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Summit Woman Survives Yacht Tragedy

dollardayThe Summit Herald of August 9, 1932 reported that James Downes, history teacher at Summit High School, spoke to the Rotary Club about current history. Part of his talk concerned the role of Hitler in German politics. It would be "no good" for world affairs if the Fascist gained complete control, but Mr. Downes felt that Hitler had reached the limit of his power, and was losing ground.

Mr. W. Chauncy Coles of Woodland Avenue received a letter from Mallorca with startling news about his daughter, Miss Mary Coles. Miss Coles, an artist with a studio in Paris, was one of four guests invited for a day's sailing on a yacht belonging to William Brewster of Boston. The others were an English girl (an art student) and two American men. Mr. Brewster sailed the boat to the far side of Pollensa Bay, where the group spent the day painting and swimming. They headed back by moonlight, but about 8:30 a sudden thunderstorm struck, and the waves capsized the boat. They had been clinging to the overturned boat for hours when a second storm struck around midnight. Brewster collapsed, apparently from a heart attack. The men held his head above water for several hours.

Later, when the storm was gone and the boat had drifted within 3/4 of a mile from land, the women decided to swim for shore. The men remained behind, being reluctant to leave until they were certain that Brewster was dead, and they lashed his body to the boat. Miss Coles made her way to a ledge at the base of a cliff; the English girl landed on a rocky shore in the pitch dark. Both were exhausted by their ordeal, but uninjured. The two men made it to shore by morning, found the English girl, and with some help from a local monastery, got Miss Coles off the cliff. The local doctor concluded that Brewster had died of drowning. The authorities concluded that everyone had done their best in the circumstances, and the heroism of the two women was much admired.

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Why Women Shouldn't Get the Vote

potatoesThe Summit Herald of August 2, 1918 reported that a group of colored draftees departed for Fort Dix. They marched from City Hall to the railroad depot, escorted by Dr. John Burling, Mayor Ruford Franklin, two members of the local draft board, and the pastor of Fountain Baptist Church.

The Summit branch of the New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage met at the Highland Club to elect a new slate of officers. The president of the state association, Mrs. Carroll P. Bassett of Summit, sent a letter to U.S. Senator David Baird, urging him to vote against the proposed amendment to the Constitution. She argued that woman suffrage was favored by the Socialists and Bolsheviks, and that the U.S. should not consider such a radical change until after the war was over.

The Summit Public Library announced that it was receiving issues of "Stars and Stripes", the official weekly newspaper of the American Expeditionary Force, published in Paris. The issues were a gift from Miss Ingeborg Praetorius of Summit, serving overseas as a nurse with the U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 5.

The U.S. Food Administration recommended eating buckwheat pancakes with syrup, molasses, or honey in order to save wheat and sugar for the troops.

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The Case of the Missing Rabbits

UntitledThe Summit Record of July 26, 1902 reported that thieves broke into the rabbit coop behind the home of Mr. William Coggeshall, and stole 45 Belgian hares. Mr. Coggeshall had been raising the rabbits for sale, and said that particular breed was worth $5-$15 each. Estimated total value of the rabbits was $200. No one in the house heard anything during the night, and there was no clue to the identity of the thieves.

Summer activities offered both amusement and prizes to local residents and seasonal visitors. The YMCA lawn tennis tournament awarded a silver cup as the first prize, and a burnt wood ping-pong racquet as second prize. A euchre party at the Blackburn Hotel offered as prizes for women: a cut glass dish, a picture, and a silver hat pin. For men: a silver ash receiver, a silver match safe, and a funny picture. That final prize was won by Mrs. Thuman, who filled a male role due to the shortage of men players.

The Editor recommended that Summit consider an ordinance to require wagons with heavy loads to use wide tires, since narrow tires caused more damage to macadamized roads.

In the Classifieds: Lost, a green silk umbrella with a silver and mother-of-pearl handle. For Sale, a nearly-new gentleman's chainless 1900 Spalding bicycle for $25.

The Library has a searchable database of local historical newspapers. Search or browse at: