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Anglers Club
Beach Patrol
Historical Society


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, ,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 ,000 and the remaining ,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 ,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.
  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



History of the MCBP
A Brief History of the Margate City Beach Patrol
Written by Mike Cincotta
Reprinted here with the permission of the Margate City Historical Society
     In 1908, Margate, then known as the City of South Atlantic City, borrowed a lifeboat from Atlantic City and the Beach Patrol was established. The lifequard that year was Fred Hackney, the first on record. In 1909, the city became incorporated as the City of Margate City, named after a town on the Island of Thanet in Kent, England.
     Margate made an early commitment to solidify the beach patrol of its new town. By the year 1920 there were seven lifeguards protecting the beaches.The force grew to nine in 1923 and was led by Captain Frank Chatterton. A former captain in both Atlantic City and Ventnor, Henry Taviano began his ten year captaincy in 1926. Under his command the first beach doctor employed in 1935, and by 1939, there were 14 lifeguards.
     It was during this era that several patrols, each experiencing growth, began competing in swimming and rowing races. The first South Jersey Lifeguard Championships were held in 1924. By the mid 1930's Margate enhanced its participation in competition, eventually taking part in the National Lifeguard Competition in Atlantic City on August 26, 1936. Frank Bader took the helm as Captain from 1936-1941, helping to guide the Margate City Beach Patrol into a new era.
The 1940's
     The 1940's brought larger, more competitive patrols. Margate's patrol numbered 13 guards in 1941 and promoted Rodney Williams to captain in 1942. During the summer of '42, two lifeguards began gaining recognition as formidable competiors and potential leaders. George "Bud" Graves and Pete Glick earned an early victory in Margate rowing by winning the 1942 One-Mile Life Boat Race of Absecon Island. Graves replaced George Forrest as Captain in 1946.
     With the assistance of his rowing partner, Pete Glick, Graves established the now-prestigious Margate Memorial Surf Boat Races to honor the brave Margate heros who gave their lives in World War II. The first Margate Memorial Race was held on September 6, 1946 on the Granville Avenue beach. Fittingly it was Graves and Glick who rowed in that first-ever Margate Memorial doubles race. The singles rower for Margate that afternoon was Tom Christensen, who in later years, would go on to win both South Jersey and Margate Memorial Titles. Participating in the inaugural race motivated Christensen so much tat the next year he teamed up with Joe Smathers to give Margate its first-ever win in the South Jerseys.
     But Graves left the beach patrol in 1948, naming Pete Glick as the captain. It was a position that Glick would hold for 20 of the next 21 years. Margate won its first Margate Memorial team championships in 1949. Again it was Tom Christensen guiding Margate to a win in the doubles row; this time with his partner Bill Blair.
The 1950's
     The 1950's brought significant change and accomplishment. Don Stilley was named captain in 1951, during a one-year absence of Pete Glick. In addition to Margate's continued success in out-of-city competition, the beach patrol experienced its largest growth ever. By the end of the 50's, the patrol numbered 45 lifeguards; nearly three times as large as ten years earlier. A rower by the name of Jay McConnell won two major titles; the 1957 Margate Memorial's Single Row and in 1959, teamed with Tom Christensen, the South Jersey crown.
The 1960's
     As the 1960's arrived, Captain Pete Glick continued to develop the MCBP into a first-rate beach patrol. Margate won its first-ever South Jersey team title in 1964, as Mike Jacobson and Dave Smith won the doubles row. Three years later, these  two oarsmen, accompanied by a Fred Nahas singles victory, duplicated their feat as Margate won the 1967 Margate Memorials. It was Nahas second consecutive Memorials singles victory, as he helpe Margate to a co-championship in 1966.
     In 1969, Bud Graves Jr., son of former Captain George "Bud" Graves, became a South Jersey doubles champion with partner Frank Previti. Captain Glick retires from the beach patrol in 1969. He will forever be remembered as, perhaps, the greatest captain in South Jersey beach history. Pete Glick and Bud Graves together were the first inductees into the MCBP Alumni Hall of Fame in 1990.
The 1970's
     With Mair Benkoil as the new captain, the MCBP entered the 1970's. Both the Margate Memorials and the South Jerseys added a third event in the early 70's; swimming and singles rowing, respectively. Margate was victorious in both inaugural events, with Ed Brown capturing the first-ever Margate Memorial Swim in 1972 and Toby Buttle winning the South Jersey Singles debut in 1973. Buttone, one of three successful brothers on the patrol, also won the Martate Memorial Singles titles in 1973 and 1975. Toby Buttle's victory in '75 gave Margate the team title. Toby's brothers, Dave and Greg, won the Memorials together in 1972, which provided Margate with a share of the team championship. Bob Atkiinson won the Margate Memorial swin in 1974, giving Margate a swim victory for the second time in three years. In 1976 Jim Gallagher became captain.
The 1980's
     In 1980, Nancy Ridgeway became the first female lifeguard in MCBP history. The following year Herb Pizagno and Jim Swift, both second year guards, claimed the 1981 Margate Memorials doubles race. In 1984, swimmer Eric Nordheim won both the Memorials and the South Jerseys. His 1984 Jersey's swimming title was Margate's first.
     George King and Carl Smallwood took command in 1987. In 1987, a rookie by the name of Tom Swift won his first of 11 straight Margate swim titles. The 1981 Memorial champion, Jim Swift, teamed with brother John Swift, to capture the 1988 Memorials Race.
The 1990's
     The Swift brothers continued to earn victories in the 1990's. The three Swift brothers, along with single rower Bill Martin, claimed a share of the 1990 South Jersey in Avalon. This was the first of six South Jersey swim titles for Tom Swift. Tom lso won his first of six Memorials that year.
     In 1993, however, Margate would go back to Avalon again and become the lone winner. The 1993 team was especially strong, winning the Jerseys, Memorials, aand Dutch Hoffman Races in Wildwood. Margate eventually won three South Jerseys in a row, with John Swift winning the singles race in 1994 and 1995. John added singles victories in the Memorials in 1993 and 1996, the team of John Swift and Tom Swift, along with the doubles crew Carl Smallwood and Greg Smallwood, would remain intact to give Margate three South Jerseys and three Margate Memorial titles.
     On August 10, 1995, the first All-Woman's Cape Atlantic Invitational Race was held in Ventnor. Competitors for Margate wer Jamie Eissler, Debbie Crane, Sarah Blumberg and Kylene Henry.
     Charles Wagner took command in 1997. Today, the Margate City Beach Patrol employs over 50 lifeguards, working at twelve locations. The MCBP continues to combine excellent safety on the beach and a tradition of success.


Margate Library and Historical Society Alliance: Evolving for the Future to Preserve the Past

The Margate City Historical Society is was founded on December 16, 1995. The Society is dedicated to the preservation, documentation, and presentation of historical records and artifacts relating to the City of Margate, formerly known as the City of South Atlantic City. For nearly 20 years, the Society maintained a museum at 7 South Washington Avenue in Margate and published The Beacon, a quarterly newsletter.

 The Margate City Historical Society was the result of the efforts of both Robert “Pat” Patterson and Frank Tiemann, former public servants in Margate. Patterson and Tiemann wished to preserve their paper and artifact collections for the public and to preserve the recorded history of Margate City. They were joined in their mission by Jules Woods. By September, 1996, twenty people had registered as Charter Members of the new Margate City Historical Society. During the course of the next several months, officers were elected, by-laws and the constitution were written, and the organization's goals were established. In May of 1997, Margate City Commissioners announced the long-term loan of a building at 7 South Washington Avenue to house a museum and provide office and storage space. A lease was drawn up granting the Margate City Historical Society permmission to lease the building for a cost of .00 per year for five years. The museum was established and the membership of the Historical Society grew.

In the Spring of 2012, The Margate Historical Society and the Margate City Public Library joined forces to establish the Margate Library and Historical Society Alliance. A new Board of Trustees has been appointed and the by-laws have been updated. The museum had to vacate the premises at 7 South Washington Avenue in 2012; the building was demolished in Spring, 2015. The Alliance will install a new museum in the landmark Margate City Hall at 1 South Washington Avenue when post-Sandy renovations have been completed.

The Margate City Historical Society collection consists of old photographs, genealogical records, books, letters, advertising, political documents, antique fire fighting equipment and other items illustrative of life, conditions and events in Margate's past. Items in the collection are being photographed and catalogued with the goal of making the information accessible online. Anyone willing to donate items related specifically to Margate's history is encouraged to contact the Margate Library and Historical Society Alliance.

The Alliance is always pleased to  welcome new members. For membership information or to have questions answered, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone the Margate City Public Library at 609-822-4700.