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Club celebrates its centennial this summer

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Angora Hiking Club has lasted a century, surviving the 1918 Spanish Flu, the Great Depression of 1929, and World War II. And it will survive the pandemic of 2020.

Hiking offers a respite from work, stress, and depression, chief guide Arline LaMear said.

The club, which has about 90 members today, was organized on July 4, 1920.

On that day, 18 members of the Knights of Pythias hiked to the top of Saddle Mountain. Once at the summit, they read the Declaration of Independence and sang the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs.

They renamed themselves the Angoras, which means mountain goats.

Their adventures haven’t been limited to hiking. Group members have gone skiing, swimming, and horseback riding together.

The club wrote its own songs back in the day. On occasion, they rode the rain to the starting point of their walks.

Membership qualifications included a climb up Saddle Mountain and completion of six club hikes per year, LaMear said. And rules required that no member be admitted “promiscuously” (no explanation provided!).

Their first meetings were held in local restaurants, then in the Old Fort Building reconstructed in Shively Park for the celebration of Astoria’s centennial in 1911, and later in Shively Hall.

The Angoras were an ambitious lot with a list of projects that included:

** Improvement of the road to Saddle Mountain

** Clearing the Tillamook Head Trail of brush each spring

** Lobbying the State Highway Commission to make Saddle Mountain a state park

** Purchasing 40 acres on Tillamook Head

** Building a cabin in 1956 on the Tillamook Head acreage. Loggers from Olney hauled logs and Crown Zellerbach donated cedar for roof shakes. A large smokestack and floorboards were hauled from the recently demolished Fort Stevens Officers Club.

The group also has donated to public projects. Among them:

** Books valued at $600 to the Astor Library

** A bronze topographic map of the area on display at Astoria Column

** The flagpole at Maritime Memorial Park

** Cabinets and paneling at Shively Hall

Today, the Angoras no longer travel by train or horseback. Each January, the group plans all of the hikes for the year, usually four per month, with the hike on the first Wednesday afternoon of the month an easy one.

The club’s hiking schedule can be found online at is online at our website, angorahikingclub.org. Dues are $10 per year, although hike participants aren’t required to be members.


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