Old St. Andrews



As Others Saw Us



One of the many nice things that the faithful editors of the local newspapers did was to republish the stories of St. Andrews which summer visitors wrote up for their own papers. Our editors must have kept in close touch with these many small (and some large) newspapers, or perhaps the visitors themselves sent them complimentary copies. However they came by them, the Pilot and Beacon, principally, and principally the Beacon, were fairly thick with these tributes to the beauty and health-giving properites of the town and area. Some of these accounts are old: the earliest dates from 1834, at a time when there was no local train service and reaching the area involved steamboat and/or carriage over country roads. While most of these accounts are pretty predictable, some are more detailed and some are especially literary, witty and polished. Of the ones listed here, several stand out: the Jester;s visit to the Argyll in 1881, G.U.A.Y's four-part inventory of the town and area in 1891, the American short story writer Alice French (aka Octave Thanet)'s visit, and perhaps especially "The President's Vacation," an amusing glance at an all-too-typical "tourist," in this case a fairly well-to-do one, and an insightful and appreciative view of the country charms of St. Andrews.