From the July 1919 editions of the Gazette:

A dispatch to the Boston Post of July 22nd, dated at Vineyard Haven, says: “The first aerial commuters in New England are to land here Friday evening. Melville B. Fuller and M. J. Brown, both wealthy New York stock brokers and summer residents of the exclusive colony are to try the flight, it was learned today, with a view of establishing this means of travel as a regular week-end event to and from their offices and summer homes.”

The plane — a Curtiss flying boat of the latest type — will be piloted by Lieutenant David McCulloch, who was one of the pilots on the U. S. Naval transatlantic flier NC-3. Mr. Fuller told a Post reporter that they expect to leave New York shortly after 3 o’clock and land in Vineyard Haven harbor about 6:30 o’clock. A stop will be made at New London, he said.

The coming of the commuters by air has excited this island and its hundreds of summer residents and vacationists as never before. Mr. Fuller has announced the ship will ride at anchor in Vineyard Haven harbor Saturday and Sunday and that, weather permitting, a number of the residents of East Chop colony will have opportunity to try a flight out over Vineyard Sound and around Nantucket.

Plans are being made to give the two commuters a rousing reception. Herbert M. Chase of Cambridge, proprietor of the Wesley House at Oak Bluffs, with several other members of the Oak Bluffs Improvement Association and Sheriff Renear of Vineyard Haven are planning to have a committee tender the fliers an informal reception when they land.

“The plane is the latest model of Curtiss flying boats and cost $18,000,” Mr. Fuller told a Post man. “I had planned to make a quiet trip, as had Mr. Brown, but evidently our plans leaked out. They were known but by a few on the island, whom we have invited to take a short flight Saturday or Sunday if the weather permits.

“If the plan proves successful and feasible,as we have every reason to believe it will, we plan to purchase the plane and make all our week-end trips throughout the rest of the summer and early fall to and from Martha’s Vineyard by the air route. The Curtiss people tell us that the trip can be made in a bit more than three hours and, you see, this will give us opportunity to spend all day Saturday ad Sunday at our summer places, instead of using up 8 to 12 hours in traveling each way.”

Mr. Fuller has done much amateur flying in Washington and other places and he plans to pilot the machine himself in the flights to follow.

Under the heading “Vineyard Folks Go Flying,” the Sunday Standard’s Vineyard Haven correspondent writes as follows:

The hydroplane which brought Mevin B. Fuller and Myron J. Brown, New York business men, commuting to their East Chop places met with an accident in the bay today when, in “taking off” the water, the pontoon struck something floating on the surface and was punctured. No one was injured but flying was halted for the day and repairs immediately began under the direction of the pilot, C. D. Griffin, who brought the machine over from New York Friday in two hours and a half.

It was a wild day for Vineyard Haven people today, no less than 60 people going into the air in the hydroplane and having the time of their lives. More were to be taken up but the accident interfered with plans, but it was expected that flights could be resumed Sunday. Those who went up yesterday were Mr. and Mrs. Howard Chadwick, Sheriff Renear, Mrs. Renear and daughter Mildred, Mr. and Mrs. M. B. Fuller and Marguerite White 9 and Erwin White, ll. The all declared it a great experience.

The pilot and the two air-line commuters “put one over” on their wealthy friends today by flying away at 8 o’clock in the direction of Woods Hole to meet the tug Sherman, chartered at New Bedford by summer people to bring them over Vineyard Haven way. The air machine hovered over the Sherman and demonstrated how the time was cut down from over 15 hours to two hours and a half, enabling week-end visitors to get the maximum enjoyment out of their seashore trip.

Of far more importance to the Vineyard people is this first flight to the island than was the trans-Atlantic flight. Friday night a banquet was held at the Wesley House, Oak Bluffs, arranged by Eugene O’Neill. Present at the banquet, besides the flyers, were Herbert T. M. Chase, a Boston lawyer, Sheriff Walter Renear, William J. Look, Selectman M. J. Keegan, Judge Eldridge, Henery B. Fuller, Joseph Smith and Mr. McKnight.

After the banquet, the party went to the tabernacle where several thousand people had gathered to listen to the stories of the trip as told by the visitors. Mr. Fuller told the story of the trip in detail and Mr. Brown and Pilot Griffin were called upon for remarks. Rev. Frank Parkin, vice president of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, made a speech. Mr. McKnight introduced the speakers of the evening.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox