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Strong, Austin

Artist and playwright whose hit “Seventh Heaven” ran on Broadway, Strong lived on Quince Street where he staged play productions for local children, and on Old North Wharf. He was a colorful character, participatibng in the island fetes and dressing in period costume. He was a commodore of the Yacht Club and a member of the Nantucket Foundation as well as the AAN.

(1881-1952)
A step-grandson of Robert Louis Stevenson and son of painter Isobel Stewart Osborne (1858–1953), Strong was a landscape architect, Broadway playwright, and all-around colorful character. His most successful plays included the musical Seventh Heaven and an adaption of A Good Little Devil, starring Mary Pickford. He summered on Quince Street with his wife, Mary, but daily frequented his boathouse on Old North Wharf near the Wharf Rat Club, of which he was a charter member. As a Commodore of the Nantucket Yacht Club (1931–32), Strong orchestrated the famous Rainbow Fleet.
An habitual sketch artist, he was among the first group of artists elected to the Artists Association. His close friend and neighbor, Richard Beer, memorialized him as a born storyteller with a background that “will never be duplicated while water runs” (“The Unpredictable Austin Strong,” Yankee Magazine, March 1956). The Nantucket Historical Association has collected several dozen of Strong’s dramatic sketches.