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Margate Angler's Club Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary
 
The Angler's Club Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary
Written by Mike Cincotta
Reprinted here with the permission of the Margate City Historical Society
This article appeared in the Margate City Historical Newsletter
Volume 2 Number 4 Fall 1998
 
The First Decade 1923-1932
     The first months of 1923 saw the developmentof an ambitious program initiated by the founder of our club, H. Willian Shaner. The plans called for the construction of a fishing pier, extending 300 feet into the ocean, together with a club house.
     In February, 1923, a letter was sent to interested fishermen advising them of the meeting to be held later that month for the purpose of adopting a constitution and By-Laws for the Angler's Club of Absecon Island.
     There were some twenty members of the original group which included Dr. H. Johnson Held, Henry W. Stelwagon, and H. Willard Shaner. The motivating force of the endeavor, $25,000, was realized through bonds privately sold for the purchase of four lots with riprarian rights on the block at the ocean and Essex Ave. The lots were purchased for $16,000 and the remaining $9,000 was set aside for the construction of a pier.
     After having obtained approval for the pier's construction from the New Jersey Board of Commerce and Navigation, The Army Corp. of Engineers, and the Commissioners of the City of Margate, a contractor was engaged to drive pilings and begin construction. Elmer Einwachter, a club member, built the original Club House.
     Three years later, the four lots previously purchased were sold for $45,000. From this sale, the proceeds were used to pay off the Club's mortgages. A mortgage burning ceremony was held, with Mrs. Henry Stelwagon, the wife of the club president starting the bonfire.
The Second Decade 1933-1942   
  During this decade, the Club grew and prospered and the membership numbered over 200. Additional facilities were provided and constant improvements were made. Added to the original Club House was a ladies lounge and a locker room. 
The Third Decade 1943-1952
     During this decade, the Club grew and prospered and the membership numbered over 200. Additional facilities were provided and constant improvements were made. Added to the original Club House was a ladies lounge and a locker room.
The Third Decade 1943-1952
     Campaigns, D-Day, and the death of a President, two Atomic Bombs, and then V.J.Day. During this period of triumph and tragedy the Club suffered a tragedy of its own. The great hurricane of 1944 carried away the pier's structure and damaged the Club House. Officers immediately made plans for construction of a better pier, which was completed the following summer. This tragedy illustrated the intense interest in our Club by its members. It was through their purchase of non interest bearing bonds that sufficient funds were raised with which to build the pier. Thanks to the excellent management of the Club, these bonds were paid off in several years.
The Fourth and Fifth Decades 1953-1973
     This time in our history, had additional triumphs and tragedies. The club remained a viable institution, however this period saw the passing of many of our original members; some of whom, such as Willard Shaner, sparked the funding and growth of the Club.
   The Eighties
     The 1980's saw the effects of the 1988 fire. The fire caused extensive damage to the ocean end of the pier, which required reconstruction of the pier, replacement of the storage facilities and pilings. The 1980's also saw the admission as full and equal members of the Club.
    The Nineties 
    The 1990's have been primarily concerned with rebuilding the membership rolls back to the number of years ago. Members continue to enjoy the facilities, as well as the social aspects of the Club. Today members are looking forward to the 100th anniversary of the Angler's Club of Absecon Island.
Epilogue 
  This example of dedication, tenacity of purpose and interest set by H. Willard Shaner, Dr. H. Johnson Held, Henry Stelwagon, as well as some currrent members, should instill in all of us a sense of pride.
     If the example set by these dedicated men is followed by all of us, we then can go forward for the next 50 years with joyful anticipation of the fulfillment of our mission "For the Glory of the Sport."       

Anglers Club