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August Belmont, lamed in a duel (a pistol ball in the groin). He drank wine from Prince Metternich's cellar and was chairman of the Democratic Party.
Pierre Lorillard, the snuff-and-tobacco king. He bought sterling-silver horseshoes from Tiffany's for his stable of thoroughbreds.
Chester Arthur, 21st President of the United States, known as "a man of simple tastes." He cut the number of courses at White House dinners from 29 to 14.
William C. Whitney, street railway baron and President-maker (Cleveland). Henry Adams wrote of him—"He swung the country almost at will...."
Harry Payne Whitney, William C.'s sportsman son. He played tennis for $10,000 a set and poker for racehorses—"I'll call that with a half-brother to Perverse. I'll raise you with a filly by Whisk Broom...."
William K. Vanderbilt, who had a penchant for fast cars. He built 75 miles of paved highway on his Long Island estate to have a place to drive.
The list continues—Railroad Tycoons Frank Thomson, William Seward Webb, James J. Hill; New York Bar Association President John L. Cadwalader; Rubber-man David M. Goodrich; Merchant Marshall Field; Oilman Oliver H. Payne; R. G. Dun of Dun & Bradstreet; and Boston's elite—Ameses, Higginsons, Searses and Saltonstalls.
The Ristigouche Salmon Club purchased Daniel Fraser's farm at Matapédia in 1880 and turned the clapboard inn, hard by the railroad tracks, into a Spartan clubhouse. And so it remains, a strange exclusive meetingplace for sporting millionaires. Today the diesels of the Canadian National Railways roar past its front gate. The plank floors now lurch with age, some pitching at 30° angles. A heavy-headed moose presides over a bare refectory-style dining room. Plaster buckles through the wallpaper, doors hang crooked on their hinges and drafts whistle up the stairs. A Victorian fringed shawl covers a parlor table and on it is a framed photograph of a royal couple on a throne. Only in the oak-dark members' lounge is there a sense of warmth and comfort. A Wall Street Journal and gin-rummy scorepads lie on a burnished table and the conversation is of Phippses and Mellons.
Remembrances of the club's rich past hang on the walls—photographs of waistcoated gentlemen and veiled wasp-waisted women, an inscribed portrait of Winston Churchill, a poacher's devilish tools from long ago, paintings done by appreciative guests. Embedded in the lawn is a sundial that members used to tell the fishing hours, and green rockers and ladderback chairs, now listing a little, still line the porch.
A day on the Restigouche begins about 8 a.m. when the guides gather in the yard. For half an hour, while the club members breakfast, there is a sing of reels as lines are stripped and readied. The guides talk in a low murmur, and laughs and challenges puncture their conversations. Among them is Murray Fraser, a guide for 52 years and old Daniel's great-nephew. He recalls appreciatively the grand fishermen of the past, praising Standard Oil's Oliver Payne, who bought him a manure spreader, a horse and furniture, and referring to Henry de Forest, who ran half a dozen railroads, as "a gruffy sort of lad."