Arthur Stringer House
64 Elmwood East
Future writer Arthur Stringer was born in Chatham, Ontario, in 1874, a descendant of a fugitive of the 1837 Rebellion.
The Stringer family moved to this house in 1884, and Arthur attended London Collegiate Institute. He later studied at the University of Toronto and briefly at Oxford University.
During these years, his poems were published in Toronto’s Saturday Night and Canadian Magazine. In 1895, he took a position at the Montreal Herald. He later moved to New York where he became friends with such literary figures as Bliss Carman and Charles G. D. Roberts and wrote for Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Magazine.
In 1903 his first novel, The Silver Poppy, was published and he married Jobyna Howland, an actress. They spent several summers at a fruit farm on Lake Erie and wintered in Europe and North Africa. After they divorced in 1914, Stringer married his cousin, Margaret Arbuthnott.
By this time, he had published several other books, including The Wire Tappers and The Prairie Wife. In 1918, Stringer spent a year in Hollywood, where he wrote screenplays. Some thirty of his stories were made into films.
In 1921, he and his wife moved to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, where he continued to write. He spent time leading camping expeditions in the woods, and traveled extensively in Canada, the United States, and Europe. An eclectic personality, Stringer was equally comfortable as journalist, poet, novelist, screen-writer, bohemian, and backwoodsman. Actress Mary Pickford (about whom he had written a book) once aptly called him “Chameleon Arthur.”
Stringer published fifteen volumes of poetry, 45 works of fiction, and countless articles. He died at Mountain Lakes in 1950.