THE TAFT SUMMER WHITE HOUSE
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This site was created by:
Stephen P. Hall
117 Cabot Street
Beverly, MA 01915
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The Beverly Newspapers
Report on the Taft Summer White House
April 13th, 1909: The Beverly Evening Times headline read "President Picks Beverly Residence" [see below]
April 17th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, noted that" The advantage of living in Beverly is that the President will have an opportunity to use some of the fine golf links, of which there are several in the area."
April 24th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, reported, "Thousands of people visited President Taft's prospective summer home on Sunday and Monday. The electrics [streetcars] brought a large number of visitors who wended their way to the beach.... It is expected that the Board of Trade rooms will be used for the executive office by President Taft's Secretary...
May 1st, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, started a regular column, on the front page of the newspaper, complete with a logo, that they latter sold as a stamp, for 35 cents. It was all the rage to stamp your outgoing mail with "Beverly, Massachusetts, The Summer Capital" during the four years the Taft family summered in Beverly.
May 8th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen announced great changes to accommodate the President and his men. "New duct have been put in the telephone conduit at the head of Federal St. and wires will be strung into the Board of Trade rooms... President Taft will probably arrive and depart from Monserrat Station. A sidetrack is being put in near the old ball field.
May 18th, 1909: The Beverly Evening Times, headline read, "MRS. TAFT HAS SLIGHT NERVOUS BREAKDOWN". She was taken ill yesterday while on her way from this city [Washington, DC] to Mt. Vernon on the yacht "Sylph" with a party of friends and was hurried back to the White House.
May 29th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, mentioned that, "President Taft expected to come to Beverly about June 10th. It is expect Mrs. Taft will arrive next week.
June 5th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, column stated, "President Taft contemplates reaching Beverly, June 20th, coming from Burlington, VT." Apparently some of the property owners saw Taft's coming as a chance to raise prices for seasonal rentals. "There have been complaints about the high prices which have been put upon apartments during the season.... If people who tried to charge big prices have seen the "big stick" in view they would not have cared to brave public opinion."
June 12th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, stated, " The Summer Capital postcards are now sold for a penny. The photographers reaped a harvest at a nickel until the printers got out the low priced kind... Visitors are no longer allowed on the Taft summer home property."
June 26th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, mentioned, "The Presidents yacht Sylph, will arrive here July 3, and will remain through out the summer for the use of the President and his family.... The newest Trolley books give Beverly a whole page, with illustrations of President Taft's summer home.
July 3rd, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, stated, "President Taft and family are scheduled to leave Washington Saturday morning and will come direct to Beverly by train, arriving at Monserratt early Sunday morning... The household servants have arrived and also three autos.
July 10th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen headline read: [see below]
July 17th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, mentioned that "The out-of-town newspaper correspondents who are doing the summer capital find it pretty hard picking, but they manage to get Beverly in the papers every day. The arrival of Mrs. Taft last week was a god send to them and they have given her plenty of attention. She goes about the city in an electric runabout (19003) and is probably the best known member of the family here." The paper also listed all the cars in use by the Tafts and there people. "Four automobiles for the use of President Taft have been registered with the Massachusetts highway commission, and cars for the use of the Secret Service men who accompany the president. These cars include a Pierce touring car, No. 19001, a Pierce landaulet, No. 19002, a Baker electric Victoria, No. 19003, and a White touring car No. 19004. these machines range form 12 to 60 horsepower. The two machines for the use of the Secret Service men are White touring cars of 40 horsepower, No. 19080, in the name of Ray M. Day; No 19096, in the name of Walter B. Rheinock." Can you imagine listing the number plates of President and Secret Service cars today in the news?
July 31th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, stated, "Mrs. Taft's aged father is ill in Cincinnati, but it is understood that as his illness is not critical, Mrs. Taft and her sister, Mrs. More, will not go to Cincinnati unless there is a turn for the worse... The newspaper also listed the "Presidents who have visited Beverly: George Washington, James Munroe, Benjamin Harrison, and William H. Taft." The Summer Capital fever had hit the local politicians by this time as in noted by the following offer. "The idea of making Beverly a permanent summer capital by purchase of the land on the shore in not a bad idea and presumably the North Shore colony would gladly purchase the land and give it to the nation for such use."
August 7th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, noted, "A small army of newspaper men are already here.....Secretary Frederick Carpenter and Asst. Secretary Rudolph Forester will accompany the president to Beverly."
August 14th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen announced that some of the modern items of the day were installed at the Mason Building Executive offices. "The rooms in the Mason Building used by President Taft's secretary and office force, are equipped with awnings, electric fans and screens.....We are getting so used to seeing prominent men that people hardly turn around to look at a stranger of the cabinet. This we understand is the way they feel in Washington and we must do the same."
August 21st, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen stated, "President Taft is rolling up some big scores at golf and receiving distinguished visitors...He will present prizes at the Marblehead races Sept. 9th....Taft will speak before the Chamber of Commerce.....and will attend a banquet given by the Boston Chamber of Commerce, on Sept.14th. and leave for a western trip the following day."
August 28th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen mentioned that "There was the usual large crowd in front of the Old South Church Sunday and the ushers had to repeatedly drive the crowd back in order to make a passage way to the door....The President is on his last three weeks of his vacation."
September 4th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen detailed that, "Among the callers on the President this week were Gov. Eben S. Draper and Sec. of State Philander C. Knox.....Taft will come to Beverly next summer, having renewed his year's lease of the summer white house...The President's yacht "Mayflower" is in Boston Harbor but will come to Beverly next Wednesday."
September 11th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen stated, "President Taft's summer visit to Beverly is drawing to a close and next Tuesday he will go to Boston.....the Taft young people will return to school, and the Executive offices will close..."
September 18th, 1909: The Saturday Morning Citizen, headline reported" "FIFTY THOUSAND SEE G.A.R. PARADE... PRESIDENT TAFT AND GOVERNOR REVIEW THE WAR VETERANS...And in the next column.. GOOD BYE, MR. PRESIDENT" "President Taft bid goodbye to Beverly Tuesday afternoon [14 Sept.]...Mrs. Taft will probably remain in Beverly until Nov. 12th, when the President will return here for a day or two...The family will be here for about three months next year....The chair which President Taft occupied at the review [GAR parade] Saturday is to be presented to the Grand Army post by the Republican club."
Note: That chair is now part of the GAR collection of the Beverly Historical Society.