On September 25th, we received an unexpected but welcome visit from Madge Huntington and her son Adrian. We spent a couple of hours walking the property, Friends Way, and all around the meetinghouse.
Madge is the daughter of William Huntington, the renowned pacifist from whom CBM purchased its site.
Both Madge and Adrian spent time growing up on the larger property that encompassed all of the current Friends Way. Both in “the big house” as they called 2 Friends Way. And “the little house” as they called the house that sat on the property at 1 Friends Way.
Madge took time to stand in different spots around the property and close her eyes imagining where buildings had been. She remarked how few trees were in this area last she had been here. Madge was keen to find the spot where she and her siblings went sleigh-riding as children. We correctly guessed the spot and confirmed with some of the photographs in the Fellowship Room.
We sat in the Worship Room for a time and Madge and Adrian both told stories about the more personal side of William Huntington. Up in the Caretaker’s apartment, Adrian recounted tales of attending First Day School and Madge pointed out where the hay bales would have been.
I was able to brief both Huntington descendants on what Conscience Bay Quakers have been up to in the intervening years. We spent ample time in the Fellowship Room, looking at pictures, meeting minutes, books, and more. We spent time at the large aerial photo from 1955, which seemed to move the conversation in some great directions.
The visit ended with Madge and Adrian signing the guestbook and I presented Madge with a “Huntington era” photograph of which we had multiple copies. Since Adrian had taken photos we exchanged email addresses so he could send them over. I let him know that I’d keep him posted on any “Huntington-related” historical items I came across.
A few weeks later Adrian returned with his brother Stefano for another visit. A shorter, but no less fulfilling visit ensued. I’ll continue to update meeting with any developments on this wonderful connection from our past!
Wells Tipley, Caretaker