First Half of 1930: An All Out Push for Funds

By Patricia and Edward Shillingburg


The Forest Inn. The Forest Inn was located on West Neck Road, according to the Suffolk Times when it burned to the ground in 1954, but Dot Ross is quite sure that it was on Stearns Point Road just south of what is now the Olde Country Inn. It had 25 rooms. It was in operation for over a quarter of a century and throughout that time was always very popular. The Charles Strobel family ran it from the 1920s until its destruction.

Unless otherwise noted, the source for this material is the Suffolk Times.
    Although the Stock Market Crash had occurred in October 1929, the full impact had not yet been felt. So, 1930 opened with a great deal of anticipation and excitement. The Community House was under construction, and the Community House Fund needed attention. Lots more money remained to be raised. Fifty cents at a time.
    In January 7, the Community Club held its annual business meeting and reelected its officers: Mrs. Moses Griffing, president; Mrs. Thomas T. Young, first vice president; Miss Belle Bowditch, second vice president; Mrs. F. A. Myers, treasurer; Miss Lillian Loper, secretary, and Miss Juliana Behringer, assistant secretary. The following committees were appointed for the ensuing year: Entertainment committee, Miss Anna C. Behringer, chairman; Mrs. William R. Capon, Mrs. Graham Reevs, Mrs. Gardiner Dickerson, and Miss Belle Bowditch; Social Service, Mrs. J. Oliver and Mrs. Austin Dawson; Publicity, Miss Juliana Behringer, chairman, Mrs. Emerson Mitchell and Miss Lillian Maurey; Work Committee, Miss Helen Capon, Mrs. Austin Dawson, Mrs. William Dickerson, Mrs. A. F. Foster, Jr., Mrs. C. Burke; Membership Committee, Mrs. C. Sherman and Mrs. William McDermott; Auditing Committee, Mrs. C. Burke and Mrs. Clifford Cartwright. Annual reports were given by the Treasurer, the Entertainment Committee, Social Service Committee.
    The Club continued to meet weekly. Their meetings were held in various homes, including those of Mrs. Myers, Mrs. Griffing, Mrs. Young and Miss Loper. One of the major tasks at each meeting was making arts and crafts to be sold at the fair that summer.
    February 14: The Island’s new doctor had arrived. “The Shelter Island Community Club held a public reception in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Charles T. Grier, of Shelter Island Heights, on Tuesday evening, February 11 [at the Shelter Island House (now the Olde Country Inn)]. About two hundred people were present, and a spirit of friendship and cordiality prevailed during the evening. The Shelter Island Band in uniform, were present and rendered an hour's program which began with Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here After a speech of introduction and explanation by Miss Anna C. Behringer, the Community Club presented a burlesque sketch on Modem Medicine and Surgery. The characters were: Doctor, Mrs. Thomas Young; the Nurse, Mrs. F. A. Myers; the Husband, Miss Belle Bowditch; the Women in the Case, Mrs. Burton Reed, and Bunker Hill, Jr., and Juliana Behringer. We are sure that Dr. Grier has never seen such delicate surgical instruments as the grease gun hypodermic needle, the gasoline anesthetic, anti-fat, and anti-lean panic, etc., which Dr. Young used in his practice. The sketch was received with hearty applause and laughter by the entire audience, and particularly by Dr. and Mrs. Grier. Dancing followed the presentation of the sketch. The music was volunteered by Mrs. Emerson Mitchell, Mrs. Edna Walther, Michael Sabaluskus, Attillion Chiarimonte, Roger Walther and Walter Clark. An efficient committee of the Community Club members served refreshments. Everyone was delighted to have had the pleasant opportunity to meet Dr. and Mrs. Grier.”
    The Community Club “held a Community Party at the Shelter Island House on Wednesday evening, February 19th. The evening was divided into periods of dancing, games, refreshments and sketches. The Hand Shaking Race was won by Mrs. Louis Behringer; prize for the Elimination Dance by Miss Harriett Thompson and F. Simes; the Musical Rug game went to C. Stuart Burns. In the Bean Bag game Capt. C. Y. Clark's side won by a large margin, and everyone was treated to a "portion" of his side's prize. There were four sides in this game, and where one side out-pitched the other three there was no prize for the most hilarious group. Mrs. F. A. Myers and Miss Belle Bowditch presented a sketch, The Sensus Taker, and the Misses Anna V. and Juliana Behringer presented Ham and Sam, with appropriate costumes. A human stage sketch of famous people and stage properties, etc., was enacted by a number of people in the audience who later learned that they were A Gathering of the Nuts. Music was furnished by Mrs. Otis Dickerson, Mike Sabaluskus and Roger Walther. The committee in charge for the evening consisted of Mrs. F. A. Myers, Chairman; Mrs. Graham Reevs, Miss Lillian Fisher, Miss Belle Bowditch, Miss Anna V. Behringer, Miss Juliana Behringer and Mrs. Burton Reed. The room was decorated in red and white and the lights were shaded with red. Everyone enjoyed joining in the different numbers and everyone spent a very pleasant evening.”
    “A Bridge and Pinochle Card Party, which was to have been held at the Forest Inn, on Thursday evening, Feb. 27, was held at the Anchor Sweet Shop on that evening, because of the grave illness of Mr. Thybaert, who is living with his daughter, Mrs. Strobel. (The Anchor Sweet Shop was on Bridge Street.) Prizes in Pinochle were awarded to Mrs. William McDermott, first; Mrs. Graham Reevs, second, and Mrs. J. Mack, consolation, for the ladies, and for the men to George Dickerson, first; Harry Schweinsburg, second, and Mr. Sweet, consolation. Bridge prizes were won by Mrs. F. A. Myers, first; Mrs. Charles T. Grier, second, and Miss Anna V. Behringer, consolation. Refreshments were served by the committee which consisted of Mrs. Burton Reed, Chairman; Mrs. William R. Capon, Mrs. A. Anderson, and Miss Helen Capon.”   
    “The Old-Fashioned Barn Dance given under the auspices of the Community Club on Monday evening, March 17, at the Forest Hall, was very successful. A congenial crowd in costumes willingly paid fines for "petty thievery," and other violations. Mrs. Gardiner Dickerson won the prize for ladies' costume and the red-nosed deputy, J. Daskerman, who is visiting with Mr. and Mrs. William McDermott, won the prize for the funniest man's costume. Mrs. Leonard Sherman and Floyd Griffing won the elimination waltz. Punch, coffee, and wienies were sold later in the evening. Mrs. William McDermott, chairman, assisted by Mrs. Clarence Sherman, Mrs. William Dickerson, Mrs. Emerson Mitchell, and Mrs. John Oliver, were the committee. The hall was attractively decorated with Shamrocks, green for St. Patrick; and bales of hay and cornstalks for the "barn-stormers." Miss Florence Coley and Miss Florence McDermott gave an exhibition tap dance. Music was furnished by Miss Klipp, Philip Halsey, Charles Strobel, and Attillion Chiarimonte. Judge George Dickerson wielded his mighty gavel with finesse and collected his fines from victims brought in by his ‘trusty’ deputies, at the point of a six-foot ‘shotgun.’ The evening was truly a success.”
    The Community Club held a Silver Tea at the home of Miss Ella Bowditch on Friday afternoon, March 28.
    “The Shelter Island Community Club sponsored a Tramp's Dance held at the Forest Hall, on Thursday evening, April 24. The majority of dancers were costumed and the dance most certainly ‘glorified the American Tramp.’ There were several very realistic ‘railroad nobles,’ Raggerty Anns, poverty stricken laborers, and in fact, every variety of impoverished ‘nobility.’ There were several original and clever costumes, and the judges had difficulty in deciding the winners - Mrs. Fred Klein, of Baltimore, Md., nee Elizabeth Havens of Shelter Island, and Stanley Thompson. The bean bag game sides were captained by Philip Halsey, winner, Raymond Case, and Oliver Wells, Jr. The Easter Egg Hunt was won by Miss Mary Mack. During the evening punch, hot dogs and coffee were for sale, and there was a fortune telling booth. The music was furnished by Mrs. Emerson Mitchell, piano; Roger Walther, Walter Clark, and Mike Sabaluskus. The committee in charge of the dance consisted of Mrs. J. B. Nevel, chairman; Mrs. F. A. Myers, Mrs. William Hillman, Mrs. Thomas T. Young, Miss Helen Capon, Miss Belle Bowditch, and Miss Juliana Behringer.”
    Not all was fun and games. The Community House was being built. “Under the supervision of Contractor Charles W. Reeves, the large Community Building at the Centre, is rapidly raising. The coming week will very likely see the little green tree ‘at top of the world.’ Whose [sic] going to treat?”
    “Work is being rushed along on the Community House. James McManus spent a day and a half in volunteer work, putting on a priming coat on the east side of the building. Volunteer painters are now needed to put the priming coat on the west side and to put water proofing on the basement exterior. Albert Foster, Jr., another volunteer, carted the first two loads of lumber, and William McDonald's truck was another early volunteer helper.”
    The Community Club announced a Most Popular Girl Contest to be conducted June 2 through 14. Chances were sold at 10 cents each. Contest headquarters were in the Anchor Sweet Shop. No announcement of the winner was reported.
    Memorial Day ceremonies were held as usual. “Early in the morning the Community Club flower committee were collecting flowers for the Soldiers' graves and the Memorial Boulder. The base of the boulder was banked with bayberry, and dogwood sprays woven into the green. Vases of blue and white flowers with a huge red poppy in the center of each, stood about and small flags filled the space in front of the boulder. Mrs. Walter King placed flags on all the soldiers' graves. The Community Club also marched in the line, carrying small flags, from Boulder to New Cemetery to St. Mary's Cemetery, where Martin Mitchell, Jr., from whom Mitchell Post gets its name, is buried, and back to the Boulder. Twenty cars were in the line.”
    On June 25, the Community Club held a Silver Tea at the home of Mrs. Bowditch.

1923 Community Cookbook