Historic, and personal, significance


To the Editor:

In 1893, John Pierce McDonough immigrated to America. He was 22 years old and stated that his profession was “engineer.” It was suggested to him that the new Marine Hospital on Martha’s Vineyard was looking for an engineer to manage the state-of-the-art furnace. He traveled to the Island and got the job. He made a brief return to Ireland to marry Ann O’Driscoll and bring his bride back to the Vineyard. They lived on Causeway Road, in what is now the Lampson house, which had been used briefly as a hospital.

Four children were born; the second, Marshall John McDonough, my father, was born and raised there with his brother and two sisters. The family moved to Main Street, in what is now Lorraine Parish’s home and business. (Incidentally, this house was touted as having the first indoor toilet in town.)

Skipping a fascinating history, I move to 1964. Marshall McDonough, owner of the Coca-Cola Bottling Co., was approached for a summer job, driving a Coke truck, by a very tall Harvard College student, Gerald Sullivan. He was familiar with the Island, since he had been coming here every summer since 1949, when he annually attended or worked at the St. Pierre School of Summer Sport with his older brothers,

Both gentlemen met because of the Marine Hospital and the St. Pierre Camp. Oh yes, Gerald married the boss’s daughter, who will always feel the historic significance of both institutions. Thank-you for listening.

Martha McDonough Sullivan

Oak Bluffs