The Hill was in a somnolent state. I didn’t wake it up intentionally, but I’m full of surplus vitality.
One of the great journalists and radio personalities of the twentieth century, Lowell Thomas was known for dozens of fabulous exploits, including his role in popularizing T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia), and his broadcast career that stretched over four decades. He hosted a nightly news program on NBC and later on CBS in the 1930s and 40s, anchored the first live telecast of a political convention in 1940, hosted a travelogue program called High Adventure, and, later in his life, also hosted a PBS series Lowell Thomas Remembers, cataloging his many exploits through the years. As Norman R. Bowen wrote of Thomas, “No other journalist or world figure, with the possible exception of Winston Churchill, has remained in the public spotlight for so long.”
In 1926 Thomas bought a home on Quaker Hill; called Clover Brook Farm, it was the beginning of his long love affair with the town of Pawling and its environment. An Albert Akin for the twentieth century, Lowell Thomas’s impact on Quaker Hill is difficult to overstate. He founded the Quaker Hill Country Club, and eventually acquired over a million dollars in Quaker Hill real estate, which not only made Thomas a major figure in Pawling, but led to him urging his many friends and contacts to move up to his idyllic hamlet. Thomas helped convince Thomas E. Dewey, Edward R. Murrow, and Charles Vincent Peale, among others, to relocate to Quaker Hill. The New Yorker would refer to Quaker Hill as Thomas’s “hand picked colony,” adding that Thomas “sets the social an