From the June 10, 1938 edition of the Gazette:

With many of the summer visitors to the Island, the slogan is Open House in New England, and the season is a fast and even furious round of festivities. But some among the thousands of visitors would rather seek seclusion, either because they are too well known in the world to relish having their whereabouts easily known and their vacations marred, or because they have work to do even on vacation.

“They say” that Katharine Cornell has chosen this summer to devote to her biography and that she is entrenched at her Vineyard Sound estate with Ruth Woodbury Sedgwick, who should make a good job of the book. Cornell’s childhood memories have an interesting Vineyard twist, embracing as they do happy days at the glamorous hotel at Innisfail on the Lagoon.

It was the memory of Innisfail, and of the Vineyard scent of bayberry, she told a Gazette interviewer, which called the first lady of the stage back years later to sample the Island again and then to establish herself in a strategically remote position between the Sound and Tashmoo Pond. Miss Cornell and her husband, Guthrie McClintic, distinguished producer, have entertained many notables of the stage at Chip-Chop.

This goes, too, for the James Cagneys, whose Island estate, also remote and fenced off from the celebrity hunter, lies in Chilmark, the former Hillman homestead on the North Road, augmented in acreage by later purchases, including Manter’s Mill. Many tall tales have emanated from Cagney’s retreat, or were credited to the gentleman farmer-movie star, who laughs them all off as studio-inspired.

Actors of stage and screen aren’t the only celebrities the Island boasts, but they are the best known to the general public. Among those who frequent the Vineyard is Cagney’s buddy, Edward J. McNamara, who came here first, as Cagney did, as the guest of Denys Wortman at his Chilmark summer home.

James Kirkwood is another up-Island devotee. A stage star before he went over to the movies, Mr. Kirkwood feels entitled to lead a life of leisure after thirty five years of the theatre, if the exacting chores of an amateur fisherman can be classified as leisurely.

Tom Benton, whose murals, smaller paintings and drawings have outraged more conservatives in art and politics than those of most men, belongs to the Chilmark cohorts. The Vineyard has a very special place in his esteem and he has immortalized some of its characters in paint, among them the late Chester Poole and Mr. and Mrs. George West of Menemsha.

In sharp contrast to the activities of most of the summer residents listed above are those of Roger Baldwin, who comes to Windy Gates, Chilmark, with his family each season. He is director of the American Civil Liberties Union and it is a safe bet that he is not a neutral in the goings on in Newark and Jersey City, where “Jersey justice” has been experienced recently by Norman Thomas.

Artists seem to thrive on Vineyard air and Ellison Hoover of the New York Herald Tribune is no exception to that rule. He likes the Vineyard so well that he has built a home of his own in the enticing section near Tiah’s Cove.

One of the world’s distinguished scientists relaxes at Vineyard Haven, where he owns a summer home. He is Dr. Frank B. Jewett, president of the Bell Telephone Laboratories and a vice president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Scarcely fitting into the category of summer visitor so long and so closely have she and her family been identified with the Vineyard, Miss Alice Stone Blackwell should have been mentioned closer to the beginning of this list if position acknowledged distinction. A pioneer crusader for women’s rights, she is the daughter of Lucy Stone, and has followed in the footsteps of that famous woman leader. Lucy Stone and her family were summer visitors, and so were and are their cousins and their sisters and their aunts, the whole notable clan.

Several of the compositions which have been heard before the spellbound audiences of the New York Philharmonic Society and the Philadelphia Orchestra, were composed in a studio swept by Vineyard breezes and looking out across sapphire waters. They are the work of Bernard Wagenaar, Holland born, but a summer resident since his marriage sixteen years ago. The great orchestra leaders of the age, including Toscanini, have conducted his symphonies and shorter works here and his compositions have also been heard in several foreign countries.

Chappaquiddick puts forth a claim with Roger Sherman Hoar, who runs a rather startling gamut in his literary productions. As Ralph Milne Farley he contributes to the “pulp” magazines an amazing assortment of adventure stories with startling scientific implications, some of which are tied up with the Island of Chappaquiddick, of which his father in law, the late Benjamin W. Pease, could recount tales also smacking of magic.

And so it goes. This article is finished though the list is nowhere nearly done.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox