All the Social News

From the Vineyard Gazette editions of June, 1908:

Those from Edgartown, in all numbering twenty-three, who attended the Neighborhood Convention at Gay Head on Tuesday, report a most delightful day. The start was made, five teams in all, at the early hour of six in the morning, and the arrival home was about eight in the evening, four hours on the road each way.

The convention was successful and very helpful to those attending, and was ably presided over by the moderator for the day, Mrs. George Hunt Luce of West Tisbury. The people of Gay Head very largely attended the convention, and next to that place, Edgartown led the other towns of the Island in representation.

The Edgartown company say many good things of the hospitality shown by the Gay Head people and of the many acts of courtesy extended to them which made their six-hour stay on the famous headland so pleasant. Rev. C.L. Whitman and wife, Mr. Chas. Averill, Deacon Jeffers, Mrs. Manning, Mrs. Elanora Smalley, and many others were mentioned.

On the trip home, the cooling draughts of water provided by Mr. Eliashib Athearn were much appreciated by the thirsty and dusty travellers and blessings were heaped upon this kindly old veteran of the Civil War. Mr. Athearn had anticipated their needs and was at the roadside pitcher in hand.

Some of those making up the band who attended from Edgartown were: Rev. and Mrs. E. E. Craig, Dea. and Mrs. Samuel Vincent, Mrs. Harry Cleveland, Mrs. Beriah Hillman, Mrs. Leroy Fisher, Miss Florence Holley, Mrs. Eunice Pent, Mrs. A.K. Silvia, Mrs. George Butler, Mrs. Mary Pease, Mrs. George Ripley, Mrs. F. Hudson Worden, Mrs. Hiram Cleveland, Miss Maria Simpson, Mrs. Lyman Thomas, Mrs. Julia Harrington.

What is believed to be the largest and most valuable piece of coral ever gathered for any institution in the world was brought to New York last week by Capt. Joshua Slocum in the little 10-ton yacht in which he formerly sailed alone around the world. The piece of coral, which weighs nearly two tons, is the property of the American Museum of Natural History. It was found by Dr. D.E. Dahlgren who spent several months off Andros Island, exploring reefs, gathering coral and getting photographs for the museum. Dr. Dahlgren arranged with Capt. Slocum to bring the specimen to New York on the Spray.

For several winters since his lonely trip around the world, Captain Slocum has cruised in the West Indies. During the voyage up from the Bahamas the Spray experienced very heavy weather, particularly north of Hatteras, but the little craft rode out the storm and tempest like a duck, Captain Slocum said.

Captain Slocum’s residence is at West Tisbury and his friends will be glad to see him home again.

The first news from the Arctic whaling fleet which sailed from San Francisco this spring, reached New Bedford Sunday evening, from Nome, reporting the loss of the William Baylies in the ice pack, in the Gulf of Anadir, on the Siberian coast. The crew were all saved.

The whaling fleet at the time of sailing north was one of the smallest in the history of Arctic whaling, and now by the loss of the Baylies it is reduced to seven steamers, one bark and two schooners, one of the last named, the Olga, having wintered north during the season of 1907-8. The Baylies was one of the best in the fleet. She was valued with outfits, at $32,000, and it is stated that her loss is covered by insurance,

The Baylies was last reported at Unalaska, about April 1, on her way north. It is the custom of the fleet to cruise for bowheads south of Bering Strait until the latter part of June or early July, and as it is supposed that the crew have been placed on board the steamers Bowhead and Jeannette, they will be landed on the coast of Alaska before going into the ocean, and then returned to San Francisco, when the details of the wreck will be made public.

The Baylies was commanded by Capt. H. H. Bodfish, who last season took 9,500 pounds of whalebone, and the season before came out with 30,000 pounds, high book of the fleet. He is a resident of Vineyard Haven, and is considered one of the most able and successful Arctic whaling masters of the present time, He commenced his career as a whaleman 27 years ago, and holds the record of 23 successive summers in the Arctic.

To those who have always loved the Vineyard, a pretty book by Charles Gilbert Hine of New York makes its appeal. First because of its pictorial beauty; second, because of the interest of the story; third, because of the nuggets of real history so aptly and easily distributed through the pages comprised between the covers of the Story of Martha’s Vineyard now on sale. This work has something for everyone; there being meat for the strong, milk for the young, and fully-cooked and pre-digested nutriment for the idler and trifler by the summer seas. We can only say buy it for yourselves and your friends.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner