Talk of the Town

From Gazette editions of May, 1909:

The Rev. Dr. Denniston, late of Jamaica, brought down the house while his fitness for American citizenship was being tested at the recent sitting of the Superior Court at Edgartown. The examiner inquired, “Who elects the President of the United States?” “The Republican Party,” answered the candidate in all soberness; and the Democratic chief justice joined in the ripple of applause that went around the room. “A most apt reply,” said His Honor amiably, and admitted the petitioner without further inquiry.

Uncle Mike Daggett was superstitious in some things as his friends easily perceived. Now as it happened, one of his leanings was toward the divining rod as an aid to find buried treasure. Uncle Mike was firmly possessed of the idea that treasure was to be found “down the Neck,” but never was able to locate it, until an off-Islander came along, who with divining rod and incantations could easily find anything. The two hunted around until the hazel twig gave a sure sign that the treasure was there.

There were some mischievous boys in the Daggett family and in some way they learned of what was doing and just where and when the digging was to commence. They went out before hand, laden with powder and brimstone, pick-axe and shovel, and they scooped out a shallow circular trench around the spot, filling it with the combustible and running a line off to a convenient patch of nearby bushes, and there the conspirators lay until the men came for the digging.

The two men lost no time and were so engrossed in their work that the boys were able to set off their trap without discovery. The flash of the powder and smell of brimstone were altogether too much for the already excited nerves of the treasure hunters and they left in a hurry, never stopping until they reached the village and told the wondering neighbors how they had been mighty near the infernal regions, for they surely did smell brimstone. The boys for long years feared to give the thing away, for Uncle Mike Daggett was husky and did not enjoy being trifled with.

It is told of old Mr. Thomas Smith, of the Head of the Pond, how he had been spearing eels through the ice and having secured his back basket full, a heavy load, slung it over his shoulders and started for shore. Now the ice near the shore was rotten, because of the many springs, and Mr. Smith, back basket and all, suddenly disappeared from view. Others who were out saw the catastrophe and put for the shore, but were compelled to go roundabout because of the mush ice.

By the time they reached the shore, the old gentleman was discovered marching along for dry land, with the basket still on his back and someone hailed him that he had come pretty near getting drowned.

“Well,” says he, “I thought if I could hold my course I could drain the water,” and out he walked as though it were an every day occurrence.

A social was held for the members of the church and society in the Congregational vestry last week, with members of the Brotherhood as entertainers. As the guests were assembling several selections were rendered on the gramophone, in the charge of Mr. Norman Waight. The program which followed included a number of selections on the trombone by Dr. C. Channing Nevin, with Miss Katharine Graham as accompanist on the piano, readings by the Pastor, Rev. E.E. Craig, in the French Canadian dialect from Drummond’s “Habitant,” and an impromptu address by Deacon W.C. Nevin. This was followed by the assigning of topics for brief conversations, one of the subjects being “The Congregational Brotherhood.” Light refreshments were served.

We are not interested ourself, of course, but may have a friend who might like to know how to rid his house of fleas. The wayside Tansey, which is common about the Vineyard, is sure to drive the wicked flea hence. Just gather a bunch and shoo ‘em out of the house with it and they will go right over to the neighbors. Or, if they try to get in bed with you, scatter a few stalks among the sheets and sleep in peace. If your dog is troubled, as some dogs are, oil him thoroughly in a strong decoction of Tansey tea and the dog will never scratch again.

Much favorable comment is made of the new waiting station of the trolley line in Oak Bluffs, and Mr. Shangraw has outdone all former efforts in the splendid electric display seen there every evening, about one hundred incandescent lights being used to illumine the section at the foot of Circuit avenue, where it has always been rather dark as compared with other locations. Mr. Shangraw is a hustler and is certainly doing good work in his line. We wish him success for the season.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner