Adventures and Letters HTML version

The Mediterranean And Paris
It was, I think, the year previous to this that my mother and father had deserted Point
Pleasant as a place to spend their summer vacations in favor of Marion, on Cape Cod, and
Richard and I, as a matter of course, followed them there. At that time Marion was a
simple little fishing village where a few very charming people came every summer and
where the fishing was of the best. In all ways the life was most primitive, and happily
continued so for many years. In, these early days Grover Cleveland and his bride had a
cottage there, and he and Joseph Jefferson, who lived at Buzzard's Bay, and my father
went on daily fishing excursions. Richard Watson Gilder was one of the earliest settlers
of the summer colony, and many distinguished members of the literary and kindred
professions came there to visit him. It was a rather drowsy life for those who didn't fish--
a great deal of sitting about on one's neighbor's porch and discussion of the latest novel or
the newest art, or of one's soul, and speculating as to what would probably become of it.
From the first Richard formed a great affection for the place, and after his marriage
adopted it as his winter as well as his summer home. As a workshop he had two rooms in
one of the natives' cottages, and two more charming rooms it would be hard to imagine.
The little shingled cottage was literally covered with honeysuckle, and inside there were
the old wall-papers, the open hearths, the mahogany furniture, and the many charming
things that had been there for generations, and all of which helped to contribute to the
quaint peaceful atmosphere of the place. Dana Gibson had a cottage just across the road,
and around the corner Gouverneur Morris lived with his family. At this time neither of
these friends of Richard, nor Richard himself, allied themselves very closely to the
literary colony and its high thoughts, but devoted most of their time to sailing about
Sippican Harbor, playing tennis and contributing an occasional short story or an
illustration to a popular magazine. But after the colony had taken flight, Richard often
remained long into the fall, doing really serious work and a great deal of it. At such times
he had to depend on a few friends who came to visit him, but principally on the natives to
many of whom he was greatly attached. It was during these days that he first met his
future wife, Cecil Clark, whose father, John M. Clark of Chicago, was one of the earliest
of the summer colonists to build his own home at Marion. A most charming and
hospitable home it was, and it was in this same house where we had all spent so many
happy hours that Richard was married and spent his honeymoon, and for several years
made his permanent home. Of the life of Marion during this later period, he became an
integral part, and performed his duties as one of its leading citizens with much credit to
the town and its people. For Marion Richard always retained a great affection, for there
he had played and worked many of his best years. He had learned to love everything of
which the quaint old town was possessed, animate and inanimate, and had I needed any
further proof of how deeply the good people of Marion loved Richard, the letters I
received from many of them at the time of his death would show.
In the early fall of 1892 Richard returned to his editorial work on Harper's Weekly, and
one of the first assignments he gave was to despatch himself to Chicago to report the
Dedication Exercises of the World's Fair. That the trip at least started out little to my
brother's liking the following seems to show. However, Richard's moods frequently