Since 1922!Troop 4 - Our History

Reprinted from the UNION, Grass Valley-Nevada City, Ca. Mon., April 30, 1973


It was fifty years ago, on May 2, 1923, that the Grass Valley Elks Lodge made an application for a troop to be formed in Grass Valley.  A.B. Snyder, Exalted Ruler of the Elks at the time, was a very interested Scouter.  For the first five years, it was known as Troop 2.  However, as enrollment increased, it was determined that the group should be divided to form two separate troops.  As an outgrowth of the first troop, Troop 4 was organized.


Troop 4, which has in its possession, a photo-stat of the original charter application, was sponsored by the Elks until 1928.  When the Grass Valley Lions Club organized that same year, they took over the sponsorship of the Troop, a position they have held ever since - renewing the charter each year.


Names enrolled on the origianl charter include those of ScoutsMartin Beebee, Harold David, Joseph, Moran, Merrill Peasley, Cecil Tremewan, Francis Waldron, Leslie Weeks, David Bivens, Ben Bivens, Carlton Carter, Edgar Crase, Jack Curnow, Enos Delavan, Gordon Ingram, Merris Ingram, Edgar King, Carlos McGuire, Harold McGagen, Stanley Mitchell, Fred Morrison, Clyde Phillips,  Ben Swartz, Burton Skewes, Lambert B. Thomas, Frank Whits, and adults, J.A. Curnow, B.F. Delavan, A.H. Mooser, and William Jaeckle.

DR. WALTER G. THOMAS (1864-1944) 

The first Scoutmaster of the Troop, was Dr. Walter G. Thomas, local dentist at the time, and farther of Eleanor Hartung of Grass Valley.  The Troop Committee consisted of A.B. Champion, I.W. Carson, H.C. Crouch, C.R. Clinch and Thomas Ingram.

When Dr. Thomas relinquished the positon, his associate dentist, Dr. Paine, took it over.  The third Scoutmaster to serve the troop was Harry Rowe, a druggist.  Others serving as Scoutmasters of the troop prior to 1945 included Don Bennetts, Elmer Stevens, Arden Hauser, Arthur Barrick, Baum Jordan, Jim Beam, Harold Hansen, and Ed Litke.


Sam Partridge, well known localite and owner of Sierra Printing, has served as Troop 4 Scoutmaster for approximately 28 years.  He had been a Scout member of Troop4 for several years prior to assuming the Scoutmasters position in 1945.  During his years as Scoutmaster, Sam has had many outstanding men of the community assisting him in offering leadership to the Scouts in the troop.  Names of Assistants over the years, include those of Arlon Simmons, Russell Penrose, Art Boundy, Frank Prigley, John Minarich, Bob Niccoli, Karl Popielarz, John C. Conway, Chester Ramey, Al Neep, Ray Barton, Roy Berryman, Mel Bird, Ernie McQueen, Bill Baumgart, Dick Walker, Al Dilts, Bob Wess, Don Annin, William Goldman, Tony Palethorpe and William Sylvester.  Assisting also, have been a number of Scout Dads, not registered in scouting.


The first Scout Camp was held at Capatola (near Santa Cruz) in the summer f 1923, and repeated in 1924.  In 1925, camp was held at Sterling Lake (near Fordyce Lake).  The first Tahoe Council camp was conducted in 1926 at Tamarack Flat, near the site of today's Pla-Vada.  In 1930, summer camp was held at Kilborn Lake - called Camp Pahatsi, and it is at this ideal site that Scouts have attended camp each year since.

In 1948, Scoutmaster Partridge and a fellow Scoutmaster from Vallejo, secured a winter camp lodge at Rainbow, on Highway 80.  It was called Silver Beaver Lodge.  From 1949 until last winter, when the lodge burned down, it served each year as the site for winter camp - much to the enjoyment of the Scouts.


During the 50 year existence of Troop 4, many awards and ribbons have been earned by the Scouts, through participation in local, District, Council, and Regional activities.  Scoutmaster Partridge reports that on more than one occasion, ribbons gathered on the Troop 4 flag had to be removed, in order that a new start could be made.

It has been estimated that an approximate total of 2000 boys have been members of the Troop at one time or another during the 50-year period.  And of this number, about 150 have earned and received the Eagle Scout Rank - the highest rank in Scouting.


The Valley Lions Club, sponsor of Troop 4 since 1928, has taken an active part in the various activities of the troop, over the years.  Tradition for a number of years, was an annual get-together dinner with the troop.  In line with the sponsorship, Lions have participated in award presentations at Courts of Honor; served on Boards of Review, and as advancement chairmen and Merit Badge counsellors.  The organization has also provided the troop with patches, neckerchiefs and camping equipment, and helped with campsite improvements at the District Camp.


1919 - Troop 4 won Annual Council Rally.
1928 - Grass Valley Lions Club assumes Troop Charter.
1936 - A full troop of 32 Scouts attended Camp Pahatsi.
1937 - Two Scouts attended first National Jamboree, Wash. D.C.
1939 - Troop served as Service Troop at Treasure Island Exposition.
1942 - Paper Drives were accomplished during war years.
1947 - Sixty Merit Badges awarded at one Court of Honor.
1948 - Four-thousand trees planted by 60 Scouts at Bloody Run.
1949 - Silver Beaver Lodge used for first time as Winter Camp.
1950 - A Patrol of eight Scouts attended National Jamboree at Valley Forge.
1951 - Sam's pool used for meetings during the summer months.
1952 - Troop had a peak of 75 members with five Asst. Scoutmasters, including Explorer Scouts.
1956 - Seven Eagle Scouts this year.
1961 - Lions Club took Scouts to Big League Baseball game in S.F.
1964 - Scouts help Lions create picnic area at Condon Park.
1966 - Lions presented Troop with new 50-star American flag.
1967 - Troop earned top Camporee Ribbons.
1969 - Two Scouts attended National Jamboree at Farragut, Idaho.
1970 - One Scout attended International Jamboree in Japan.
1973 - One Scout will attend National Jamboree in Idaho.


It is interesting to note that the Boy Scouts of America had only been in existence 13 years when Grass Valley's Troop 4 was formed.  History reveals that the Boy Scout movement was first founded in 1908 in Great Britian by Sir Robert Baden-Powell.  In the U.S., one of the principal founders was Daniel Carter Beard.  Incorporated in America in 1910, the organization was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1916.

That the movement has grown by leaps and bounds is best realized be reviewing 1969 figures - 10,000,000 Boy Scout members in some 97 countries, islands and territories.  U.S. membership, at the end of 1970, totaled 4,682,658 - which includes units in almost every city, town and rural neighorhood in the United States.

The intention of the organization is mainly to develop the character of boys and train them for duties of adult like; to promote the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others; train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self- and kindered values.

Each Boy Scout takes the Scout Oath, pledging to keep himself "physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight." 

Reprinted from the UNION, Grass Valley-Nevada City, Ca. Thurs., April 18, 1973

GV scoutmaster honored - Sam Partridge

A reception to honor Sam Partridge's 50th anniversary in the Boy Scouts of America will be held April 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Grass Valley Elks Lodge.

Partridge entered scouting in 1924 as a member of Grass Valley's Troop 4 which was first founded in 1923.  The Grass Valley Elk's Lodge made an application for a troop on May 2, 1923 but sponsorship for the troop was assumed by the Grass ValleyLions Club in 1928 and has been under their sponsorship since.

Partridge became an eagle scout in 1929 and has continued to be active in scouting since that time, assuming duties as Scoutmaster for Troop 4 in 1945, a position he still holds.

In 1948 Scoutmaster Partridge and a fellow Scoutmaster from Vallejo secured a winter camp lodge at Rainbow on Highway 80 which wascalled Silver Beaver Lodge.  The lodge was the Troop's winter camp from 1949 until 1972 when it burned down.

During the 50-year existance of Troop 4, many awards and ribbons have been earned by the scouts through participation in local, district, council and regional activities.  Scoutmaster Partridge reports that on several occasions ribbons on the Troop 4 flag have had to be removed to allow room for more to be placed on the flag.

It is estimated that about 2,000 boys have been members of Troop 4 during its 50 year existance and that about 150 boys have earned the EagleScout rand, the highest rank in scouting.

The first scout camp was held at Capitola, near Santa Cruz, in the summer of 1923 and again in 1924.  In 1925 camp was held at Sterling Lake, near Fordyce Lake, and the first Tahoe Council Camp was conducted in 1926 at Tamarack Flat, near the site of today's Pla-Vada.

In 1930 the summer camp was held at Kilborn Lake, called Camp Pahatsi, and the site is still in use by the troop.

The Boy Scouts of America had only been in existance 13 years when Grass Vallet Troop 4 was formed.  The Boy Scout organization began in 1908 in Great Britian under the leadership of Sir Robert Baden- Powell.  Daniel Carter Beard was one of the principal founders of the U.S. scouting movement and the group was incorporated in America in 1910.

In 1969 there were about 10 million members in the Boy Scout organization in 97 countries around the world.  U.S. membership at the end of 1970 totaled nearly 5 million.

The intention of the group is to develop the charater of boys and train them for the duties of adult life.  To promote the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft and to teach them patriotism, courage, self and kindered virtues.

Each Boy Scout takes the Scout Oath, pledging to keep himself "physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

Organizers of the reception for Partridge request that letters, pictures and newspaper clippings relating to Partridge be brought to the reception and that the items will be placed in a scrapbook and presented to him.  They also request donations which will be used to purchase a gift to commemorate Partridge's 50th year in scouting.

Reservations may be placed by contacting Dick Walker at 221 Patridge Drive in Grass Valley. 

View the original program from Sam Partridge's 50th anniversay celebration here!
  Sam's Program, Page 1
  Sam's Program, Page 2
  Sam's Program, Page 3
  Sam's Program, Page 4
(special thanks to Eagle Scout Bill Schultz (T4-1950) for donating this and other Scouting memorabilia!)

Troop4's Early Years
TROOP 4 brothers, William and Sam Partridge, in 1926.  The location is the Wolf Creek bridge on Colfax Avenue at the rear of the Partridge Hotel.

Troop4 - Home to three generations of Eagles!
TROOP4's FIRST EAGLE.  An Eagle Scout rank was earned by Sam Partridge in 1929.  He served with the Boy Scouts of America for over 50-years and was Scoutmaster of Grass Valley Troop 4 for nearly 30 years.

Early Patrol Leaders
1929 patrol leaders conference at park club house.

Troop4's Early Years
LOCAL SCOUTS help dedicate Nevada City's new City Hall in 1937.  The Eagle Scout just to the right of the American flag is Al Pratti from Troop6.  Al and Scouts from Troops 4, 24 & 832 helped rededicate the City Hall - in DEC2000!

Troop4's Early Years
Camp Pahatsi tie slide from the 1949 camp session.  Eagle Scout William Schultz (Troop 4 - 1950) donated this tie slide and other Scouting memorabilia to the Troop in 2001. Visit the Virtual Patch Collection to see more!

1952 Camporee!
Dated "May 3 & 4, 1952", this plaque was awarded at that year's Tahoe Area District Camporee.  The Tahoe District was reorganized into what is now the Gold Country and Buttes Area Districts.

Troop4 1960
THIS PHOTO of Troop 4 was taken in 1960.

Troop4 1966
A 1966 photo of Troop 4 Scouts.

Silver Beaver Lodge

BOY SCOUT Troop4 in Grass Valley celebrates its 50th in 1973. Over the years the troop has been a leader in providing recreational activities and leadership training for the young men of the community.  This picture was taken at a 1969 winter camp at the Troop's Silver Beaver Lodge.

Troop4 1971
1971 group picture of scoutmaster Partridge and Troop 4 Scouts.

Troop4 1973
TROOP 4 IN 1973 poses for a picture during a celebration of the troop's 50th anniversary in May of 1972.

Lions Patch
The Lions Club long relationship with Troop4 was acknowledged in this 50th anniversary patch issued to all Troop members in 1973.

Lions Neckerchief
The Lions Club presented hand made neckerchiefs to each Troop member to commerate the Troop's 50th anniversary.  They were worn at all Troop ceremonies and special events. 

Troop4 - over 80 years of service!
SAM PARTRIDGE holds an anniversary cake during a celebration of Grass Valley Troop 4's 50th anniversary.  On April 28, 1973 Partridge will be honored on his 50th anniversary in scouting.  He was Scoutmaster of Troop 4, a position he held for nearly 30 years starting in 1945.

"I slept and dreamt
That life was happiness.
I awoke and saw
That life was service.
I served and discovered
That in service,
one finds happiness."

-- R. Tagore

Sam Partridge went home in 1982.
Thanks for everything, Sam.

Troop4 2000
TROOP4 at Camp O-Ki-Hi, Summer 2000

Check out Troop4's Historical Patch Collection!

Get more information about Troop4!

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We shall remember them
Lest We Forget"

From Poems for the Fallen - Laurence Binyon

Boy Scouts of America - Troop 4
since 1922 !!
Grass Valley Scout Lodge
Memorial Park
415 Memorial Lane
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Meetings every Monday, 7PM @ the Grass Valley Scout Lodge

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This page was revised February 18, 2002.