From the July 22, 1930 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

Capt. Ike Norton of Edgartown and his crew caught an excellent view of the white whale which has been reported recently after the Malvina B. had passed through the Cape Cod Canal on her way to Boston prior to her return to her home port last week. The schooner sailed again on Sunday.

Phil Norton, brother of the captain, saw the white whale first. It then sounded, but came to the surface again and was seen by the entire crew. The creature was described as being entirely white, an absolute modern replica of the immortal Moby Dick.

Reports of the white whale have been received from several vessels lately, but Captain Norton and his men are the first Vineyarders to come across the unusual mammal.

The Malvina B. made her maiden trip this spring and is now engaged in swordfishing.

Do 50 pounds of lobster make a sailor’s holiday quite complete? That’s what people at Menemsha are wondering since a particularly painful incident which occurred on Sunday.

Several destroyers steamed up to Menemsha on target practice bound. The memory of the succulent lobsters to be found in that fishing village evidently inspired a prompt visit on the part of two boatloads who speedily headed for Menemsha and made the necessary purchases from Everett A. Poole. As Mr. Poole was waiting on the landing party from one of the four stackers, bailing out the lobsters and going inside to weigh them, the raiding party which the other boatload turned out to constitute, made off with about 50 pounds of lobster and made a clean getaway. Lobster has been retailing lately at close to 50 cents per pound, so figure the damage for yourself. And picture the cordial feeling which now exists toward the visitors.

The last note in nonchalance was struck at the recent meeting of the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club at Ms. H. V. Greenough’s West Chop home. Attended by about 100 members, many of whom were passing back and forth across the broad piazza, the gathering was ignored by the birds, one of them a saucy and friendly chewink, which visited the tray of food spread for their declaration on the balustrade. The visitors flew back and forth with the utmost calm, helping themselves to their favorite seeds and tidbits.

The nuisance that the cunning brown rabbits, with their cottontails flirting gaily behind them, can make of themselves on occasion came up for discussion at the meeting of the club. Ms. Greenough’s flower garden, only a few feet from the water’s edge, has attracted them strangely this year, and without waiting to see whether the blossoms that were to be would suit their taste, they have neatly nipped off the aspiring stalks. Other members of the club reported the same distressing experience.

Friends of Capt’n Norman Benson are greatly agitated by his appearance on the golf links. The captain has become a golf bug and is said to have absolutely no regard whatsoever for the rules and regulations regarding the use of clubs. “Give me one of those bung-starters,” he is quoted as saying. “I don’t care which one, or how it’s hung, and if I can’t knock a ball into Bristol County, I’ll swallow it!” Capt’n Benson has been a trap fisherman for several decades and has always been distinguished for his enterprise. It is opined that the unprecedented run of bullseye mackerel may have affected him and caused this reckless behavior.

In August 1846, only a few months after the founding of the Vineyard Gazette, Larson W. Perkins, a whaleman aboard the bark America, received a letter from his sweetheart and future wife, Prudence S., sent from Edgartown, 13 months after it had been dispatched. The letter has been preserved by members of the Perkins family, now residents in Chicago, and its story was told in a recent issue of the Chicago Tribune, in the series, Interesting Letters. The son of Prudence S. and her whaleman husband, W. L. Perkins, treasures the letters, written July 8, 1845, as a keepsake. As the address shows, the letter was sent “per ship Mt. Wollaston,” another whaler plying on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Not until more than a year later was there an opportunity to deliver it.

Prudence S., whose identity some readers of the Vineyard Gazette can probably supply, became the bride of her seafaring correspondent after his return from his 1845-1846 cruise, and in 1848 they started for the west. By way of the Erie Canal, they reached Buffalo, where they boarded a sailboat for Wisconsin. They landed at Westport, now Kenosha, in 1848, and went by wagon to Beloit, where they lived the rest of their lives, Ms. Perkins surviving her husband and living to the age of 90.

The uniqueness of the letter, says the Tribune, puts it in a class of its own. It had neither envelope, stamps or postmarks on it. By clever folding, it was made into compact form, much the same as the present-day envelope.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox