In these sad and ominous days of mad fortune chasing, every patriotic, thoughtful citizen, whether he fishes or not, should lament that we have not among our countrymen more fishermen.*
President Grover Cleveland, an accidental tourist (no resemblance to Anne Tyler’s Macon Leary), slept here.
During the night, the president’s railway car decoupled and was left stranded here in Stuart, Fl. The engine pulling the rest of the train chugged on toward Cleveland’s final destination, Palm Beach. (Where else?)
When he woke up in the morning, the ex-prez realized his car wasn’t trucking down the tracks.
Surprise, Grover, you’re in Stuart!
On gouty feet, his mustache all a-twitch, Cleveland went in search of a telegraph office. He was so charmed by the folks there (and the promise of great fishing and duck hunting) that he decided to stay… and return for many more winters. Cleveland’s greatest nonpresidential achievement was convincing his new wife (righteous babe, Frances Folsom) to go flyfishing during their honeymoon.
Electricity, indoor plumbing, and soirees? Palm Beach? Not for this plain simple guy. Cleveland was charmed by a rustic hamlet and a river.
The derailment? Just a bit of Cleveland luck.