The Tods often hosted the families of relatives and friends at Innis Arden. Some guests arrived by yacht. A 200-foot pier connected a dock situated on Pelican Island (the sand bar on the left in the photo) to the boathouse (by the modern dock, center right) until the pier was destroyed by the Great New England Hurricane of 1938.
The town resolved to purchase the Point in 1940. Meanwhile, they rented 60 acres for public beach access from 1942-1945. Members of the local government debated and resisted, then relented, offering the Trustees of the Presbyterian Hospital – to whom the estate had been bequeathed – $550,000 (approximately $8M today using CPI) for 148.5 acres of land, including Great and Pelican islands.
The Old Greenwich Boating Association organized in 1943, and in 1945 the town converted a three-car garage into a clubhouse. Eventually, the Old Greenwich Yacht Club, Inc. organized in 1967 and refurbished the clubhouse interior. All Greenwich residents may join the Club for a modest fee.
The Thames Shipwreck (Buoy 2A)
On April 29, 1930, the freighter Thames caught fire and sank just off the Point. Sixteen of the twenty-four crewmen lost their lives trying to swim to shore. Captain Rodger Sherman, a Stratford resident, noticed the flames while chatting with his pilot on deck at 7:50 PM. “We were driven off like rats in five minutes,” Sherman said. The wife of Arne Larson, the estate caretaker, first saw the burning steamer from the mainland. She could do little but alert the Sound Beach Fire Department and watch in horror.