Annual smoker of the Bay City Wheelmen

From Wooljersey

The Bay City Wheelmen, "masters of the road and path" liked to have parties. They called them smokers. Here is a list, partial. They appeared to run for at least 30 years, becoming an annual, summer tradition at some point.

BCW Smoker June 8 01.jpg

The "smoker" of the Bay City Wheelmen takes place Saturday, September 3d. After the dancing party, which is set for the 23d of September, it is the intention of the club to hold a monthly hop in the clubrooms, limited to members.

The Wheelmen. - The San Francisco Examiner, 22 Aug 1887

The Bay City Wheelmen will have a euchre party at the clubrooms on Saturday evening, August 17, to be followed by a smoker, for members only.

THE WHEELMEN. - San Francisco Call - 10 August 1895

The Bay City Wheelmen held a progressive euchre party and smoker Saturday night. Charles K. Melrose won the euchre game and a silver matchbox as the prize. R. M. Welsh, F. L. Day and C. M. Nutter also made high scores. The club had a run to the park yesterday morning and rode to San Carlos afterward to see the races.

WHEELMEN'S ROAD RACES - San Francisco Call - August 19, 1895

The arrival of the Eastern racing talent here next week will be of great interest to the wheelmen of this coast, for besides several of our own men and a trio of Eastern flyers who have been here before there will come several with world-wide reputations for speed whom we have only read about. After a few days' stay in this City, during which they will be entertained by the large local clubs, they will depart for San Jose and go into active training for the two big meets to be held there on November 8 and 9. A party of prominent local wheelmen is being made up to go up the road as far as Sacramento to meet the visitors. The Bay City Wheelmen are arranging for a monster smoker at the club- rooms in honor of their returning club-mates and their racing companions. From the time these men get here track-racing will receive a great impetus, and as they will all winter at San Jose and try for records it would seem that while the season is practically over in the East it will never close in California.


A most unique circular has been issued to the members of the Bay City Wheelmen announcing the club's annual entertainment on November 11. It is merely signed "Committee," so that one is at a loss as to whom to attribute its remarkable verbiage, but I fancy I recognize the fine work of its epigrammatic secretary, Mr. Howard. At the club speculation is rife as to the authorship of the letter, which I give here complete that you may gather the full text of it:

To the Members of the Bay City Wheelmen: The crowning effort of the club in the line of shows will be sprung on Monday evening, November 11, 1895, at Odd Fellows' Hall, in the way of a vaudeville, or variety exhibition, and hop. A fine array of talent has been selected and a splendid entertainment is assured. It is the intention of the committee handling the affair to have the show commence promptly at 8 o'clock, and go through to the end with the snap of a stiff steel spring. Dancing will commence at 10 o'clock. The cause is a good one, so let there be no numbness of activity on behalf of the members in making it a grand success. Inclosed you will please find ten tickets, which kindly dispose of, if possible. There are more on tap at the club when these are gone. Yours fraternally, COMMITTEE.

If that did not emanate from the bright mind of Secretary Howard I am much mistaken, though he may have had the assistance of President Kerrigan or Judge Dunne as collaborators. However, the entertainment will be varied and amusing, and the hall will undoubtedly be packed, as it always is when the Bay Citys give an entertainment.


Invitation to a vaudeville entertainment and dance sponsored by the Bay City Wheelmen bicylcle [sic] club to be held November 11, 1895 at the Odd Fellows Hall in San Francisco. On the inside are listed the names of performers scheduled to appear as well as the promise of additional "Eastern Professional Talent."

THE WHEELMEN. - San Francisco Call - October 26, 1895

The Bay City Wheelmen will hold a progressive euchre party at the clubrooms next Saturday evening, together with an impromptu musical entertainment and smoker.

AMONG THE WHEELMEN. - San Francisco Call - January 15, 1896

The Bay City Wheelmen will hold a smoker at the clubhouse, 441 Golden Gate avenue, to-morrow evening. To quote from from the notice to members announcing the event: "The idea is suggested by the cup-winning tendencies so forcibly manifested of late by our racing contingent, and as incidents of a pleasant nature are still fresh in mind the affair will, no doubt, be a great success." No doubt. All Bay City affairs of the kind invariably are.

THE RELAY RACE CUP. - The San Francisco Call - April 17, 1896

The Bay City Wheelmen in commemoration of the thirteenth anniversary of the club's existence will hold a "hot time smoker at the clubhouse, 441 Golden Gate avenue, Saturday evening, November 13. It will be limited to members and a few invited guests.

CYCLING CLUBS TO PLAY BALL - San Francisco Call - October 30, 1897

A red-hot time is promised all who have been so fortunate as to receive an invitation to the Bay City Wheelmen's smoker, to be held to-night at the clubhouse, 441 Golden Gate avenue. The Bay Citys are famed far and wide as most hospitable entertainers, and they never shine more brightly in this role than when acting as hosts in their own home. Music, song and story, accompanied by refreshments, will serve to while the hours merrily away.

A QUIET WEEK IN CYCLING - The San Francisco Call - November 13, 1897

"Well, great Scott!

Rah, rah, rah!

Zip, boom, ah!

Bay City Wheelmen, ha, ha, ha!"

"Wheels, wheels, X Y Z!

Tiger, tiger!

D W C!"

When a few hundred lusty-lunged wheelmen shout these cries there is a likelihood that people in the immediate neighborhood will hear them, and that the cries were heard was evidenced by the large crowd that gathered in the vicinity of the Bay City Wheelmen's Club rooms on Golden Gate avenue last evening.

The heroes of century runs and many spills held a smoker last night and invited thereto about twenty-five of the visiting volunteers who are members of the Denver Cycling Club. The visitors have enjoyed the hospitality of the Red Cross and received a cordial greeting along the line of march, but both pale into insignificance to the rousing reception the knights of the silent steed received at the hands of the Bay City boys. Red and blue lights were burned outside in honor of the guests and the jinks-room was splendidly decorated with flags and bunting. Suspended from the wall were knapsacks and other military trappings, giving the room a martial appearance.

Everything was done to give the Coloradoans an enjoyable evening. Refreshments, cigars, cigarettes and pipes were passed around, and as they smoked and drank they listened to sweet singing, cleverly told yarns and instrumental music which made them for the time forget the dangers ahead of them and maybe the loved ones at home.

Judge Dunne, an old and honored member of the club, in the absence of Judge Frank H. Kerrigan, made a speech of welcome in which he voiced the sentiments of the club. His remarks were greeted with enthusiasm and the following programme was rendered: Piano solo, R. A. Cunha; violin solo, Gus Fleisner; stories by the only "Bob" Mitchell; ditto, J. Cathcart; song, Gus Unzer; Italian impersonations, John Holland; everything, Eddy Sweeney; "Casey at the Bat," Thomas L. Hill; black art; zither solo, Mr. Regensberger; recitation, Otto Heynemann.

Among the guests last night was Lieutenant Hawley, who held the championship of Idaho during the past season. Other noted wheelmen were there and they were made to feel at home by the jolly winners of this year's relays.

DENVER CYCLERS AT A SMOKER. - The San Francisco Call - June 03, 1898

The Bay City Wheelmen will entertain their friends on an elaborate scale at the club house, 441 Golden Gate avenue, this evening. There will be a members' meeting early, from 8:15 to 8:45, for the purpose of enabling the directors to outline to the members the policy of the club for the ensuing year. This over with, the festivities will begin, and the entertainment committee promises that hereafter the members will date everything of importance in the club from the time of the big "smoker" on October 15, 1898. The programme will represent all sorts of jollity, and during its rendition the house committee will dispense various soothing beverages. The affair is being looked to with much eagerness by the rank and file in cycledom.

"SMOKER" OF THE BAY CITY CLUB TO-NIGHT - The San Francisco Call - October 15, 1898

The fourteenth anniversay party of the Bay City Wheelmen, postponed from February 8, owing to the death of one of the members, will be held at the Palace Hotel Maple room on Wednesday evening, April 5. The invitations issued for the first date will be accepted on the new date, and no more will be issued, as the limit has been reached.

CYCLERS WILL RACE AT THE GARDEN CITY - The San Francisco Call - March 04, 1899

Owing to the death of T. Alfred Griffiths, a prominent member and racing man of the club, the fourteenth anniversary party of the Bay City Wheelmen, which was to have been held at the Palace Hotel maple room this evening, has been indefinitely postponed.

Mr. Griffiths was an old and popular member of the club. He has carried its colors to victory in scores of road and track events.

He was first taken ill with an affliction about a year ago. A trip to Honolulu afforded him no relief, and since his return he has been gradually sinking, until the end came yesterday morning.

Mr. Griffiths was the son of Captain Thomas H. Griffiths, master of the bark Albert. He was 25 years of age, and held a responsible position with J. D. Spreckels & Bros. Co.

The funeral will take place to-morrow at 2 o'clock from the family residence, 34 Liberty street.

BAY CITY PARTY HAS BEEN POSTPONED - San Francisco Call - February 08, 1899

The sixteenth anniversary of the organization of the Bay City Wheelmen was celebrated by a smoker last Saturday evening. Some two hundred members and ex-members were present and enjoyed a splendid programme. William C. Hull presented the club with several comical silk banners, caricaturing the days of the old ordinary bicycle. The members were entertained with songs, recitations, etc., by the following well-known talent: Captain Leale, ex-Sheriff Whelan, Dr. W. H. Sieberst, Dr. Thomas L. Hill, Jack Holland, Frank Coffin, Plymouth Quartet, Frank Thompson, Lal Schwartz, Rincon Quartet, John T. Desmond, Kid Nelson, M. Scanlan, Benjamin D. Coonley, Will Finnie, Mr. Ogilvie and Bob Mitchell. A number of specially invited guests were present, among whom were Captain Truebridge, Purser Menzies and Dr. Thompson, all of the U. S. transport Oylmpia. Dan O'Callaghan acted as chairman of the ceremonies, and the club members, who all worked hard for the reception, will remember the sixteenth anniversary as the most successful ever given by the club.

BAY CITY SMOKER - The San Francisco Call - January 24, 1900

The Bay City's midsummer jinks and smoker will be held a week from tonight, and will be on a par with other similar gatherings of the club, which are always interesting and well attended.

Bicycle Notes. - The San Francisco Call - Jun 1, 1901

The Bay Citys will hold their annual midsummer smoker and jinks to-night at the clubhouse, 441 Golden Gate avenue.

READY FOR THE BIG ROAD RACE - The San Francisco Call - Jun 8, 1901

The seventeenth annual smoker of the Bay City Wheelmen was held Saturday evening at the clubrooms, 441 Golden Gate avenue. Judge Kerrigan made an opening address and "Pop" Mohrig, organizer and first President of the club, presented the members with his photo. In the entertainment ensuing, the following took part: William McDonald, J. Wheaton Leonard, John T. Desmond, William Ogilvie, Pete Dunworth, William Brackett, Lloyd Spencer, Frank Keene, Elton Lambert, Pilot Commissioner Leale, ex-Sheriff Whelan, Ferris Hartmann, Bob Mitchell, Eddie Sweeney and Jack Holland.

Bay City Jinks. - The San Francisco Examiner - Jun 11, 1901

The Bay City Wheelmen celebrated the eighteenth annual birthday of the club last night with a smoker at the house on Golden Gate avenue. The guests began to assemble early and far into the night the sounds of merriment could be heard issuing from the scene of the jollification.

The spacious club rooms were crowded by the members bent on having a night of fun. The place was tastefully decorated with ferns and flowers. Dan O'Callaghan received the guests upon their arrival.

A splendid musical programme was rendered and refreshments were served during the evening. Among those who took part were William McDonald, Arthur Hahn, George Hillman, A. Topping, Richard Whelan, Robert Mitchell, Alexander Rosborough, A. Demont, Kolb and Dill, Al. Hazzard, Clarence Denely and the Manhattan Quartet.

The smoker was in charge of the following committee: Dan O'Callaghan, chairman; Henry L. Day, George Stangenberger, Robert Reid, Frank Smith, Dr. E. L. Mervy, J. M. Salazer, George Bannon, W. Lewis.

BAY CITY WHEELMEN HOLD ANNUAL SMOKER - The San Francisco Call - December 07, 1902

The Bay City Wheelmen are preparing for the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the club, which takes place some few weeks hence. A special meeting was held during the week to discuss plans, and a large number of wheeling enthusiasts were in attendance. The event will be for members and ex-members only. Everybody who was ever a member of the Bay City Club will be sent a notice, and it is expected that the run will eclipse anything of the kind ever held in this vicinity. As outlined at present, there will be a smoker on a Saturday night and a barbecue and club run on the following day. The run will be to some near-by point of interest and a feature will be the presence of some of the old time riders on their high wheels. Others will ride their small cushion-tired wheels, and in fact, there will be bicycles of every description when the riders line up for the start.

MANY EVENTS FOR WHEELMEN - San Francisco Chronicle - July 31, 1904

Arrangements have been completed for the twentieth anniversary celebration of the Bay City Wheelmen, and to-night the members of this well-known cycling club will meet at the clubrooms and celebrate as no event has been celebrated among the cyclers for many years.

The event will take the form of a smoker, and there will be members present who have not been in the clubrooms for many months. For this reason the evening will be spent by the members and ex-members only. The Bay City Wheelmen would like to have their numerous friends present, but so many of the older clubmen have signified their intention of being on hand that this would not be possible.

The talent that is to do the entertaining has been carefully selected, and a good programme is assured. Too much time, however, will not be given to the programme, for the club members purpose to have a grand reunion, which will be appreciated by the old-time members. Many old stories will be resurrected in regard to happenings on club runs and gatherings of former years. All day to-morrow there will be "open house" at the Bay City Wheelmen's headquarters on Golden Gate avenue.

Next week the anniversary run will be held on Sunday to some nearby place of interest, not yet decided upon. All the old-time wheels are being put into commission and the "bunch" will present an odd appearance on the road on their high wheels and old cushion tires.

BAY CITY WHEELMEN TO CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY. - San Francisco Chronicle - October 01, 1904

In anticipation of a busy winter, the Bay City Wheelmen have recently placed at the disposal of the club members a new set of rollers upon which to train for the numerous events. The Bay City Club has nothing scheduled for the remainder of the year but their annual Christmas celebration. The members will receive numerous gifts, neither useful nor ornamental, but guaranteed to provide amusement for those present. The wearers of the maltese cross are already preparing for their annual smoker, which is to be held late next month.

Another Club for Boys Takes Up Wheeling - San Francisco Chronicle - December 17, 1905

The Bay City Wheelmen are now comfortably settled in their new quarters and a reunion of the members is scheduled for the latter part of next month, when a smoker will be held at the clubhouse. The country home of the Bay City Club at Grand View, above San Rafael, will be completed about the end of November, at which time a big run will be held to that place.

WHEELMEN TO MEET IN RELAY - San Francisco Chronicle - September 23, 1906

The Bay City Wheelmen, one of the oldest cycling clubs in the State, held a smoker on Saturday evening to celebrate the twenty-sixth anniversary of the foundation of the club. A large attendance gathered at the club rooms and many old-timers enjoyed the evening, which was under the direction of Dan O'Callaghan as master of ceremonies.

The entertainment included stunts by "Billy" Hynes, Bob Mitchell, Jack Holland, Dick Whelan, Captain Leale, Monte Bart, W. J. Connolly, Ed Healey, George Swan, Jack Cahill and others, and the dancing of the Murphy twins was a feature of the entertainment.

"Pop" Mohrig, who was the first president of the club in 1884, gave an interesting address on the early days.

Among the many old-time members who were present were Ed. Mohrig, Fred. R. Cook, Sam Booth, Dr. Thomas L. Hill, Charles C. Moore, Henry L. Day, Fred Noeckmann, Harry Larkin, George Stangenberger, George Dixon, Fred. Allen, Frank Cushman, Harry Housworth, Captain Robinet and Charles A. Day.

Bay City Wheelmen Hold Anniversary - The San Francisco Examiner - June 06, 1911

Pages which link here: