Clara Goodrich was the wife of Hubert Baker Goodrich (1887-1963) who was a professor at Wesleyan University and director of the MBL Embryology Course from 1922-1941. This essay includes an anecdote about LV Heilbrunn
"Summers at the Marine Biological Laboratory"
(from Clara Goodrich, sent to MBL Librarian 1968)
When I first came to Woods Hole, as a student, in 1913, there was no brick building, only the old wooden labs. The Botany department was housed on the top floor of the wooden lecture building. Later, this building was taken over entirely for Botany. I was taking the Invertebrate Course and shared a table with Harold Plough, who was a that time an undergraduate at Amherst. Later, for many years, he was a member of the biology department at Amherst. He was also a graduate student at Colubia when I was...
The laboratory group in those days was not large. There was no traffic problem. In fact, we used to walk to breakfast at the mess in the middle of the street. But it was a period of great names in research and on the staff. Dr. Drew was active in the Invertebrate Course, also Dr. Caswell Grave of Johns Hopkins. Dr. Kellicott of Goucher was head of the Embryology Course and Dr. Budington of Oberlin taught in this course also. I attended this course in my second year. Later for several years my husband was in charge of this course.
Dr. Frank Lillie of Chicago was the director of the laboratory for many years. His father-in-law, Mr. Crane, was one of the most generous benefactors of the MBL. It was largely through his gifts that the brick building was built.
Dr. E.B. Wilson, cytologist, Dr. Thomas Morgan, geneticist, and Dr. Gary Calkins, protozoologist, all of Columbia, had cottages on Crow Hill. Dr. Wilson's was a village house as was Dr. Stockard's on the same street. Dr. Morgan's was a larger summer cottage as he had a large family. The Morgans even had their own cow at one time. Dr. Kellicott, Dr. Grave, Dr. Conklin of Princeton, and Dr. Budington also had cottages on Crow Hill.
Dr. Jennings, of Johns Hopkins, had a small cottage near the little swimming beach. Dr. Charles Metz lived in a little cottage back of Dr. Conklin's. Young Charles Metz was a baby then. This cottage had been used by the Conklins in their young days before they built the large cottage. Later the Metz's bought an old house, moved it, remodeled it and added to it. Cottages in the Gansett Property were built later. As I recall, one of the first of these was owned by Madam Danchakoff, a Russian scientist. (She was fond of using a very powerful perfume, so one always knew when she had been visiting a lab room). Two other Russian scientists were Dr. Margoulis and Dr. Golsoff; the latter I think worked at the Fish Commission.
The Fish Commission in the early days was engaged in lobster hatchery work. There were also several piers, later destroyed in a hurricane and a large tank where seals and dog fish were kept. Very entertaining after dinner at the mess as well as for children and tourists. Also the children liked to fish off the piers, though seldom caught anything but squid or an occasional scupper.
Whitman House was the chief women's dormitory and the men lived on the second floor of the Stone House, the old candle factory. They used to tell tales of various pranks which they played on each other, such as horseshoe crabs or eels in the beds. If anyone was very unpopular, the custom was to dump him in the Eel Pond.
The lower floor was used for the Supply Department. Mr. Gray, the head of that department, was an important and well loved person. He used to come around himself to take the orders for material so all of us knew him well. He often had some joke to make as he had a delightful sense of humor. It was he who suggested the insignia for the supply department, the horseshow crab with the caption "The Test of Years". His son, Dr. Benjamin Gray, was later head of the biology department at Duke University.
Captain Veeder was the captain of the collecting boat of those days, the Cayadetta, a steam boat, which was also used for the class picnics. When we had the class picnics at Tarpaulin Cove, the steam from the Cayadetta was run through the barrels of lobsters and clams, so we had freshly cooked sea food. Incidentally, on the embyrology picnics there were two highlights, Dr. Charles Packard's "Frog Story" and my husband's special way of cutting the watermelons. With much practice, mostly on the way to the mess for breakfast, I learned to tell the "Frog Story" though I never equalled Charles Packard's skill. During my early days at MBL, I lived at Mrs. Edward's house on School St. near the Eel Pond. This was later owned by Dr. Louis Heilbrunn then by Dr. Steinbach.
If you ever went on a dredging trip on the Cayadetta, you had to be prepared for a rough time, as she rolled badly. One thing I recall about Capt. Veeder that always intrigued me was that he had the habit of squinting his eyes, as Joseph Lincoln used to say of his seafaring men in his sea captain stories.
In the old days, the Forbes family were very generous in letting us use Nonamessett Island for picnics and Naushon for walks provided that we did not come near the houses or leaves gates open, as sheep were pastured on Nonamessett. We were allowed to borrow the Lab skiffs to row across in the evening and many were the happy evening we spent by our fires there. Sometimes we had a special picnic at the Barnstable sand dunes, a lovely spot but such cold water! At one picnic we persuaded sister Florence Marie Scott to go with us and she even went in wading! She was the only nun that we knew at the MBL who did not have to be accompanied by another nun. She just had to be back before dark. Sister Florence was a very eminent scientist, who worked for many years at the MBL, her research being on Ascidians and I well remember seeing her at work in the lower lab of the old building with her little black cape pinned up, sleeves rolled up and a black rubber apron over her habit. She wore a little black bonnet not a veil. (I don't recall the Order to which she belonged, but it was evidently a liberal one). She was a very dear friend of ours for many years and sat at the same table at the Mess. Hubert and she loved to joke with each other. One day, when she had been speaking of the Mother Superior, he said, "then you must be Sister Inferior." She was a fine and well loved teacher at Seton Hill College, Pa. as well as an eminent research scientist.
One of the important men who sometimes sat at the table with us was Dr. George Parker of Harvard, who was a most delightful person. He and Hubert had a common interest in studies of color patterns. Mrs. Parker did not like Woods Hole and made only short visits. That is why we had the pleasure of his company at meals.
In later years, our friends the Ernst Scharrers from Germany, used to come to the MBL (both were eminent biologists). One day, Berta Scharrer asked if I was a Quaker. As a child, she had been fed by the Quakers and she wanted to thank someone. I was happy to tell her to thank Dr. Parker.
A very colorful personality at Woods Hole was Dr. Cornelia Clapp of Mt. Holyoke College. She had been a student at Dr. Agassiz's summer school on Penikese Island. She was, I believe, one of the most noted women biologists of her generation, the other being Dr. N.M. Stevens of Bryn Mawr, a cytologist. But she did not come to Woods Hole. Perhaps Dr. Clapp made the greatest contribution to biology in her teaching; she held the standards of work very high at Mt. Holyoke and the college always sent many students to the MBL. Dr. Clapp's example was an inspiration to many people. She spent many summers in her cottage located on the road to the stony beach. Dr. Ann Morgan, who succeeded Dr. Clapp, was also a very inspiring teacher and a delightful person.
Dr. Jacques Loeb had a small wooden laboratory near the Eel Pond. It must have been somewhere near where the drive to the parking lot now is. About opposite was a small wooden house owned by Dr. Woodruff of Yale, who later built a house in the Gansett Property. Near the Eel Pond, there were three small houses one after another up a hill. These were called the "Do-Re-Mi Houses" and were sketched by many artists. (I even tried my hand at them myself.)
As I recall, the Drew's front yard extended down to the Eel Pond. After Dr. Drew's death, the MBL bought his property. The Drew House was used for a dormitory and the Brick Dormitory was built in front of it. I think it was after this that the Apartment House was built.
After I had a table as a graduate student at Columbia, I had the interesting experience of working in one of the little research rooms in the old lab. It was sometimes exasperating, when some heavy footed person walked by, to have everything you were watching under the microscope go dancing about. Also, you were sometimes disturbed (or entertained) by loud conversation in the next room. Dr. Louis Heilbrunn had the room next to mine. I was often amused by the smelling lessons he gave to the Lillie's adopted son, who was blind. Poor Carl would say, "Don't give me so many nasty things to smell." Dr. Heilbrunn taught him to swim and even dive along with the other Lillie children. The story was that they adopted a child whenever one of their own was born. In Carl's case, they had purposely chosen a blind boy since they felt it would be good for the other children to help a child so handicapped.
In my student days, it seemed as if Columbia had the largest number of outstanding scientists at the MBL. There were also a large number of young investigators from Columbia. But perhaps this seemed to the case because I knew them better. Dr. Harrison of Yale came to the Corporation Meetings, as he was a trustee for many years, but he never stayed long. Dr. Ivy Lewis, botanist of the University of Virginia and his family spent many summers at Woods Hole. My husband enjoyed especially the tennis games with him as Dr. Lewis was one of the few people who often beat him. Dr. Taylor however, I think had charge of the Botany courses.
Dr. Copeland of Bowdoin had a cottage on the hill above the stony beach; Dr. Glaser's of Amherst was nearly on the beach. Dr. Robert Chamber's was on the shore road to Falmouth.
After the Brick Building was built, the so called "Fly Brigade" took up large quarters there. This was the group of geneticists from Columbia headed by Dr. Thomas Morgan and working with Drosophila. The outstanding men of our generation in the group were Dr. Alfred Strutevant and Dr. Calvin Bridges. The whole group later went to Cal Tech California. Dr. Sturtevant remained at Cal Tech until his retirement. Dr. Harold Plough was in this group at Columbia and the MBL but did not go to California.
The evening lectures were always very important at MBL. There one heard first hand about research being done at the time by residents of MBL, but there were other lectures by visiting scientists. I recall that one lecture of Sturtevant's was a very short one, about 40 minutes, perhaps. After the lecture, Dr. Wilson was heard to say, "Now there is a young man whom I commend. He said what he had to say clearly and concisely and then he had the good sense to stop." After the Brick Building was built, the gatherings in the lobby after the lectures were very stimulating. They gave the younger workers a chance to hear interesting discussions and to meet and learn to know most interesting people.
There were some people who thought that the MBL should be a purely research institution and wished to give up the courses which were open to undergraduates. But a larger group, of which my husband was one, felt that it was a very valuable and stimulating experience for undergraduates to work for a summer or more at a place which had so much to offer them and where they had the opportunity to see and sometimes get to know men so eminent in their fields. The standards of thecourses were kept high and we all worked very hard and thoroughly enjoyed doing so. The whole atmosphere was that of dedicated and well enjoyed work.
In my own experience, after our children were born and we lived in rented cottages on Crow Hill, I did not see so much of those working at the lab. But I always went to the evening lectures and kept somewhat in touch with the work going on.
Later we lived for a summer or two in the Apartment House. One summer there we enjoyed the company of Dr. and Mrs. Curtis of the University of Missouri. Dr. Curtis was one of the biologists concerned in the Scopes Trial and told us many interesting tales about it. Their hobby was the collection of old clocks. They repaired and redecorated the cases and their son repaired the works. He used to visit antique shops on the Cape to find old parts to use in his work. In 1960 on our way back from Boulder, Colorado, we stopped in Columbia, Missouri for a short visit with Dr. Curtis and were interested to see the large number of their old clocks which he still kept in his small apartment.
One summer in early days, Julian Huxley and a friend came to the MBL. They sat at our table at the mess. They were very enthusiastic about sailing and rented a small boat. They liked to tell exaggerated stories of their adventures which they enjoyed very much. The sailing in small boats was sometimes tricky on account of the tide rips. The tide came very strongly through the Hole. They talked a lot about "submerged rocks". There were some in the vicinity of the Hole.
Dr. and Mrs. Victor Hamburger and Dr. Oscar Schotte were friends we had met in Freiburg in 1929. Dr. Schotte later was a professor at Amherst.