From the Sept. 18, 1925 edition of the Vineyard Gazette: It was some fifteen years since “Duffy” Vincent drew the applause of the bleachers when he turned out with the “Vineyard Haven Nine” and much has occurred with the passing of the years to rob him of his former pep and agility.

A family man, with a business which occupies much of his time, Mr. Vincent has rather dropped from the view of those fans who are so keen on noting the points and players of the good old Yankee game.

If anyone had said, two weeks ago, that Duffy was coming back, no one would have taken him seriously, and yet, it seems to be the truth.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, all Main Street traffic halted in amazement at the spectacle presented by “Duffy” in training. As one accustomed to the business, Mr. Vincent did not strip down to trunks and jersey, but realizing apparently that he must train down, somewhat, ran fully clad.

True, there was lacking some of the old-time spring and grace, and there was a noticeable increase in his waist-line, but the majority feel that Duffy is still “there.” A few skeptics offered the opinion that the only way he could ever get his weight down to its proper figure, would be to cut off a leg, but such remarks only add to the public interest, as it is a well-known fact that Duffy never does anything without thinking it over seriously, before acting.

Speculation is rife at the present time, and the air is filled with vague rumors of new teams to be organized, and big league scouts being around looking for material. Mr. Vincent, however, is saying nothing, except, “Wait and see!”


Fishermen and boatmen will be interested in the new gasoline turbine marine engine which is being tested out at Menemsha Creek, of which it has been said, that it will revolutionize all rules and theories regarding motor-propelled craft. According to the gentlemen who are conducting the tests, measured up to their expectations. 


Miss Leona W. Sampson of Vineyard Haven and Miss Gertrude J. Smith, grand daughter of Joshua S. Smith, formerly of Edgartown, walked around the Island last weekend. They left Cedar Tree Neck Friday at 4 p.m., walking along shore. Mrs. Daniel Vincent entertained them for supper at Menemsha Creek, whence they continued that evening to Gay Head where they spent the night on the beach around the cliffs. Saturday they walked the South Beach barefoot and made Katama beach that evening. Sunday the ate breakfast at Edgartown, dinner at Vineyard Haven at the home of William A. Robinson, thence to West Chop and along the shore to the home of Captain Obed Daggett at Cedar Tree Neck, arriving at 9 p.m. The pedometer registered sixty-four miles. The girls each carried a canteen of water, army blanket, and provisions for the trip along South Beach. 


Twenty-five years in the merchant service and all in American ships! That is the record of Capt. Shubael Vincent, merchantman and coasting skipper, retired.

Shipping for his first voyage at the age of seventeen, he sailed on the full-rigged ship Golden Eagle from New York to San Francisco, Elisworth Luce, master, and John Robinson, of New Bedford, owner.

After that, for twenty-five years he sailed blue water in square-riggers. Up and down both coasts of South America, into the Mediterranean Sea and to almost every European port of any note.

“I never was much of a hand to cruise around while ashore,” said he, “and I must have missed a great deal by not doing more of it.” And the old skipper began to name the ports he had visited which have become familiar since the World War. Antwerp, Ostend, Dunkrik and Shields, also Genoa, Malta and Gibraltar, for he made five voyages to the Mediterranean.

“A peculiar thing about my cruising is that I’ve found a Vineyarder in nearly every port that I ever touched at.”

But if Captain Vincent is not so familiar with the land, he knows his sea and ships. And many are the interesting tales he can tell of strange and wonderful experiences which occur to those men who do business on the great waters.

During the Civil War he was on a supply ship, carrying coal South for the men-o’-war. It is a treat to hear him thus designate a fighting ship, the term “battleship” would never fit those grand old sky’slyarders.

Captain Vincent occupied every berth aboard a square-rigger except master’s. And it was not until he went into “fore-and-afters” that he became captain.

After some years of running schooners out of Vineyard Haven he was forced to retire from the sea because of failing eyesight.

Today, although he is rapidly working to windward of three score and ten, he is still on deck, and may be seen on the street daily, his cheeks as red as roses and his snow white beard being the only indication of is age.

All-Yankee, of the type which formed the backbone of the nation, when the nation had need of backbone, he is a grand and picturesque figure of an honored age, which is gone, but which will never be forgotten.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox

library@mvgazette.com