Chapter VIII. Closing Years at the Church of the Epiphany, Chicago--
Marie's Literary Work, and her Building Enterprises at Grand Isle, Vermont
The busy routine in the diocesan Auxiliary, for Marie, and in the parish for us both, began at once. There were at least three signal events during the months and years that followed this trip to Europe, which we might well chronicle.
One has been referred to, and will be again mentioned, namely, the publication of one thousand copies of Marie's delightful booklet on Emily Bronte. These were sold throughout the diocese, and the money was given to Miss Thackara's Hospital, as we have said, among the Navajo Indians at Fort Defiance, Arizona.
Miss Thackara afterwards thanked Marie in a very beautiful manner for this unusual help, not only by giving us a fine Navajo rug, but by enabling us to buy all the other Navajo rugs for "Wedding Bells Bungalow" direct from the Indians, thus saving us all of the large expenses which the middle-men would have charged us for such beautiful rugs.
The next event of especial character which came to pass during the months following our European trip was the horrible disaster of the Iroquois Theatre fire, on the afternoon of December 30th, when some 600 people, chiefly women and children, and youths of both sexes home for their holiday vacations, were burned to death or smothered to death by the burning of the Iroquois Theatre in Chicago's Loop district. Nearly every part of our great city and suburbs was smitten by sorrow, as either there were some residents from many sections of the city who were thus fearfully overcome by death, or those who perished were related in some way to the widely-scattered survivors. The whole community was horrified and grief-stricken, and Epiphany parish suffered keenly.
One of our new choir boys, Allan Hoist, was found dead with his mother and two others of her children. Young Howard John Williams, son of one of our older Vestrymen, also perished, and the housekeeper of another Vestryman's family, Miss Gertrude Fitzpatrick of the George E. Shipman household, was among the dead. Relatives of the family of Mrs. John T. Knox of our parish were also among the victims. I afterwards found some Redeemer families who suffered keenly from the catastrophe. I will never forget the morning I spent with George P. Blair and young Edward Blair, searching for the morgue which contained the body of Howard Williams, Ed Blair's close friend.
One incident as our carriage left St. Luke's Hospital was especially poignant. There was a man who walked out of the hospital at the same time we did. He was a locomotive engineer, and we asked him where he was going. He was following the same trail that our party had blocked out and we asked him to ride with us. As he took his seat in the carriage I asked him for whom he was searching. He could barely speak, but managed to say "My wife"! I vainly tried to realize what would have been my own feelings had I been searching for Marie's body, that awful morning. And I then realized that one can never know a deep experience without passing through it personally.
The third signal event of this busy year 1903-4 was the arrival of the fifth anniversary of our Rectorate and life in Epiphany. This was commemorated on the First Sunday after Easter, April 10th, as we had reached Epiphany on Tuesday in Easter Week, April 6, 1899. In this connection we are obliged, if we would be truthful, to speak of the unexpected way in which some of our North of Ireland parishioners and their especial friends in the parish helped us to commemorate this semi-decade. At first nothing whatever was suggested by anybody, among my busy parishioners, as the date approached, so I at last made up my mind, after consulting with Marie, that I would observe the anniversary myself.
This I did in two ways. I preached a sermon showing how much God had blessed our work, giving some statistics of the five years' work.
There had been 326 baptisms, 116 of these candidates being of "Riper Years."
Six confirmation classes had enrolled 464 candidates. Diligent pastoral calling had added 675 other confirmed persons, but the constant removals and other changes had taken about 575 names from our list during the five-year period. The approximate number of confirmed persons on our books thus had risen from about 1,000 in April, 1899, to about 1,500 in April, 1904. Of these, 1,267 were considered in good standing at this anniversary time.
The average attendance at the Sunday 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist had risen from about 21 per Sunday to 38.
The Christmas communicants had increased from 342, of whom 105 were men or boys, to 382, of whom 125 were men or boys.
On Easter Day, 1900 (there were no figures recorded for Easter, 1899, during the interim between Rectorates), there were 593 communicants, 190 being men or boys. In 1904 there were 770 Easter Day communicants, with 228 men or boys.
There were 154 marriages during the five years.
Our pew rents for the first of these five years were $4,901. They had risen to $4,973 per annum to which should be added $660 from calendar envelopes, which 125 parishioners were using instead of renting sittings.
The total receipts for 1899 were $17,041. For the fifth year they were $23,293, similarly estimated.
There were when we arrived 17 parish organizations, which had increased to 22 during this period.
In 1899 there were 246 services, 93 being Celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. For the fifth year there were 706 services, with 140 Celebrations.
Our first Easter offering was about $2,500, and during the period it had been over $4,000 three times, and $3,500 or $3,750 the other two times.
In 1899 the parish had given to diocesan missions $863 and to six diocesan objects $1,495. During the fifth year the gift to diocesan missions was $1,095, and $2,432 had been given to 12 diocesan objects.
In 1899 the gifts to Domestic and Foreign Missions were $652, of which $30 went to Foreign Missions. These figures had risen to $967, of which $185 went to Foreign Missions, and the total of extra-diocesan objects helped, even by small gifts, was 13.
In 1899, the women's organizations raised $1,196. This figure, largely because of Marie's leadership, rose to $3,510 per annum. The Woman's Auxiliary's share in 1899 was about $400. It rose to about $1,000.
In debt and interest payments the sum of about $11,000 had been raised during the five years, clearing off the old debt of between $6,500 and $7,000, and paying $2,600 on the cost of the new steam-heating plant, which had replaced the array of the six or more old and dangerous furnaces.
The total sum raised for all purposes during the five years was about $88,000, exclusive of borrowed money.
The sum of $1,143 had been added to the endowment fund of the parish, which was $5,000 at the beginning of this Rectorate.
Repairs and improvements costing $6,576 had been found necessary, all of which had been paid for except about $2,000 worth.
As Rector I had made and received about 9,000 parish calls, and had served the parish practically without any week-day assistance for four-and-one-half of the five years.
After giving these helpful figures, in this sermon, and after other items showing how God had blessed the parish work, I quietly asked that one definite improvement might please be made in the regular worship, to signalize the anniversary. (I didn't say that DuMoulin's parish, a few weeks before, in commemorating the fifth anniversary of his Rectorate, had not only given their Rector a fine reception, and some presents, but had raised his salary. Nor did I say that Epiphany parish had thus far done nothing to signalize the fifth anniversary.) What I asked for was the introduction of Unleavened Bread in the Celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. I went into this very carefully, showing that it was not a Roman custom only, since many Lutherans observed it, but that it was simply a return in our Church to a custom which had been universal in the Western Church for ages. I also asked the people please not to discuss so sacred a topic among themselves carelessly, but to come to me if they had any scruples about it, in the interests of dignity and reverence concerning so very deep a matter as the Holy Communion. I added that if any of the communicants felt that they would be troubled instead of helped by the change, I would consecrate the yeasted bread for them if they would let me know when they wished to receive, and that they could all come either first or last to the Altar rail at any Celebration.
The immediate result was a painful surprise. The "North of Ireland" contingent were immediately loud and untrammeled in their opposition. One young Hebrew, a friend of the Irish contingent, whom I had not only baptized but had presented for confirmation, and whom I had appointed as an usher, was a member of the "Press Club," and for two weeks, owing, we fear, somewhat to his activities, the Chicago daily papers contained vivid articles about the "disruption of Epiphany Church," "the calling of an eloquent Low Church Rector from the East, who would carry with him secession of most of the parish," "the meeting of the secessionists at the home of So-and-So," etc., etc., till I was thoroughly miserable indeed, and Marie shared the pain with me deeply.
Of course no step backward could be taken after such an explosion, and the net result was that possibly six people went to some other parish, and that The Church of The Epiphany adopted for all the succeeding years of its parish history up to this date, 1933, the reverent use of Unleavened Bread at the Holy Eucharist, for all communicants.
After all, this was what I had asked for, though the manner in which some of our beloved parishioners selected as the method of adoption was not exactly the smiling and loving cooperation, which in my innocence and inexperience with "parish rows" I had naively expected. It turned out to be almost the only painful experience in all our nearly thirty-five years of parish life and work. Marie stood by me unflinchingly in the whole affair. She laughed at the funny side (which she always saw in every affair of every kind). She kept me from doing anything silly or foolish in my spasmodic temptations to rush into print in rejoinders to the press notices of my friend the Jew.
Of course the whole affair "blew over" in a month or less, and was almost completely forgotten by busy Chicagoans soon after. And the solid people of the parish, the Vestry and most of the leading parish officers in the various organizations, were most loyal and friendly.
Soon, however, there was a crisis in this Epiphany period before which this teapot tempest paled in comparison. Marie and I were asked to return to St. Joseph, Missouri, and the Vestry of Christ Church issued a call in due form. The temptation was a severe one. Much time and prayer and consideration followed. In the bottom of our hearts neither of us was eager to go. We felt that the ordeals that Marie and I had met in Chicago might have changed us at least a little from the warm and affectionate people we had been in St. Joseph, and we both hesitated. To disappoint our St. Joseph friends would be a heavy blow. Yet, with a lurking feeling in our hearts that the Epiphany Vestry might take the opportunity to give us a vote of confidence by refusing to let us go, I actually did resign, and to my utter amazement my resignation was accepted!
I went home to our little apartment that night and to my astonished wife with my mind in a stunned blank! We slept but little. It was the darkest hour of our life and work. We talked way into the night. We felt that we should not and could not let such an action on the part of our friends, the Vestry, remain unchanged. The next morning we went down-town to see these good men, one by one, in their offices, to explain that we really didn't want to go at all, but that I was sentimental enough to hope that the Vestry might give us a "vote of confidence." Never will the strange and home-less atmosphere of our beloved Chicago on that sad morning fade from our memory. It was all so different. Bleak and friendless were the crowded streets. Frowning and cold were the familiar buildings of "the Loop." It was the deepest humiliation of our lives. But it all turned out all right, for these good men did not want to lose Marie and their Rector after all, and another Vestry meeting was held at an early date at which these good friends reversed their former vote of acceptance, and so the last five years of The Epiphany period began for the much-relieved Rector and wife.
Probably the reasons for the first acceptance of this gestured resignation were many and complex. There may have been a lurking feeling in the minds of these good people that we did not appreciate all the strong support and generous giving which they had provided during our first five years. At all events, the whole affair was dropped by tacit consent, and never but once was it referred to in the hearing of either of us, during the remaining years of our work among the Epiphany people.
These five years were very much like their predecessors, except that there was a steady drain in membership, caused by the nomadic tendencies of Chicago people, and by the ever-increasing lure of the suburbs. We have called this disease "Suburbanitis," and it is a very serious parochial affliction. Eventually it killed Epiphany parish, which, after a heroic struggle of many years, became a mission of the diocese of Chicago, in the year 1931 or 1932, although there were over 400 communicants enrolled at that time. This drain had begun when we arrived, but our first five years saw a growth in numbers. These last five saw a small but steady diminution, in spite of large confirmation classes, and constant additions due to diligent parish visiting.
There was no reduction in salaries, however, and the parish, as we have said, acquired a new heating plant, steam-heating replacing the old and dangerous furnaces which had wrestled with the wintry blasts ever since the erection of the beautiful church. The cost of this plant was over $4,000.
Marie redoubled her parochial efforts as these five years went on. She became secretary (equivalent to president) of our Girls' Friendly Society, which at one time numbered fully one hundred fine girls. Her meetings were always delightfully planned, and were filled with the zest and aptness that she so invariably achieved. The girls were noted in the various Chicago business houses where most of them were employed, and most of them held their positions when the "hard times" of 1907 came on, though many other girls were discharged during that depression.
Marie did all this work while not relaxing one jot of the large and increasing oversight of her diocesan Auxiliary work. She would not only keep up all this work, but would from time to time accept invitations from neighboring diocesan branches to address their annual meetings. On these longer trips I usually accompanied her. One of them was to St. Paul, Minnesota, where some three hundred Auxiliary women met at St. Paul's Church and parish house. I was asked to preach at the mid-morning Holy Eucharist, and Marie addressed the women in the early afternoon in the parish house. Another time she went alone to Milwaukee, for a similar meeting, returning late at night after one of her delightful and interesting addresses. A third was to Kansas City, Missouri, where we both met our old Bishop, Bishop Atwill, and many others of our friends of St. Joseph days. At this time I suddenly found that the Rev. T. B. Foster, formerly of Rutland, Vermont, was Rector of Grace Church, Kansas City, and that he was aghast at the attack of "Suburbanitis" which was crippling his parish and plans. On returning to Chicago, where the fine parish (suburban!) of La Grange was vacant, I at once wrote to the Bishop and to the La Grange Senior Warden, and in the sequel Fr. Foster and his musical wife (who was gifted with "absolute pitch"), were called to La Grange, and they made Chicago their diocesan home for the remaining years of Fr. Foster's active ministry. Another trip, before our return to Chicago, was to St. Louis, and it was one of the few trips which Marie ever took on matters that did not concern the Church. She represented "the Runcie Club" of St. Joseph, of which we have spoken. The meeting was a State Convention of Missouri Clubs of Women. It was a large convention, and, as will be stated below, her address made quite a sensation. I certainly will never forget my fellow-feeling for the six or seven other men who accompanied their wives to this convention of femininity. These poor fellows were not all as familiar with gatherings of cultured and high-grade women as clergymen usually have the opportunity of being, and the way they clung to me as they were swirled around by the throngs of women at the convention was something memorable.
Speaking of Marie's club life, one very amusing episode occurred to her in her early days as a member of the West End Women's Club of Chicago. It was on a Shrove Tuesday afternoon, and the ladies were discussing such themes as methods of dealing successfully with insomnia, and kindred forms of nervousness. Marie said that since she had read Annie Payson Call's Power Through Repose, she could always put herself to sleep by recalling the order in which her shirt-waists hung in her wardrobe at home. (Those were the days when women wore shirtwaists.) Imagine her state of mind when one of the leading Chicago daily papers next day (Ash Wednesday) came out with a staring caption and a very news-paperish article about the Episcopalian Rector's wife who had so many shirt-waists that she could put herself to sleep by trying to count them in the middle of the night! The typical reporter was sleuthing around the West End Club that afternoon, unbeknown to Marie and her friends, and the delicious tid-bit was too precious to be lost. Rarely did any reporter have a more beckoning "story" to tell about any Women's Club. The fact that it came out on Ash Wednesday but added to the spice, of course. Thenceforth Marie kept a sharp eye out for reporters, whenever she made an address at her club. She was on the programme committee for a long time, and she greatly enjoyed her whole connection with this fine group of women. I never could induce her, however, to join any other Women's Club, though she had many such invitations from friends, year after year, who belonged to more than one of Chicago's leading organizations of women. She kept all of her time and strength for the women's work in the Church. Her innate love for literature, however, led her on along the path of composition, in spite of her deep absorption in the unceasing work of the diocesan Auxiliary, and of her parochial leadership. During these years and those that followed, she composed more than one hundred lectures, on themes of history, biography, travel, literary criticism, and the like. These she always gave without manuscript, other than a few outlines of notes, and her command of language, with her resistless humor and her depths of strong sentiment, always carried her audiences completely. She would give these lectures for Church organizations anywhere, and often she aided our own parochial groups of women by these charming programmes. A complete list of these brilliant lectures would be possible here if some of the notes had not been lost, but we can recall at least the following:
In History: "Hereward the Wake and Torfreda"; "Mary, Queen of Scots"; "Marie Antoinette"; "The India of Today."
In Literature: "Omar Khayyam and The Rubaiyat"; "Shakespeare's Country"; "Sir Walter Scott"; Emily Bronte.
In Modern Fiction: "The Heroines of Mrs. Humphrey Ward"; The House of Mirth; The Awakening of Helena Ritchie.
Miscellaneous: "Vacation Days in Europe"; "The Imagination of the Child"; "A Summer on An Island" (illustrated with fifty lantern slides from her kodak of scenes at "Westerly" on Grand Isle in Lake Champlain).
Travel Talks: "Mornings with English Cathedrals." Four lectures: Wells, Durham, Canterbury, Ely.
"Summer Days in Switzerland." Four lectures: Interlaken, Mont Blanc, Lake Geneva, and Lucerne.
"Leaves From French History": Four lectures: Strasbourg, Mal-maison, Versailles, Paris.
"Highways and Byways in Bonnie Scotland"; Four lectures: Oban, Abbotsford, Edinburgh, Some Scottish Castles.
"An Hour of Original Prose and Verse"; Poem: "To My Chatelaine"; Essay: "The Epic of the Fens"; Story: "Little Miss B." Fantasy: Sunset. (This last named was published in booklet form, and had a large sale, over 200 copies being bespoken before it went to press.) It is printed in full in the appendix to these memoirs, as is also the poem, "To My Chatelaine."
Besides the above, Marie wrote a biographical story of her dear mother, called A Book of Remembrance, which was of such striking beauty that her friends spoke of it, now and then, twenty-five years after it was published.
Marie arranged a "gallery tour" for the West End Women's Club, the last year we were at The Church of The Epiphany. She selected the historical characters; and other members of the club, in historical costume, appeared in a large picture frame, as she described the lives of the following celebrated persons: "The Vestal Tuccia"; "Joan of Arc"; "Charlotte Corday"; "Maria Theresa"; "Queen Louise"; "Catherine of Aragon"; "Baby Stuart"; "Evangeline." Her descriptions were the acme of pithy, condensed, and graphic summary.
At the important meeting of the Women's Clubs of Missouri, referred to above, held in St. Louis during our St. Joseph residence, Marie was selected to give the address in response to the opening address of welcome. Her message was a rare gem, "couched in choice language and was delivered with oratorical ability. Her address was brief, forcible, and was well received." (This is a quotation from one of the St. Louis daily papers.)
In St. Joseph, she arranged a symposium on "Education," and assigned to various members of the "Runcie Club" themes as follows: "The Education of the Hebrew Child"; "Greek Education, with examples from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle"; "Roman Education, with data from Plutarch and Marcus Aurelius." "Influence of Christianity on Education, with quotations from SS. Jerome, Ambrose, and Augustine." "Causes of the Intellectual Barrenness of the Middle Ages." "The Great Universities of Heidelberg, Bologna, and Paris. "The Great School of Port Royal." "Rousseau and the Emile." "Pestalozzi and Froebel."
She gave lectures on "the Southern Highlanders," on "Appa-lachia," and on her own trips through the diocese of Chicago, as Auxiliary president.
Another interesting theme was on "the Three Branches of the Catholic Church."
Another was entitled "the Miracle at Sagada." "The Dark Continent" was another topic. Others were "the Indian at Home"; "the Nation-Wide Campaign"; "the Treaty of Versailles"; "the Story of Alsace-Lorraine"; "Theodosia Burr"; "Cleopatra"; "the Empress Josephine"; "Pocahontas"; "the Alhambra"; "Lady Jane Gray"; "the Empress Catherine"; "Isabella of Castile"; "Queen Bertha"; "the Influence of Spain upon Colonial America"; "Cortez and Montezuma"; "the Electress Sophia"; "Henrietta of Orleans"; "Mary of Orange"; "Elizabeth of Bohemia"; "Winter Park, Florida." These last-named twenty-five or more lectures she delivered from notes only, having acquired such facility of expression that she no longer needed to write out every lecture and then largely to commit it to memory. Her audiences by this time suggested to her the language she desired to utter, and the only help she needed in giving these delightful addresses was an outline of themes, which she jotted down on small cards carried in her hand. She rarely hesitated for a word, and rarely gave the same lecture twice alike.
Among her "Book Talks" were four lectures on "Old Fashioned Favorites," viz., Cranford, The Vicar of Wakefield, The Deserted Village, and the Lady of The Lake. She often called herself "the visiting president" (of the Chicago Auxiliary), and once she wrote an address with that title. It brimmed with the humorous side of her experiences as she often visited one hundred local branches of the Chicago Auxiliary in one year. She was in demand as a toast-mistress, for her skill in presiding at meetings was unusual. One "Lincoln's Day" at the West End Women's Club in Chicago was especially noted by her aptness in presiding as toast-mistress.
She had an interesting address on "Arlington, Vermont," where she lived as a young girl. "What had India Done for England," was another address. "Women for Women" was still another. Other lectures were on "Portland, Oregon"; "Bishop Rowe"; "Robert E. Lee"; "Master Fiction," being reviews of the greatest standard works; "Madame de Maintenon"; "Shakespeare as a Moral Teacher"; "American Hero-worship"; The Iron Woman; "The Juvenile Imagination"; "The West from a Car Window"; "Retrospect and Prospect at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century"; "Tasso"; "The City of Washington"; "Modern Novelists"; "A Plea for Artistic Building"; "The Majesty and Mystery of Russia."
At first she wrote out the leading themes of her Bible class work, and her classes on "Deborah"; "Rachel and Leah"; "Rebekah"; "Esther" and other such, were carefully instructed. "Christ in Art" was another theme; others were "England and America and their Colonies"; "The Ideal and Practical Organization of a Home, comprising parents and four children, on an income of $2,500 a year." "The Rupture of the Union"; "American Art"; "The Short Story"; "A Memorial Day Address."
Still other lectures and articles from her pen are those entitled as follows: Tristan Da Cunha, The Lonely Isle; "Marquette and La Salle"; "King Philip"; "Patrick Henry"; "English Government and Self-Government in the Colonies"; "The Social Questions of the Day"; "The Girls' Friendly Society" and "The Girls' Friendly Society Library."
On Monday, June 26, 1896, in St. Joseph, Missouri, some of the ladies of the "Runcie Club" and other organizations edited one of the evening papers of St. Joseph, for the benefit of the Y. W. C. A. They called it The June Fiesta, and Marie was the editor-in-chief. She wrote one of the leading editorials for this unique and interesting publication.
The above list of over one hundred lectures, addresses, and articles does not exhaust the outline of her writings and speaking. It is only the list of those whose manuscripts she had preserved, and which I finally found filed away in her desks after her death. And I cannot recall one of the 107 (and I heard most of them, if not all, at one time or another), which was marred by even one dull page. They were all bright, humorous, dramatic, filled with pathos, beautifully worded, sparkling with imagery and crowned with climax. She enjoyed all this literary work keenly, and flung herself into it with all of her wonted ardor. She "lived" her characters, in her most dramatic lectures, such as "Torfréda" and "Marie Antoinette," with real histrionic ability. In fact during the early days of our engagement she used to tease me keenly by saying that she wanted to "go on the stage." She never did that, but in her historical and biographical lectures she forgot herself as completely as any gifted actress does when playing a fine part. Her audiences were always delighted with her, and she commanded their applause, laughter, and at times their tears, with consummate skill. I used to tease her, in return, by saying now and then, when I had the opportunity of introducing her to an audience, that "the only reason I held my position as preacher in the parishes where I was Rector was because the laws of the Episcopal Church do not provide for women preachers." It was true, all the same, for her speaking was the careful cultivation of a natural gift of unusual brilliance and magnetic power. Not only did Marie thus enrich her life and that of her many friends by these delightful platform programmes, but she was keenly interested also in genealogy. She devoted some months at one period of our life together to visiting the Newberry Library in Chicago, where there is one of the largest collections of genealogical books to be found in America, second only to that in the Boston Public Library. She took up the story of her own forefathers in the early days of Colonial History in New England, and she compiled in a "little red book" an astonishing amount of data concerning the Moultons and their distinguished connections (her mother was a Moulton), carrying her researches in both the Graves' forbears and the Moultons' way back into the distant centuries of English history.
Soon after "Wedding Bells Bungalow" was built on Grand Isle, she collected many of the Latin family mottoes from the various Coats of Arms of her ancestors and connections, and I at once, with the carpenter's help, lined the walls of the bungalow with these mottoes. They included those of the Bradstreets, the Chases, the Cottons, the Dudleys, the Graves, the Goodyears, the Lakes, and the Moultons. I likewise added that of the Hopkinses. Marie's "Little Red Book" became a household word, as the years at "Westerly" accumulated, and it was filled with the valuable genealogical data that she had compiled in these many hours of work, concerning the Graveses and the Moultons and their forbears. After her death I promptly gave this rare little volume into the custodianship of her sister Charlotte (Mrs. Lincoln C. Andrews), who keeps it in her safe deposit box.
Marie was intensely interested in the story of Bishop Philander Chase, who was in her ancestral family connection, and she read more than one ponderous tome of memoirs, as she revelled in the vivid tales of his pioneer courage and achievement. She was fond of draping an historical epoch around one or more of its leading biographies, and her swift reading stood her in good stead as she devoured many pages in preparation for these remarkable addresses. How she found time for all of this, in addition to her great work for the Church, is amazing, yet she did find it, and the avocation was both resting and stimulating to her eager spirit.
Three times she wrote booklets, of which we have already spoken. Sunset is a prose-poem of our beautiful summer home at Grand Isle, of which an account must soon be given in these pages. Emily Bronte was a tribute of real devotion to a literary genius whom she deeply admired. A Book of Remembrance was a rare expression of love for her wonderful mother, giving the outline of that saintly and devoted soul's biography. These little gems were written from sheer love of writing, and while they were not widely published, their editions being limited, they won high praise from the most discerning critics. Her love for poetry also flowered out now and then in exquisite verse. To My Chatelaine is a set of verses which ought to live, for their choice imagery as well as for their poetic and moving sentiment. Her single verse describing the Lady Chapel on Grand Isle is cameo-like in beauty. (See the appendix.)
These references to Grand Isle bring before us at this juncture the unusual story of "Wedding Bells Bungalow" at "Westerly," and eventually of "Twenty Acres," our summer and winter homes on beautiful Grand Isle, in "Lovely Lake Champlain."
The six sisters and brothers of the Graves family established very early in their youth an unusually strong family feeling. As soon as each one graduated from high school or college, and as soon as the boys left home, to seek their respective fortunes, this unity of feeling found its chief expression in the determination to rally in the summer time, if only for a week of vacation together. One summer we (for the "in-laws" were just as strongly united as the inner members of the clan) all went to Shelburne Point, and Major L. C. Andrews, then at Fort Ethan Allen near Burlington, Vermont, secured army tents sufficient for us all. Another summer we all went to Mallett's Bay, in Lake Champlain, near Grand Isle, and rented Gokey's little hotel for a week. A third summer we all went to Grand Isle itself, and rented the "Iodine Springs Hotel" in the town of South Hero for a week.
While driving around the island one afternoon during one summer, 1902, some of the family discovered a little strip of land, about three acres in extent, running along the lake shore west of the road, about a third of a mile south from Vantine Brothers' large farm house. It was for sale, and immediately the family bought it from Annie Roney, for about $300. It ultimately cost about $500. And to it there was added, through the kindness of a friend of the family, who advanced the money, six acres on the east side of the same road, on one of which there was a half-finished and homely little house, two stories and a large attic in height.
The strip along the shore was about 1,200 feet long, and it was at once divided into six building lots, plus space enough for a good tennis court. The six families drew lots for their respective building-places and thus "Westerly" was born. Vantine Bros., our nearest neighbors, were engaged to plant a hedge of small cedar trees between us and the road, this hedge running the whole length of the lot. And the first cottage erected was at the northern end, by Harmon Sheldon Graves, the second son of the Graves family.
Major (afterwards Brigadier General) Lincoln C. Andrews' lot was at the south end. Dudley Graves's was next south from Harmon's, ours was next to Dudley's in the middle of the row, Lily's just south from ours, and George Graves' lay just south of the tennis court, which adjoined Lily's lot. Thus our "line," as we came to call it, stretched for about 1,200 feet along the shore, and from the inception of the undertaking each family group applied itself, as soon as it was possible, to improving its lot.
At this writing (1933), there are some twenty buildings on the property, and it has taken thirty years of unstinted devotion on the part of us all to accomplish this result.
The year 1903 was the first one whose summer saw any of the family encamped at "Westerly." All lived in tents at first, including members of Harmon's family, whose bungalow, however, was erected soon afterwards.
Marie and I went abroad on our first and only European trip in 1903, but we gladly accepted our building lot as part of this group-undertaking.
The next Lent, 1904, we went to St. Louis for a week of Lenten preaching by myself, and on the morning when we arrived back in Chicago, at the rather homeless hour of about 7 a.m., we fell to talking about the whole plan of sharing our vacations with the rest of the clan at Grand Isle. The expense of travel was no small item, but we realized that it would be almost impossible for us to keep in fellowship with the others, all of whom lived in the East, unless we spent our summers with them somewhere. Grand Isle being the place now chosen, we decided to make the venture. Accordingly one fine day in the early summer we went down to Marshall Field s, and bought a large tent, and a canopy for use by day. We furnished the tent with the essentials, and shipped the whole invoice to Grand Isle. The money came from Marie's store of wedding fees, which she had carefully saved, and she promptly named the tent "Wedding Bells Tent. We thought that we would try it out on this basis, and if it proved m satisfactory as we hoped it would, and as it certainly did, we would make the plan permanent.
With great eagerness therefore we took our way to Grand Isle in the latter part of June, 1904, and we arrived at "Westerly" in a vicious thunderstorm, with pouring rain. The east side of Harmon s porch was the only shelter within reach, as we alighted from the wagon that brought us from the little station on the Rutland Railroad--a trip of about two miles We clung to the porch until clearing skies and the smiling lake aided our labors in setting up our "Wedding Bells Tent," and its adjoining canopy. When these pleasant tasks were finished we both drew a long breath, and sat down by the edge of the little cliff which rose some ten or fifteen feet from our shore-line, and tried to realize how fortunate we were to possess a site for such a summer home.
It would be by far too long a tale were we here to tell one by one of the many improvements which we made in our corner of Westerly during the busy years which followed. Suffice it to say that there was scarcely a day, for some thirty years, when we did not spontaneously say something to each other, no matter how absorbing might be the whirl of our life about "Westerly," or the dear family whose unification centralized more and more each year around this very unusual summer
Of course everything was very simple and almost crude at first. The wild grape-vines had to be torn away and uprooted from the trees on our lot The wild bees also had to be ejected from jumping our claim. The wild grass had to be driven out by our little lawn. The wild waves and the wilder ice, in the spring break-up of Lake Champlain, had to be curbed by a strong sea-wall from biting into the shale of our shoreline. The tent and its canopy after three summers had to be replaced by "Wedding Bells Bungalow," seventy feet long and twenty feet high, and thirty feet wide, with its four rooms and two closets, its two tiny bath-rooms, its kitchen and kitchen porch, its north and west porches, and finally its water supply.
This at first was simply a large barrel, placed on the rafters of the kitchen, and filled by a hand pump through a small pipe which ran down into the lake. Soon we added a large metal tank, for the other bath-room near our bed-room at the north end of the bungalow. This also had its own hand pump. All the other bungalows were likewise thus equipped at first. All drained into their own cess-pools, for we agreed from the first that nothing should drain into the lake from our cottages.
For three years we rented a row boat from "Charlie Shambo" of Burlington, the friend of our boating jaunts in college days. With this we rowed north and south, and across the lake (about two miles) to the New York shore where Cumberland Head, of great battle fame in the War of 1812, stretched out its friendly neck all along our water-front, and winked at us at night from the brilliant light-house at its southern point. The famous and epoch-changing "Battle of Plattsburgh" was fought on water off "Cumberland Head" just three miles from the end of our little wharf.
The Westerly wharves all were set on old mowing machine wheels, with various sections and "horses" attached, some being sixty or seventy feet in total length. Each bungalow had its own wharf, and we all respected each others' landings and swimming places, tents, cottages, tools, and everything else. We all also took our turns in being just as good as we could be to each others' guests. This was no slight item, at times. One summer there were seventy or more of the clan's friends who dropped in or stayed a while.
The food problem, of course, was always with us. We settled it very readily at first by all going down to Vantines' (about a third of a mile north, on the same shore-road), three times a day. We walked, or we went in our boats just as the spirit (and the waves) moved us to do. After some summers we began to use our own kitchens, as the various bungalows replaced the tents on our building lots. Later on, Marie fitted up the East House with our savings of a couple of years or so, and the kitchen, glass-porch, dining room, and other conveniences made it possible for us to have a common dining room where we all met three times a day for our meals, during many summers.
Marie began very early in "Westerly's" history to try to help along the welcome and beckoning tasks of improving the family's summer home. She built the "summer house," which most of the family called "the pavilion," opposite the tennis court. This little structure stood firmly from its inception, and was a large factor in the group-consciousness of us all. She bought Japanese lanterns for all the openings, and at times there would be evening "fetes" or parties, when, for instance, some birthday would come swinging along, or something else that demanded special expression. She laid out the road which wound around the tennis court, and is today the chief opening into that part of "Westerly" which lies west of "the hedge."
As time went on, and Dudley was not ready to build on his lot, she asked his permission to build a "guest house" on his lot, and Father and Mother Graves were our "guests" there until 1910, when dear "Merum," as we all lovingly called Mrs. Graves, entered into her rest and reward. Then Marie, who had years before devoted a year's wedding fees and other savings to building a neat little "boat house" for our row boat, just south of our bungalow, added to this a north wing, where dear Father Graves lived during all the remaining summers of his life, as our "guest." This boat house was originally used, as its name implies, to shelter during the ten or more months of our absence in the Middle west our beautiful cedar St. Lawrence skiff, our row boat, which she named "Lady of the Lake."
As we used to row around the lake in the mornings and afternoons, Marie would often read aloud to me, as I wielded the oars. Lady of the Lake was our first poem, and many another work of poetry or fiction followed. This beautiful boat was purchased by a whole year's wedding fees, and was seventeen feet long, with four oars, soft cushions, rudder, nickel finishings, chair-back, and the like. As the years went on, she became a bit decrepit, but at this writing (1933) though she is in her twenty-seventh summer (as is our bungalow), she is still afloat, though we will not enlarge upon her propensity for admitting water through her aging joints, at least at the outset of the summer!
After a while we housed her elsewhere, and turned the "boat house" into a comfortable though tiny guest house, with two beds, a lavatory, and all the other essentials. It was to this that Marie added the wing for Father Graves, after 1910.
One of the moot questions at "Westerly" concerned the religious life of the summer colony. Father Graves brought up his children to have "family prayers," and being, as Major Andrews once said of him, "the Godliest man he had ever known," it was ruled from the start that we should have "family prayers" every morning, and at least a mid-morning service on Sundays. To this the clan agreed, with more or less enthusiasm, and with more or less regular attendance so far as the week-day devotions were concerned. On Sundays all turned out loyally at the service, which was usually at 10:30 a.m. Marie and I (I think I will continue to say "I," instead of "John Henry") spread an improvised Altar in our tent, and had our Celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 7: 30 a.m. every Sunday. Those who wished to come then also were of course most welcome.
I felt also that there ought to be some recognition of Sunday at the nearest summer resort, which was Vantines', and that friendly family kindly agreed that I would hold a kind of Morning Prayer with brief address in their parlor, at about 11: 30 a.m. every summer Sunday. Marie always went with me to these "extra" services, and Father Graves would come when he felt strong enough so to do. The "summer boarders usually attended in good numbers, and for seven summers this was our order on Sundays. We also always read Evening Prayer in our tent on Sundays, and those who wished to be with us were heartily invited. When we substituted "Wedding Bells Bungalow" for our tent, we were able to shelter these services far more acceptably, yet Marie was not satisfied. So she went to the office of the best Church architect in Chicago, after seven summers of thus using tent or bungalow, and this John Sutcliffe, who had drawn the designs for all of our other buildings at Westerly, produced a very attractive design for a log chapel, which the family were willing to have erected on part of the common property near the "east house." Others of the family besides ourselves helped to pay for this unusual little building, which Marie called "The Lady Chapel on Grand Isle," as it was a memorial to dear Mother Graves, and, after his death, to Father Graves also. The cost was a little over $1,200, and at this writing it has stood through the storms and snows and sunshine of some twenty years, and is still in good condition. It is built in perfect proportions, with chancel, and rood-screen, and seating capacity for about thirty-five chairs. We have had congregations of some seventy, however, at times, and often during August we would have fifty or more at our 10: 30 a.m. service.
We at once added a good reed organ (an Estey instrument) in memory of my parents, and from time to time the others of the family, and some of their friends, have presented memorials in brass or books, so that the tiny building is completely furnished, with sanctus bell, missal and missal rest, its own silver paten and chalice and ciborium, its own Altar linen, its own hymnals and Mission Prayer Books, and with several very beautiful sacred pictures which adorn the walls of the chancel as well as of the nave.
As the years have accumulated the cedars have grown around its door-ways, and the vines have embowered its pergolas so that it is a fascinatingly beautiful structure. The candlesticks for its Altar lights are of birch and cedar, and the illumination is entirely from candles, both inside and outside the chancel. Its fame has spread far and near. It has been pictured and described in both the New York and Chicago papers, as have been "Wedding Bells Bungalow" and the settlement of "Westerly" in general. The bell is most properly a farm bell, bought from Sears, Roebuck and Company. The chapel has been pictured on postcards, which have been sold in large numbers at the Island stores, as well as at the chapel itself.
Opening from the chancel is the chapel cloister or yard, which is surrounded by settles and is furnished with cedars, vines, placques, a large Cross, a bird-bath, some flowers, and diagonal paths cut into its sward of grass. Marie planned every detail of all these buildings, with great care. Here we have always had our daily family prayers except in rainy weather, when the east house has been our rallying point for these brief 9 a.m. daily devotions.
Until his death, Father Graves always conducted these devotions and services, assisted by his eldest son-in-law, who was also the organist, and whose limited but well-meant vocalization led in the congregational singing of chants and hymns. Marie was the Altar Guild chairman, and filled in, with some help from the others, as sexton, usher, and general utility helper. There was a Celebration of the Holy Eucharist every Sunday at 7: 30 a.m., and occasionally at 10: 30 a.m. also, though the mixed ecclesiastical character of the many summer visitors who came in such numbers, year after year, made it usually advisable to hold Morning Prayer at this mid-day service. All could join in that, without any confusion or difficulty. Mainly to accommodate the few residents of the Islands, who had been confirmed, with opportunities more available for busy farming folk than those at 7:30 a.m., there would be one or more 10:30 A.M. Celebrations each summer. There gradually grew to be about fifteen of these communicants, some coming ten or more miles when they attended.
I preached at each mid-morning service, as a rule, unless some visiting Bishop or Priest were willing so to do, and there was usually an offering, which was always devoted to missionary or charitable purposes. Sometimes there would be nearly 100 Communions made during a summer, with a total attendance of some 500, and offerings of over $150. Baptisms were administered, marriage was solemnized, and alas! burials were held from our chapel, during the years, all of which items were reported through St. Paul's Church, Burlington, as the chapel was a purely private and family affair, and not organized as a mission of the diocese of Vermont. The little building was always open all day long, during the summers, and nearly every day some visitors would pause in their motoring, and would drop in to see it, and to admire its beauty and the seclusion and attractions of the cloistered yard. This was surrounded by a high stone wall, of Island stones, and it became so vine-clad at times as to be scarcely visible.
All in all the chapel became gradually a deep factor in the lives of all of "Westerly," and also an attraction to many outsiders who came to Grand Isle for their summer vacations. After our retirement, it was a haven of refuge to me, as it was a place where after all I was in charge, with my own Altar and all that that means. I wore the Eucharistic vestments (the linen vestments) which I had used for ten years at The Church of The Epiphany, after we left that parish in 1909, and after our retirement in 1929 I wore the colored silk vestments (white, green, and violet) which I had used at The Church of The Redeemer, and which had been given to me by the Altar Society at our departure. These included the beautiful white set which was my parting present from the Altar Society of the parish. Marie and I bought a silvery-voiced sanctus bell of brass, and it was used for several seasons by some of our nephews whom I trained to serve as Acolytes at the Celebrations.
Marie herself made all the kneeling-cushions for the twenty-five chairs which were always in the chapel, and sewed little hooks on their denim covers, so that they could be suspended from the backs of the chairs when not in use. She bought all the candles, which were used in no small quantities, both at the Altar (which was properly furnished with the six office lights as well as the two Eucharistic lights) and for use by the congregation at the evening services. Her first activities on Monday mornings were to gather around her what help she could, from her nieces, and occasionally from her growing nephews, and later on from the older members of the family. They would reverently put on the little head-coverings provided for use by women and girls, and, after a brief prayer used by Altar Guilds, would put the chapel in thorough order, cleaning the candlesticks from any drippings, replacing any that were burned out, sweeping away any mud which weather conditions might have made unavoidable, placing the permanent chairs in exactly the right positions, and seeing that "all things were decently in order." Once a week she saw that our cleaning-woman gave the dear little building a complete overhauling, and when the fire insurance ran out she for years had it renewed. This finally became a "Westerly" item, that all were glad to share. I grew to have a very deep attachment for the chapel, and for its little sacristy. Here I kept my mail and writing materials, typewriter, etc. Here I diagrammed and blocked out all of the sermons which the Sunday services would demand during the ten months following our regular return to our work in Chicago. Here I prepared the sermons which I preached in the chapel itself, and over which I always worked as carefully as I did for all the others. The log walls here were lined with some of my favorite pictures, and much time each morning was regularly spent here, during the precious days of the summer vacations.
The family grew to love the little chapel more than was at first imagined possible. From the start it was decided that hospitality should be our watchword in the mornings. Now and then some devoted Churchman or Churchwoman at the various summer camps on the Island would care enough for the Holy Eucharist to rise early, take the needed drive (sometimes several miles), and receive at the 7: 30 o'clock Celebration. The largest numbers of visitors, however, came to the more accessible 10:30 a.m. service, and these soon became proverbial for their simple charm, the heartiness of the singing, and the unique setting of their very real and devotional atmosphere. Not infrequently people who had dropped the sacred habit of Church-going at home, or had never formed it to any extent, would be regular attendants at these mid-morning services during their vacations. This was especially true of several able and thoughtful men, as the years came and went. People who had neglected the baptisms of their children would bring them on week-days to be baptized. One of the descendants of Commodore MacDonough, hero and leader of the "Battle of Plattsburgh," was thus baptized within sight of the scene of this fierce and sanguinary naval struggle, for "Cumberland Head," as we have said above, is only three miles from our settlement at Westerly. The younger members of the family, as their wedding days approached, would plan if possible to be married in the chapel. And they brought their children to be baptized within its beloved walls. Guests nearly always hailed the opportunity of attending the daily family prayers at 9 a.m., held for the most part in the chapel cloister, and this was even true of those courteous guests who did not belong to our branch of the Church.
Our singing, as has been said, was almost always purely congregational, and yet now and then some choir-member from the cities would be a guest at some of our bungalows, and would add his or her skill to our music as an offertory solo. When I would be standing at the Altar, at the mid-morning Celebrations, Miss Edith R. Hopkins, my sister, usually played the little organ for these services.
This excellent little Estey instrument stood the hard weather of the winters very well, and was always carefully wrapped in newspapers and denim coverings, as we closed up in early September each year, and was left under shelter as far removed from the possible attentions of mice as our Westerly arrangements could make certain. One winter, however, we were not so successful, and when the organ was opened at the commencement of the following vacation season, the signs of mice-residence were entirely too evident to be pleasant. So well was the little instrument built, all the same, that no destructive effects were noted, though for all the many years that followed it was minus some portions of its interior, which had figured on the menus of our uninvited and unwished-for guests.
Mice were rigidly refused entrance to Wedding Bells Bungalow, and all during the years of its existence we were but rarely troubled by their ravages. This rule also applied to our later home at "Twenty Acres" on Grand Isle, as well as to our Rectory of The Church of The Redeemer in Chicago. No mice were allowed by Marie, anywhere, in her habitations or vicinity. As assistant in this chronic Warfare, I became gradually somewhat of a technician in setting traps, and in disposing of their occasional victims.
And so our life at Westerly during the summers went on, year after year, without any interruption. We never wanted to go anywhere else. It never occurred to us to try to go abroad again, though Marie now and then said that there were some portions of Europe which she would like sometime to see, if possible. This never became possible, however, though we had looked forward to some European travel after my retirement, as we planned somewhat vaguely ahead. When our kind friends used to press us, now and then, to be their guests somewhere during parts of our summers, we always declined, with as good grace as we could command, the only exceptions to this being that a few times we stopped at Narragansett, in Rhode Island, to be the favored guests of our Redeemer parish Senior Warden and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Hawley. We usually did this on our way from Chicago to Vermont, and of course we greatly enjoyed the gracious hospitality they offered us. One summer we likewise spent a few delightful days with the Lillie family at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on our way to Grand Isle.
The year 1912 was a distinct turning-point in our Westerly life. That spring our "big" life insurance policy achieved its twentieth year, and there was a dividend of about $1,000 for us to spend as we should. There were almost as many suggestions as to its disposal as there were to the well-known historical sum fifteen hundred or more years ago, which the Thebaid monk had sinfully sequestered in his cell, and which was found after his guilty death. The whole community of monks debated for weeks, we recalled, as to what to do with this unspeakable find. We had no such scruples as they, of course, for we had earned the money and it was rightfully ours.
Marie asked me what I wanted most in the world. I hesitated between a little Ford automobile, and a little motor boat. "Well," she said, "I think that we can manage to have both." She, with her accustomed skill in handling money to the best advantage, did accomplish both. I will never forget the thrill which was mine when I first stepped into our little brass-ornamented "Daisy," as we called our 1912 Ford runabout ($590, F. O. B., at Detroit), as I did, with Marie at my side, one happy morning in early July, in Burlington, where we bought the car! The roads to Grand Isle then, as now, were two, as one left Burlington. One went through the northern part of Burlington, and thence around Mallett's Bay, joining the other route, which ran through Winooski, about five miles from that little manufacturing city. There was an abundance of good sand along the 24 miles of this drive (it was nearly seven miles longer around by Mallett's Bay), and there were comparatively crude arrangements for turning out, at definite points, for some miles of the narrower portions of the road. When one compares the present splendid concrete roads, and even the "black-top" that prevails for some miles on Grand Isle, with the conditions that obtained in 1912, one can scarcely believe that there could be such a change in roads. All the same, it was good enough for us then, and we felt quite like real proprietors as we brashly (I was the brash one!) started out from the garage in Burlington to assay our first drive to Westerly. I had had three or four lessons in flat Chicago, before leaving for Vermont, but I had had no experience with hills.
Just as one enters a certain part of the road near Mallett's Bay, there is a vicious hill, with a curve at the bottom, and another hill rising at once from this curve. Experienced drivers feel of course that this is a trifling affair, but for the neophyte it had its terrors. My little car stalled in the midst of the second hill, after I had fairly well negotiated the first one and its curve at the bottom. I did not know how to "start her up" in the middle of a hill, so I proceeded to do something which in my ignorance I did not know was far more difficult for a tyro, namely, to back her down the hill, in order to start afresh from the bottom. Of course I ran off the track, and into a deep ravine which lay close at hand. Had it not been for a friendly and providential stump, as our car turned over, we both would probably have been severely injured, if not killed outright. As it was, we turned over on one side, and Marie calmly crawled out as best she could, and made her way to a fallen tree, upon which she quietly sat down, saying that I could get out of the scrape as best I could. In this suggestion, of course, she was perfectly justified.
So I acted upon it as best I could. The first thing was to stop the gasoline from running out of the tank. I did not then know the serious risk of conflagration which we ran at that time. Providentially there was no igniting of the escaping "gas."
The next thing was to find some help. A little way south of us I saw a group of road-menders, with several strong horses. We had just passed them on our way to the fateful hill. I hailed them, and made at once an astounding discovery! We had leaped into the hated class of the capitalistic rich, the instant that we climbed into our tiny Ford! "Help you?" "Not on your life! You help yourself! You are one of those fellows who make all this hard work for us. Go 'long with yourself!" And they wouldn't lift a finger, even though I offered them a good "tip"!
So I meekly trudged on, until I found a friendly farmer who looked approvingly at the "two beans" which I openly displayed from my slender purse. He hitched up a good-natured and sufficiently able horse,
with a chain and a whiffle-tree, and back we marched, past the road-menders who were still enjoying their nooning in silent contempt.
Though these were the days when the road-menders hated the motorists (now they all have cars themselves!) they were also the days when motorists had hearts and brotherly love. We found a good-sized car, with a kindly-faced driver, stopping at our wreck, as we returned. The owner of both car and face tried to pull "Daisy" from her overturned predicament, but he didn't have a big enough engine, so he stepped aside while Mr. Farmer and Friend Horse grappled successfully with the situation, and as my two dollars wafted themselves into the pocket of the farmer's over-alls, "Daisy" resumed her rightful position upon the hill-road, and the friend with the other car and the benignant face started her up, and up the tragic hill she sped, with practically no injury from her narrow escape beyond a few scratches on her shiny skin. And then the heroine of this tale showed of what mettle she was built. Without an apparent qualm, and without an instant's hesitation, she stepped into the rescued Ford, took her place to the right of the incompetent driver who had just nearly killed her by his clumsiness, and on they both went, for twenty miles of driving, until Westerly was reached at last! It must be confessed by the driver, who is typing this tale, that the drive was at times a rather strained one, with sundry and various comments from the lady on the right. These took on a vocalized expression at times, when the little car responded with some unwonted emphasis to the unskilled driving over what was really a very difficult and exacting road at that time. The radiator found itself filled with boiling water at one juncture, when the liberal amounts of sand on the poor road obliged the use of "second" speed too much, and the needed standstill which was thus occasioned was, we confess, accompanied with some other perfectly justifiable remarks from the passenger who was not doing the driving. "Songs without words" took the place of similar remarks at certain rather "skeery" moments on the "Sand Bar Bridge" and at some other crucial points along the way, but at last all was over, and we reached our bungalow some time in the early afternoon of that hot and memorable day, a little the worse for wear, it must be confessed, but after all glad that we were the owners of a real car.
We called her "Daisy" because she ran up the hills (after the Mallett's Bay experience had yielded its dearly-bought lesson to the driver) with the same zest that Will Lane's little bay mare "Daisy" used to do in those distant college days in Burlington when buggy-rides and cutter-rides were the expression of devotion and the means of joy. So "Daisy," the spirited mare, gave the name to the dear little Ford which was destined to give to Marie and myself such a widening of horizon, and so many hours of keen pleasure, that all the rest of our space might easily be commandeered for the chronicling. We kept her in shining brass and good repair until 1927, when she was replaced by our "Nash" sedan, "special six," and we drove her all in all about 12,000 miles during those sixteen subsequent summers. Then we gave her to Julius Bluto, our family caretaker, who in his turn gave her to the Grand Isle Creamery. And they took her engine and rigged it on a sled with a big circular saw, and at this writing it has for two winters cut all or most of the ice used by the farmers of Grand Isle, sometimes cutting 5,000 cakes a day, and keeping twelve trucks running from the lake to the ice-houses. I wrote this item to Henry Ford himself during the winter of 1933, and his secretary replied very courteously that the item was noted. Still running after twenty-one years--that is the record of "Daisy's" little engine!
But we are anticipating in our chronology. This automobile era of our life together began in 1912. Also the motor boat era began at the same time. And we did not leave The Church of The Epiphany until 1909. So we must retrace our steps a little, but not, please, until we have said a few words about the motor boat with which we began our gasoline life on the dancing waves of "lovely Lake Champlain."
At this juncture it may not be improper to say that Marie thus introduced to "Westerly" the first automobile, and the first motor boat of the clan. The other members far surpassed our modest investments in these machines, as time went on, but Marie was the pioneer in this, as in the building of the "sea wall" and in several other items, in Westerly's development.
Well, to return to the motor boat, which she also purchased out of our wind-fall of $1,000 from the "big" life insurance policy in 1912. There had been a motor boat show in Chicago during the previous winter, and I had noted the address of a firm in Michigan. In my innocence of salesmanship I fancied that it might be a good "ad" for this firm to have a boat on Lake Champlain, and so I suggested to them that they had an opportunity in my order. They must have smiled, as they sent us what we promptly called the "Wenonah"--this being Indian, in some dialect, for "the Eldest Daughter." The little boat had some good points. It would accommodate five or six people at once. It would go about six miles an hour. The little gasoline engine finally ran fairly well, though I had my humiliations in being once towed home from Cumberland Head by an "Evinrude," and there were other like experiences, from time to time. Once in a while the little engine would catch the explosion at the wrong time, and would run backward, just for a change. We had to keep her moored to a buoy about 200 feet from the shore, and this demanded night-lights in all kinds of weather. The time I spent in rowing out to her for this purpose would have availed for reading several good-sized books. In rough weather this was no joke, either.
Marie would steer her once in a while, though she never cared much for motoring on the water. She much preferred the automobile. The "Wenonah" sprang a leak at her mooring one night, and sank almost out of sight. Her rescue provided several of the family albums with vivid kodaks. Finally she broke away from her mooring one stormy night and was discovered some fifteen miles south on the New York shore. The salvage demanded was no small sum, and I was at last moved by some inconsiderate impulse to give her away to one of my indulgent relatives at Westerly.
I was rather ashamed of the gift at the time, and have become more so as life has gone on. I have tried to make it up to this kind-hearted relative, since, in one way or another. All the same, the "Wenonah" Was our motor boat for several years. I drove her over 1,000 miles around this part of Lake Champlain. She gave us much pleasure. She has now reposed on dry land for some years in the rear of our caretaker's cottage. The children found her a convenient plaything. And she doesn't sink any more, nor drift below Plattsburgh from her mooring! She was finally replaced by a skiff made on the island by our friend Sidney Tobias with a Johnson outboard motor which drove this row boat at six miles, and this one has lately been replaced by a new motor which drives at about nine miles an hour. In the meantime our brothers of the Graves clan have bought racers, with big Johnson motors which fling apart large sections of Lake Champlain at the rate of twenty or more miles an hour, and fly by me and my sober craft at a bewildering pace. The "Wenonah," however, as we have said, was the pioneer at Westerly. Marie saw to that.
It is time that this narrative returned to Chicago, and to The Church of The Epiphany.
Our last five years there saw the continuance in general, as we have said, of the work of the first five, with but few changes. Our rare and unique choir-master, E. C. Lawton, accepted a call to St. Paul's Church choir, Minneapolis, Minnesota, soon after the observance of my fifth anniversary, above mentioned. I advised him to go, against our best interests. That parish was a comparatively wealthy one. Ours was not wealthy. They could afford to pension him after his working years were done, and we could not so afford. Our brilliant and gifted organist, Dr. Francis Hemington, had the ambition to be both choir-master and organist. It was an almost impossible task for any one man, with that large choir of sixty-five boys and men. Yet he manfully struggled with it all the rest of our stay, and at times our programmes of music were even larger than before Mr. Lawton left us. The boys made it a very difficult experience for Dr. Hemington, however, at times. Choir boys have to be a "live bunch," and cottas do not always mean a certainty of demure dignity.
Marie continued her large amount of parish work, with the Girls' Friendly Society and the Altar Guild, her Sunday evening Bible class for women, and her attendance at the Auxiliary and other organizations for women. How she managed to do all this with the ever-increasing scale of the diocesan Auxiliary work I can scarcely imagine, as I write about it. She devoted all of her time and strength to these ceaseless affairs, and the two months of vacation in the summer barely sufficed to give her sufficient recuperation. Her heart was in this work, completely, and no sacrifice of time or strength was too severe for her, at any time. We didn't have a meal in our Chicago home for seven years. We sampled every available boarding place within walking distance of our apartment at York street and Ashland Boulevard.