Saturday last was a big day in the annals of Martha’s Vineyard when Governor McCall, in the presence of a gathering of many hundreds of citizens of this and other States, presented to the town of Gay Head the Shield of Honor, which has been well-styled “the most coveted of New England’s patriotic honors.”

Governor McCall arrived at the island at 1 o’clock. A half-hour before the S. S. Uncatena had steamed into the harbor of Vineyard Haven and had tied up to the flag-decked dock, there to unload the crack band of the Second District Naval Reserves from Newport, under the leadership of Chief Petty Officer T. C. Brown, Jr.

On the dock were 60 white-suited naval reservists from the Woods Hole naval station, under command of Lieutenant W. W. Brinckerhoff. Drawn up in formation with bayonets fixed they stood rigidly at attention as the Governor and his party landed from the launches of the U.S.S. Aztec, the naval craft which Secretary of the Navy Daniels and Admiral Wood, commandant of the first naval district, ordered to bring the Governor to the big celebration. Lieutenant Brinckerhoff and his officers, including Lieut. R. S. Saunderson, Assistant Paymaster C. M. Herrick, Ensign Montgomery Isenberg, Ensign E. J. Hale, Ensign R. W. Anderson and Ensign A. N. Stanley, were also at attention as the band played.

Lietenant Governor Calvin Coolidge was at the Governor’s side as he stepped on the wharf, and behind them came other guests of honor, included in the party being Edmund Billings, collector of the port of Boston; Captain Marsh, aide to Admiral Wood of the first naval district; Adjutant-General Stevens, Judge Advocate-General Rogers. State Treasurer Charles L. Burrill, Senator James F. Cavanagh of Everett, Republican leader in the Senate; Robert J. Bottomley and all the members of the Governor’s Council, Hon. Chas. Baxter, and others.

George H. Graham, State commissioner on fisheries and game, and Dr. Sun, were also in the part, as were Clifton B. Carberry, managing editor of the Boston Post, Robert L. Norton, political reporter of the Post, H. L. Baldwin, Honor Shield editor Boston Post, Ex-State Senator Walter O. Luscombe, H. G. Haddon of the Martha’s Vineyard Telegraph Co., and many others.

The Governor and his party were escorted in a parade composed of Naval Reservists, Coast Guardsmen from the Gay Head Life saving station, Boy Scouts, Red Cross organizations and the citizenry of the island to the flag staff at the corner of Main and Union streets.

Here the governor assisted in raising the state and national emblems and the Vineyard Haven service flag, containing 57 stars, and received the golden keys to Martha’s Vineyard from six daughters of the island, Miss May Briggs of Vineyard Haven, Miss Louise Eldridge of Oak Bluffs, Miss Alice Eldridge of Edgartown, Miss Sarah West of Chilmark, Miss Inez Donaldson of West Tisbury and Miss Elsie Diamond of Gay Head.

After lunch at the Bayside the governor proceeded to Gay Head.


The Grand Parade of Autos

One hundred and seventy floats and decorated cars took part in the grand procession which left Vineyard Haven for Gay Head. As one writer has expressed it: “There were more cars on the island than ever before and many machines took part in the long parade that wound its way over the splendid state roads, past the gaily decked buildings and hedgerows of the towns and even of the most remote and isolated nooks and crannies of the island, guided on its way by the red-white-and-blue cockades attached to the trees at the intervals throughout the more sparsely populated sections.”

Arriving at Gay Head’s frontier they were met by that town’s division and moved up to that famous headland in the following order:

Marshal M. P. Cooper and aids.

U. S. Naval Band from Newport.

U.S. Naval Reserves from Woods Hole Station.

Chief Marshal, Sheriff Walter H. Renear.

Governor McCall and Invited Guests.

Gay Head Men in Service.

Martha’s Vineyard Men in Service.

Gay Head Coast Guard, Capt. A. S. Cahoon commanding.

Mothers, Wives and Fathers’ Section, with Service Flags.

School Children of Gay Head, in charge of Miss Nanetta Vanderhoop.

Asst. Marshal, Gerald A. Pease.

Edgartown Division – Town Officials and Floats.

Oak Bluffs Division – Town Officials and Floats.

Tisbury Division – Town Officials and Floats.

West Tisbury Division – Town Officials and Floats.

Chilmark Division – Town Officials and Floats.

Every town on the island had a fine representation in the parade. Where there were so many scores of handsome floats and beautifully decorated cars, it would be too great a problem to particularize even if we had the space. It was all a great credit to Martha’s Vineyard, and the long procession as viewed from the many points of vantage was a picture which will not soon be forgotten.

Impressive Picture at West Tisbury

At West Tisbury the Governor and parade paused while they witnessed the pageant of the first land purchase at Takemmy, the Indian name for West Tisbury. The participants in the 10-minute bit of portrayal of the island’s varied historical life were: Allen Look as Matthew Mayhew; Kenneth Cahoon as William Pabodie; Zelpha Cahoon as Betty Alden Pabodie; Daniel Manter as JosiasStandish; Anna Halsey as Sarah Allen Standish; Frank A. Look as James Allen; Mary Pease as Elizabeth Perkins Allen; Herold Keyes as James Skiffe; Brbara Look as Mrs. James Skiffe; and Forrest Littlefield as Sachem Keteanummin.

Indians came from a gladed wood and met the Puritans on a shaded knoll as the Governor’s party applauded. The whole effect was deeply impressive, and was one of the best features of the day.



At Gay Head

At Gay Head, the town honored, at the little red wooden schoolhouse nested in the midst of the picturesque Indian village, Governor McCall in very eloquent words, presented the Shield of Honor, surrounded by the dusky, stoical descendants of the aborigines and in the presence of thousands gathered to pay homage to men who have answered the call to arms.

After little Miss Viola Vanderhoop and Byron Attaquin had broken out the colors and the service flag raised in honor of their townsmen, the governor was introduced by William J. Look, former Representative from Dukes county.

The flags concealing the shield were drawn apart by Edna Belain and Frank Manning, and Ex-Representative E. D. Vanderhoop accepted the emblem on behalf of the town of Gay Head, Rev. R. N. Toms, pastor of the Gay Head church, offered the prayer.

There was a great applause as a service flag with 20 stars was pulled aloft on the school house. Then the Governor and his party and the long line of automobiles left on the trip the length of the island to Edgartown.



The Governor at Edgartown

It was about 6:30, one hour behind the schedule, when the Governor’s party and the attending automobiles, whirled into Edgartown, where on the Court House green hundred of citizens who had assembled gave him cordial greeting.

After his reception by sub-chairman J. W. Vose and members if the committee, Hon. Henry K. Braley, justice of the Supreme Court, with felicitous words, introduced His Excellency from the Court House steps and Governor McCall responded with a brief but very happily worded speech. Afterword he was introduced to many of the people, and he and his party partook of an excellent fruit punch, the refreshment table being presided over by Mrs. Frank S. Lovewell and Mrs. George G. H. King.

On account of the lateness of the hour Governor McCall and party were obliged to hasten to Oak Bluffs to attend the dinner at the Wesley House and the other exercises of the evening.

Later a portion of the Naval Station Band arrived, which, after refreshments of sandwiches and ginger ale, gave several selections on the Court House lawn. The detachment of Naval Reserves did not get through to Edgartown, although some of the officers came down with the Governor’s party.



The Evening at Oak Bluffs

More than 100 were at the dinner and banquet at the Wesley House in the evening and then came the exercises in the Tabernacle.

Hon. B. T. Hillman of Edgartown, chairman of the general committee, presided at the big gathering and introduced the speakers. For a radius of a half-mile around the Tabernacle the grounds were a veritable fairyland with Japanese lanterns, multi-colored streamers and red, white and blue bunting.

Governor McCall received a tremendous ovation when he appeared on the platform. The great crowd stood up and for 10 minutes the man who presented the shield of honor to Gay Head was cheered. The Governor was visibly affected by his reception and for a couple of minutes the veteran of a thousand ovations was speechless. He made a very eloquent address, and was followed by Dr. Sun of China; Lieut. Brinckeroff; Capt. J. Lawrence Barry, U. S. Marine Corps (retired), and Dr. F. B. Upham of Brooklyn.

Praise was heaped on Chairman Herbert M. Chase and his associates of the entertainment committee for their able handling of the caring for all the guests.

The water fete and pageant of the beautiful lake-harbor in front of the Wesley House, the band concert, red fire burning about the grounds, searchlights playing about the harbor, the landing ofGosnold and his reception by the Indians, all in costume, and various other features, brought the strenuous day to a close, but which the young folks prolonged by dancing at The Tivoli.