the summit were completed and ready to dedicate. Shelley also engineered, and Amos Benson on his own built, the Wahkeena trail up to the big spring and on to junction with the Larch Mountain Trail above the Falls. He admitted to spending $11000 on trails in Benson Park in addition to what his father had paid out for donated land, which sum was probably in addition to the $3000 subscription mentioned above. As a matter of historical interest that may be brought in here, Benson bought Wahkeena Falls including the big spring and the creek to its mouth from Charles Coopey, a transplanted very English tailor who had a vision of a textile village with an industry that would utilize the constant waterpower supply for spinning and weaving and the pure water of Wahkeena for wool scouring; and he was loath to abandon hopes of his dream. But he would not part with Devil’s Rest then for love nor money, from which to look down into what he called the “kettle’ole” – the dimple in the mountain where issues the big spring. By the irony of fate, he never did look down from the summit of Devil’s Rest. It was ever too strenuous a climb for his game leg. It was Coopey who was pleased to furnish the coffee for the Trails Club’s first scheduled march to the summit. That was in June 1918. In the party were H.G.MacLeod and W.A.Packard, both very active in the early affairs of the Club.

Before Lancaster assayed to have the glamour of Larch Mountain features in a big way, there was a well beaten trail from Oneonta, bypassing the gorge and leading past the Triple Fall up Oneonta Creek to a spot known as Bell Camp. Teuscher told this narrator that a small Pelton water wheel had been lugged up the Oneonta trail, hid in the brush and never installed. For aught he knew it might still be used as the object of a treasure hunt. That was thirty years ago. If it is still there and can be stumbled on to, it might be worth salvaging even yet. Why the persons who took it in never got around to installing it or bringing it out remains a mystery.

And of course there was the trail long in existence, well known to Mazamas and others of the ilk, that the homesteaders and woodmen traveled, leading from Bridal Veil over Angel’s Rest, continuing past Devil’s Rest toward the summit of Larch Mountain as far as one might wish to step, while the Palmer mill was sawing up the “larch” trees whence came the name Larch Mountain. The correct name of these indigenous trees is noble fir. As an interesting side-light, the Bridal Veil Lumbering Company was tetotally and militantly prohibitionist, and were in position to see that all hands connected with their operation got along without booze. And the tradition seems to be honored long after they were all through on Larch Mountain. Perhaps there is some sort of a salubrious tang in the atmosphere where the noble fir abounds, suggesting that the name should rather have been Noble Mountain.

At the time of the Hayek expedition, the timber on the Bridal Veil holdings on Larch Mountain had been pretty well logged off. Some of the timber of the headwaters of Multnomah Creek and Oneonta Creek might have been tapped by their logging road system while it was in operation, but nobody ever figured a way to move the timber out of Multnomah Basin economically. A log chute leading over the bluff at Cougar Rock and down to the river was tried in the 1890’s. They say the timber from the Arrington clearing went down this chute. The O. R. & N. Company finally erased the menace of it about 1907. Arrington’s neighbor Franklin, who gave his name to Franklin Ridge, was a taxicab operator in Portland. He like to have killed himself and his wife and his team, snaking the machinery up to his place to build a one-man sawmill and cut out the lumber with which to build his cabin. He had a vision of retiring to his mountain retreat to raise mammoth strawberries that would grow there and come ripe off-season in the market, and thereby make a pleasanter living for himself. He did produce magnificent berries experimentally among the stumps, but alas! as with marketing the timber, transportation proved to be the limiting factor.

These demonstrations seemed to confirm the assumptions of the scenery exploiters that the valleys and ridges of Multnomah and Oneonta and Horsetail Creeks were more valuable to the public at large if taken off the tax rolls and devoted to the uses of recreational leisure-time roving and camping especially. One would hear talk of creating a National Park of Mt.Hood and the Columbia Gorge. Proponents of an all-inclusive reservation succeeded in getting the Columbia Gorge Park authorized. This was an ambitious land taking authority (without appropriation) designed to extend the Mt.Hood National Forest downriver to Rooster Rock, and include all land down to the river that was being held for no more obvious use than speculation. At the time Bneson donated Multnomah Falls and surrounding territory to the City of Portland, an excellent program of recreation was being carried on by the U. S. Forest Service, such for instance as the Eagle Creek camp grounds; but there was as yet no State Park system of consequence, and none whatever administered by Multnomah County, except for a contract concession in the Vista House to yield operation cost of the building and parking space within the Roadmaster’s maintenance, a continuance of force-account building of the highway of which this notable building, designed as a monument to the early pioneers, was essentially an appurtenance. It was not long however, until Guy Talbot bought Latourelle Falls and surrounding property and presented a park to the state, and J. C. Ainsworth donated a roadside park comprising forty acres near Horsetail Falls. Eventually the State Highway Commission took over the Columbia River Highway, and established a statewide park set-up under the authority of the Highway Commission. Than in effect left the county out; although the County Commissioners were able to swing the deal and put the City of Portland in possession of Oneonta Gorge and Horsetail Falls, after a condemnation by the City with Benson underwriting, had gone agley. Credit County Commissioner Amedee Smith for the recovery.

Simon Benson, besides subsidizing the Larch Mountain Trail and making a donation to the Public of Wahkeena and Multnomah Falls, pushed and carried the Columbia River Highway through Hood River County, and built the Columbia Gorge Hotel adjacent to the town of Hood River, which latter he virtually gave away, for the benefit of the tourist business. Then he pulled up stakes and sought a balmier clime for his declining years. Had the Bureau of Parks succeeded in finding some more Bensons, the City of Portland would have extended its ownership of Benson Park to include all of Multnomah Basin and its river rim from Mist Falls to St.Peters Dome including Devil’s Rest. After Benson’s departure the Superintendent of Parks of the City of Portland, acting in the public interest, did prevail on Carl Gray, President of the Union Pacific Railway Systems to present its twenty acre “station grounds” at Multnomah Falls, subject to a five year lease-hold for a concession building operated by the Hazelwood Company of Portland. When the lease had expired, the City of Portland replaced the Hazelwood concession in 1925, with a more pretentious stone building. This gave the City complete fee simple title on both sides of the normal 100 ft. right-of-way of the railway. Also he talked Charles Coopey into adding for free, the ten acres that he had refused to sell to Benson on which rests his Eagle Eyrie (Devil’s Rest). Here is the “sad word of tongue or pen”. Coopey’s affairs had become very much involved, and the touch of a Lancaster was needed to get it released from the blanket mortgage. Coopey has long since gone to his reward. At this writing, 1953, somebody is still paying taxes on it. In 1940 the City of Portland transferred all of its Columbia Gorge holdings south of the railway to the U.S. Forest Service; and north of the railway to the Oregon State Highway Commission. Either of these governmental agencies was by now, in better situation to administer a recreration facility beyond the proximate environs of the urban area. The Forest Service has since made extensive acquisitions calculated to connect the original Benson Donations with the County acquired Oneonta-Horsetail holdings. Neither the Government nor the State has got around to taking over Mc.Laughlin Park, above St.Peters Dome, but doubtless the time will come. Indications are that the Columbia Gorge Park as conceived when the Columbia River Highway was projected, will ultimately be realized.

So much for the atmosphere and the setting in which the Trails Club of Oregon came into being.

The Trails Club’s Nesika property, perched on the rim of Multnomah Basin near Cougar Rock has become entirely surrounded by Government Reserve land since it was acquired in 1922. But this is getting ahead of our story. We will revert to the Larch Mountain Trail, finished and ready to dedicate in October 1915.

In the Oregonian of October 4, 1915 is a full column account under the heading: Larch Mountain Trail is dedicated – Rain soaked party of 25 unfurls flag at sunrise on top and has exercises (Oct.3) – Three groups under Frank H. Hilton, Henry R. Hayek, and P. H. Kneeland camped in log shelter open to south. A Govt. pack train of five mules and two horses brought grub which was cooked in an open fire, and blankets and two tents. – Formal dedication exercises in charge of Henry R. Hayek at 10 a.m. – a permanent association was suggested – Samuel C. Lancaster was unanimously elected as President, and all present enrolled as charter members. – A committee with J. P. Jaeger as chairman was appointed to draw up a constitution and bylaws to be adopted at a meeting in Portland soon.—After the organization is perfected, it is planned to have membership running into the thousands with nominal dues of probably $1 a year. – Any person interested will be asked to join and help the cause along. – Those who took part in the dedication were: Frank H. Hilton, Frank E. Hilton, Joseph P. Jaeger,*Master Lloyd Jaeger, R. H. Atkinson, L. E. Stats, Shelby L. Wiggins, *Master Allen Hoffman, Frank Barringer, P. H. Kneeland, C. E. Hoyt, *Owen Summers, A. M. Prentiss, Samuel C. Lancaster, George Jackson, Mrs. George Jackson, *Henry P. Thayer, Todd Hazen, J. R. Tomlinson, Jacob Kanzler, Chester J. Hogue, *Luther Howland, Harold C. Jones, *James W. Lule, Andrew J. Browning. [*Note. Comparing with a list of charter members numbering 98 names that an old membership card index in the archive reveals, it would appear that 6 of the above 25 were not confirmed. Dates as they appear on the individual cards run to November 5, 1915. Frank H. Hilton remembers attending the subsequent organization meeting ( Oct. 15) and recalls that sign-ups were kept open for thirty days in order to start the treasury with $100. H. G. MacLeod remembers that somebody had these cards at home working on them, at a time when virtually all of the Club’s secretarial records prior to 1921 were burned up in a fire in Pres. Grace’s office]

A squib appears in the Oregon Journal of Oct.15, 1915 under Brief Information: “Trails Club meets tonight. A meeting of the Trails Club of Oregon has been called for 8 o’clock this evening in the Green Room, Commercial Club Building. Plans of the Club for improvement of the trails along the Columbia River Highway will be discussed and business of importance transacted, says S. C. Lancaster president of the Club, in a call for the meeting.” We can only surmise that Jaeger’s committee presented a draft of a constitution and bylaws that were adopted at this meeting. No minutes of the meeting are in evidence, and no one questioned seems to recall definitely exactly when the set-up which was initiated on October 3rd. was formally established. Be that as it may, the birthday of the Trails Club of Oregon was the generally accepted date, October 15, 1915, whereas we might say it was conceived on the summit of Larch Mountain on October 3rd., at the ceremony of dedication of the Larch Mountain Trail signalizing its completion. Neither have we found anyone who will say positively when the bronze plaque was placed at the east end of the arch foot bridge across Multnomah Creek at the Falls, where the Larch Mountain Trail begins. This plaque gives credit to the Progressive Business Men’s Club, S. and A. S. Benson, and the U.S. Forest Service, and acknowledges free grants of rights-of-way by the Bridal Veil Lumbering Company, the Crown-Willamette Pulp & Paper Company, Minnie Franklin, John Teuscher, and Charles Coopey; giving the date of dedication as October 3rd., 1915. Both the bridge and the plaque are on ground which at that time belonged to the Union Pacific Railway System, but the Company did not make an issue of the omission to obtain a right-of-way sanction. The plaque is also at what was once the foot of a beautiful evergreen tree, which Lancaster mourned the loss of. S. Benson thought it obscured the full beauty of the falls as seen from the highway, and he prevailed on the County Roadmaster to order a foreman known as Dago Mike to hack the limbs off. Mike did a thoroughgoing job of mutilation, leaving a bare trunk supporting a tassel like plume at the top. That was too much of a blemish on the pictures that were to be taken, and it was removed down to the stump.

The crowsnest lookout for fire guarding above mentioned, was supported by two large living tree trunks stripped of their limbs, and although guyed with cables, it had a rockabye-baby-in-the-treetop feeling, but if the breeze was fresh the effect was eerie rather than lulling. You mounted to the platform by a stairway interlaced between the main supports. It was later replaced by a more wind-worth structure with less seasickness hazard. The initial log shelter, which was a half octagon affair, open to the south as the Oregonian reporter observed, was said to have been designed by Chester Hogue. It did not take long for it to degenerate into ruin after somebody started using his hatchet on it to obtain dry kindling for his camp fire. Hikers who knew how to work a “squaw fire” did their camp cooking inside the shelter, allsame wickiup, when the weather was rough. There are pictures of it kicking around still; Fred MacNeil had one with him at the Tyee dedication last September; some show a glassed-in south wall, incongruous with the wickiup idea. What became of the glass does not seem to signify. For many years the only means of travel to reach the summit was afoot or on horseback. Multnomah County has more recently built a paved highway to this commanding view-point, and it is now visited by thousands in chicken-skin shoes: else than brogan, that is.

Lancaster was the Charter President as we have seen, and he served in a large and expansive way in the year of 1916. On the Board with him were Todd Hazen, First Vice President; H.R. Hayek, Second Vice President; Chester J. Hogue, Treasurer; S.I.Wiggins,Secretary: Other Directors, W.J.Hoffman, George Jackson, Dr. Herbert S. Nichols, A.M.Prentiss, and Thomas H. Sherrard. We do not seem to note any proud boasts of achievement of contemplated improvements in the trails of the Columbia Gorge that first year, but quite a showing of progress was made in enlisting “thousands of members” (hundreds anyway) at the price of $1 to belong. Mostly this generous dollar was all that these touched members gave to the build-up. Todd Hazen, an insurance man, was perhaps the number one shutterbug of the Trails Club. His principal interest in trails was as a means of getting him to where there were pictures to be taken. He enlisted quite a few like Hans Niklas the florist, who belonged to the flourishing Portland Camera Club, a well knit and very much alive institution with club rooms and a variety of interests in photography, not all in landscape. Prentiss was a professional photographer. Dr. Nichols, a prominent physician, had a yen for the Great Outdoors. He was a Mazama and also one of the most devoted member of the Snowshoe Club that maintained facilities for skiing at Cloud Cap Inn, away back when golf was called a silk stocking game, and very few had the means and leisure for skiing. Wiggins was a Freight Agent of the Union Pacific System, a maker of regional fame incidentally, for the benefit of traffic. Jackson ran a mail advertising business. His wife with him, was the only woman present at the dedication of the Larch Mountain Trail. Hofmann was the Advertising Manager of the Oregonian, a most ubiquitous person who put yeast into batter or dough. Sherrard, as above noted was of the U.S. Forest Service, and will be remembered as a Master of Forest Supervisors, and one of the earliest exponents of recreational use of the Forest Reserve. As before stated, Hayek was connected with a printing firm, and Hogue was a civil engineer. And there you have the complexion of the first crew that undertook to sail the bonnie barque. Begin here and trace the parting of the ways with the Mazamas, a story of human foible and personal equation that need not be elaborated here. Suffice it to say that the Mazamas soon discovered that they were goats of a different kidney mostly, and retreated to their wonted fastnesses far from the maddening crowd.

At the ensuing election, by an adroit move, Lancaster was acclaimed Honorary President, and Henry R. Hayek was elected President for 1917. Exit Lancaster. He did not step up or down – he stepped out and sought other media to engage his talent. Hazen, Wiggins and Jackson were not re-elected. They were succeeded on the Board by Harold L. Wold, landscape gardener; O.O.Tickner, salesman; N.L. Smith, jeweler; and M.R.Smead, of the Chamber of Commerce office. Hogue continued as Treasurer; Wold, First Vice; Tickner, Second Vice; and Smith, Secretary. Smead was the only one of the four newly elected who was a Charter Member, but Hayek still had Hogue and Sherrard of his original committee of five on his Board. Peek, the Abstracter, and Kanzler Chamber of Commerce Secretary, seem to have effaced themselves along with the disappearance of Lancaster. (obit April 1941 Blazer)

Hayek was elected and Woodrow Wilson (no relation) was re-elected in the Fall of 1916. Woodrow squeaked through on the slogan “he kept us out of war.” Maybe it was MacBeth’s witches that intimated to Hayek that he was due for the crown, and Sam was overdue for the shelf. However, Woodrow did not succeed in dispelling the gathering war clouds. A german skipper came all the way across the Atlantic in a U-boat to pay America a friendly call, and to give us a bit of Mark Twain’s Awful German Language: Haben sind gewesen gehabt haben geworden sein. That wasn’t exactly a handwriting on the wall, but it meant that the British Navy’s long-standing guarantee of American foreign policy, Monroe doctrine and all, ist immermehr voruber gegangen, or passe’ in French, and Woodrow began to knit his studious brow over the celebrated 14 points that were bannered at the finish. Then when the Germans followed up by sinking the Lusitiania – well there soon wasn’t anybody in the U.S.A. who could devote his undistracted attention to such pursuits of peace as a leisure loving marching outfit that was not marching as to war. There was a general flocking to the colors. A fraction of the volunteers were inducted and schooled in grim warfare, while the rejects and “slackers” and others carried on with ship building and other war effort, and with “business as usual” – essential business of course, and no monkey business. Notwithstanding war-time restrictions and conditions, Hayek in his administration did not let his institution down. There is a requirement for leisure even in stress. There were flappers and sheiks in gaudy silk shirts: new species in bipeds. And it was his institution. To him credit is due for founding the Trails Club of Oregon more than to any other individual. Benson and Yeon translated Sam Hill’s dream of a superlative highway system in the Oregon Country along the lines delegated to Lancaster, into a reality. Likewise did Hayek, the spark-plug head of a progressive committee of a lunching club, persevering until the task was achieved, fetch an established going concern out of Lancaster’s vision of the majestic presence of Larch Mountain. Even had his initiative and diligence accomplished nothing more than the dedication of the completed Larch Mountain Trail, and the follow up with an institution numbering 100 charter members, that was it. Hayek gets the accolade for the founding.

From Oct 1940 Trail Blazer:


George Bickel, past president of the Trails Club of Oregon died recently in St. Vincents hospital. He was one of the men responsible for the erection of Nesika Lodge.

From Apr 1941 Trail Blazer:


Samuel C. Lancaster, nature lover, highway builder, visionary, and first president of the Trails Club of Oregon.