Place Holders

From Gazette editions of February, 1959:

The Martha’s Vineyard Country Club, located in Oak Bluffs, has been sold by James A. Boyle of Vineyard Haven, to Richard D. Mansfield of the same town, transfers of the title having been effected this week. Mr. Mansfield, best known as the proprietor of the Mink Meadows Golf Club at West Chop, told the Gazette that he is primarily interested in the motel on the property and the golf links, and that he hopes to lease the clubhouse. He plans no particular changes beyond a general cleaning up of the premises, and the operation of the various facilities will continue much as before. The long history of the country club has been one of continued disappointment. Established by the late H.O. Phillips, who spent money freely on its founding, the club did not prove financially successful, and one of the larger buildings was eventually torn down. Considerable money has been spent in late years in adding facilities which include an outdoor swimming pool and a new building.

The property is located in one of the most sightly of seaside Island spots and by the addition of a considerable acreage in recent years the golf course has been greatly increased in size. As proprietor of Mink Meadows, Mr. Mansfield has been signally successful. A landscape artist by profession, he has taken direct charge of the care and maintenance of the grounds. He can count on the support of the present clientele, both Islanders and seasonal residents, and he views the future of this establishment with encouragement.

Max Eastman of East Pasture, Gay Head, is the author of a new book, Great Companions, to be published by Farrar Straus & Cudahy in April. The publishers say the book contains “warm anecdotal memoirs of famous friends” by Mr. Eastman. They characterize it also as a stimulating appraisal of twelve famous personages known personally by the author, including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Leon Trotsky, Pablo Casals, Bertrand Russell, Edna Ferber and Ernest Heminway.

The Cape Pogue Light is almost certainly due for a move quite soon, because of the dangerously precarious position in which it has been placed as a result of the erosion of the cliff of that promontory. Officials of the Coast Guard inspected the site last week, and determined the light would have to be moved soon. In fact, there were two inspection trips. Capt. Anthony Bettencourt, the keeper of the light, escorted officers from the Woods Hole Coast Guard Station, and as a result of that visit, a host of Boston Coast Guard officials made a trip by helicopter to inspect the erosion.

The old, white-painted shingled tower is now standing a scant twenty-four feet from the edge of the precipice. The winter of 1957-58 was an abnormally stormy one, and northeast winds and seas pounded the cliffs and ate away the sandy bank with unusual voracity. From the way the Coast Guard officials were talking, Captain Bettencourt surmised that the tower would be moved approximately 120 feet back but would still be located on the high point of land. It appeared at first as if there were a proposal to substitute a steel structure for the old tower. However, the sentiment of the men soon seemed changed at the realization that the handsome old tower with its graceful superstructure was too familiar a landmark to dispense with and it must be preserved if possible.

The world premiere of a new play Dear Liar, starring famous Katharine Cornell and Brian Aherne will present a production based on the love letters between George Bernard Shaw and the late actress, Mrs. Patrick Campbell. After a tour, the play will go to New York. Gertrude Macy will be general manager for Miss Cornell and Jean Rosenthal will be the Broadway lighting technician. The play reunites Miss Cornell and Mr. Aherne for the first time since their long run with the Barretts of Wimpole Street twenty-seven years ago.

Trustees of the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club have purchased the property on Sengekontacket Pond, known as Divided Meadows, from Mrs. Jesse J. Oliver Sr. of Vineyard Haven, the sale being concluded this week. The property, consisting of twenty-one acres, with 1,700 feet of shore frontage and two buildings, one of which is an open-sided pavilion, was purchased by the club for $5,000, the sale being financed through an Island bank. The sale of shares in the property to individual members, is expected to supply funds for meeting interest and principal payments and also for such remodeling as is contemplated. The pavilion, which is substantially built, but with open sides, can readily be converted to a closed-in structure, winterized and provided with all necessary facilities for holding meetings and other purposes. It is planned to install a rifle range and a skeet range on the land and further plans will be announced as the club makes its decisions.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner