Fearless Whaler

From the Vineyard Gazette editions of March, 1908:

The bark Wanderer is being fitted for a whaling voyage and will be commanded by Captain George Fred Tilton, the hero of the long walk from the Arctic, bringing the news of the disaster of the whaling fleet, the winner of horse races, and the successful whaling captain.

Capt. Tilton will try a new venture. He will first cruise to Greenland to try for the bowheads on the east coast, which has been neglected of late by the Scotch whalers. When the season grows late he will go to the sperm whaling grounds off the coast of Iceland, which have not been visited in many years. The old Commodore Morris and Ocean Steed formerly visited these grounds, where the big 100 barrel species are found. Capt. Tilton knows the bowhead habits and expects to pick up seven or eight. He has a staunch vessel in the Wanderer, and as he is the most fearless of all the race of whalemen, nothing will deter him.

The Commodore Morris grounds are stormy. One of the most successful commanders of the old bark knew no fear on the grounds, but later in the still waters of the Arctic, he could get no rest or sleep, the fear of the ice being always upon him. Capt. Tilton has no fear of anything on land or sea.

The Christian Endeavor and Ladies Aid societies of the Baptist church combined in a Mother Goose Social Tuesday evening. It being St. Patrick’s Day, the house was tastefully decorated with green streamers and an Irish flag was prominent. A number of the guests appeared in costume as Mother Goose characters. After a grand march, each person recited the nursery rhyme appropriate to the character represented.

The English steamer Silvia, bound from New York to Halifax, struck Sow and Pigs ledge Saturday in a thick fog. She was about to anchor when she struck, and then commenced firing her gun until ammunition gave out, but soon the Cuttyhunk life savers were there. When the Gay Head crew got to the Silvia, the Humane Society was already there. There were 30 passengers on board and 33 crew. The passengers were carried to the revenue cutter Mohawk and she carried them to New Bedford. The Silvia was loaded with fruits, cabbages, beef and so forth. A good deal of the cargo has found its way to Cuttyhunk. Rumors of large stores of underclothes and other valuable articles have come to the underwriter’s agent here, and as a result State Police officer Thos. A. Dexter of Edgartown has been dispatched to the island with orders to confiscate everything he can find. The steamer has broken in two and a large part of the remaining cargo has gone adrift. The flotsam stretches all along Vineyard Sound.

Capt. and Mrs. Ellsworth West arrived Tuesday for a brief visit at their home on South Summer street before rejoining the steamer Corwin at Seattle, Wash., for their annual trip to Nome and other Alaskan ports.

A horse, owned by Thos. W. Fisher which he purchased recently from Thos. A. Dexter, and driven by William Black, with Mrs. Robert Jackson as a passenger, was this morning driven with closed top buggy attached from Edgartown to Vineyard Haven, 8 1/2 miles, in 35 minutes. Missing the boat when it left here Mrs. Jackson secured the conveyance, started at 6:15 and arrived at Vineyard Haven at 6:50, in ample season to go on board the Uncatena when she arrived.

Town meeting day was rather wet and dreary outside in Oak Bluffs, but it was a sort of love feast inside. Everything went along in smooth fashion. Mr. E. G. Eldridge was a model moderator, The reading of the long list of By-Laws by the committee on revision was listened to patiently, and they were adopted unanimously by the meeting. They will be sent to the Court for approval, after which a thousand copies will be printed. The committee appointed to investigate the matter of the protection of the shore front made their report and the following recommendation was made: That a bulkhead of stone and concrete about 1,000 feet in length be built and completed before next winter. Such a bulkhead can be built for about $7.00 a running foot, and it was voted that $1,000 be appropriated for the purchase of rock for immediate delivery. A vote was passed that in September a town meeting be called to provide for a loan of a sufficient amount to build the entire bulkhead, the work to be completed before the heavy storms of the fall and winter.

We learn that the marriage of Mr. Norman G. Benson of this place and Miss Sarah Reynolds Luce of the North Side which took place at the bride’s home last Thursday evening, was a very pretty ceremony. It was performed by Rev. Mr. Johnson of Lambert’s Cove. The young people stood under an arch of evergreen, holly and running pine. The bride was pretty in a soft white gown. She was given away by her father, Mr. George Luce, a son of the late Capt. Hervey Luce of New Bedford. The young people received over 100 presents, many of them being valuable.

On Wednesday the last meeting of the season of the Want to Know Club took place, and though the weather was stormy most of the members made an effort to attend, so much interest was felt in the closing papers on Dutch Heroes, and What Civilization Owes to the Netherlands.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner