The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News
From the June 10, 1938 edition of the Gazette:
With many summer visitors to the island, the slogan is Open House in New England, and the season is a series of fast and even furious festivities. But among the thousands of visitors, some prefer to isolate themselves, either because they are too well known in the world to rejoice in knowing where they are easily and having their vacation ruined, or because they have work to do. even on vacation.
“They say” Katharine Cornell has chosen this summer to devote herself to her biography and is entrenched in her Vineyard Sound estate with Ruth Woodbury Sedgwick, who should do a good job of the book. Cornell’s childhood memories have an interesting twist in the vineyard, embracing as they do the happy days at the glamorous hotel in Innisfail on the Lagoon.
It was the memory of Innisfail, and the Vineyard scent of bayberry, she told a Gazette interviewer, who called the scene’s first lady years later to taste the island again, then to settle in a strategically remote position between the Sound and Tashmoo Pond. Miss Cornell and her husband, distinguished producer Guthrie McClintic, entertained many of the scene’s notables at Chip-Chop.
This also applies to the James Cagneys, whose island estate, also remote and fenced off from the celebrity hunter, is at Chilmark, the former Hillman property on the North Road, which has been increased in size by later purchases , including Manter’s Mill. Many great tales have emanated from Cagney’s retirement, or have been credited to the gentleman-farmer-movie star, who laughs them all off as inspired by the studio.
Theater and film actors are not the only celebrities the island boasts of, but they are the best known to the general public. Among those who frequent the vineyard is Cagney’s pal, Edward J. McNamara, who came here first, as Cagney did, as a guest of Denys Wortman at his Chilmark summer residence.
James Kirkwood is another island enthusiast. A star of the stage before moving to the movies, Mr. Kirkwood feels entitled to a life of leisure after thirty-five years in the theater, if the demanding drudgeries of a hobby fisherman can be called leisurely.
Tom Benton, whose murals, small paintings and drawings have outraged more conservatives in art and politics than those of most men, belongs to the Chilmark cohorts. The vineyard holds a special place in his esteem and he immortalized some of his characters in painting, including the late Chester Poole and Mr and Mrs George West of Menemsha.
In stark contrast to the activities of many of the summer residents listed above are those of Roger Baldwin, who comes to Windy Gates, Chilmark, with his family every season. He is the director of the American Civil Liberties Union and it’s a safe bet that he is not neutral in what is happening in Newark and Jersey City, where “Jersey justice” was experienced recently by Norman Thomas .
Artists seem to thrive on the tune of Vineyard, and Ellison Hoover of the New York Herald Tribune is no exception. He loves the vineyard so much that he built his own home in the attractive section near Tiah’s Cove.
One of the world’s foremost scientists relaxes in Vineyard Haven, where he has a summer residence. This is Dr. Frank B. Jewett, president of Bell Telephone Laboratories and vice president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
Barely in the category of summer visitor for so long and so closely that she and her family have been identified with the vineyard, Miss Alice Stone Blackwell should have been mentioned nearer the start of this list if the position recognized the distinction. . A pioneer crusader for women’s rights, she is the daughter of Lucy Stone and followed in the footsteps of this famous woman leader. Lucy Stone and her family were summer visitors, as were their cousins, sisters and aunts, all the notable clan.
Many of the compositions that have been heard before the spellbound audiences of the New York Philharmonic Society and the Philadelphia Orchestra were composed in a Vineyard breeze-swept studio overlooking sapphire waters. They are the work of Bernard Wagenaar, born in Holland, but a summer resident since his marriage sixteen years ago. The great conductors of the time, including Toscanini, conducted his symphonies and shorter works here, and his compositions have also been heard in several foreign countries.
Chappaquiddick puts forward a claim with Roger Sherman Hoar, who runs a rather startling range in his literary productions. As Ralph Milne Farley, he contributes to “pulp” magazines an astonishing assortment of adventure stories with startling scientific implications, some of which relate to the island of Chappaquiddick, including his stepfather, the late Benjamin W. Pease , could tell stories that also smell of magic.
And so on. This article is over although the list is far from over.
Compiled by Hilary Wallcox