To the editor:
Having accessed the beautiful Martinsville Beach [WWF Dec.-Jan. 04-05] each summer when I vacationed in Tenants Harbor, I was very surprised three years ago when I attempted to drive to the Beach with my guests to show them how lovely it was. The electric fence described in your article was in place and the road was closed off. My guests and I were sitting in the car discussing the fence and trying to understand what had happened to suddenly make the beach off limits when a very rude young woman who was in the house to the right of the fence opened her window and began screaming at us to get away from her house and off her lawn.
I responded by saying that we were on the road (a public thoroughfare) and not on her lawn and inquired as to the reason the road and therefore the beach was closed off. She said that the beach was private property and we should leave. Since we were not able to access the beach we left.
Your article quoted someone as saying that Mrs. Hupper said she hoped the beach always would remain accessible to the local people and visitors to the St. George area. I can verify that because Mrs. Hupper had my wife and me over for cocktails one evening and said the exact same thing to us.
There is a term used in real estate law known as “adverse possession” which allows one or more persons to go upon and use real estate they do not own if the property had previously been used “openly and notoriously” with knowledge of the fee owner in the past. It seems to me that this law applies here along with Mrs. Hupper’s stated wishes.
New York, N.Y.