After many years of reading my
grandfather's name and my mother's name in almost every account of the
famous playwright, Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, and his wife, Agnes Boulton,
I felt it appropriate to add to the information on the Boulton family.
My cousin Oona and I have a history going back to 1918
when an O'Neill and a Boulton married and began an unforgettable story.
Life on the Jersey shore was lively, with four exuberant daughters to
keep both Ted and Cecil quite busy.
The Boulton girls were growing up in a time of social revolution.
The other Boulton daughters were growing up one by one and going off to
make new lives for themselves in the outside world.
It was 1917 and the Boulton family found itself scattered, all six of
them in various locations, keeping up a steady stream of letters to each
The four daughters kept a running communication with each other as well
as with their mother and father, and lively letters flew back and forth.
The World War ended and an armistice was signed. Soldiers were returning
in large numbers and people were singing in the streets.
It was early February in 1920 and O’Neill was eager to
hear how Beyond the Horizon would fare as it opened at the Morosco
Theatre in New York.
Spring, and once more the O’Neills went to the Cape to open Peaked Hill
Aggie and Gene were planning their annual trip to the Cape for the
In the late fall of 1925, Margery joined the family at Brook Farm to
help Gene on the beginning of Lazarus Laughed.
At the end of October, Margery moved into the Woodville Studio with her
father and mother.
At a time just before the Great Depression in 1931, Agnes was living
with the two children, Shane and Oona in The Old House in West Point
Pleasant, New Jersey.
In 1934 my family and I moved from Connecticut to West Point Pleasant,
Five and a half years younger than Shane, Oona blossomed when she had
The year after Oona left, we had a frightening experience involving
Jimmy Delaney who was living with Agnes in The Old House.
It was 1953, the year of Eugene O’Neill’s death, when Budgie, again,
found herself clipping news stories to show the family.
Down in New Jersey at The Old House, Aggie was very ill for a short
time, and died at Thanksgiving on November 25, 1968.
Suddenly I became aware that so many of our family were gone. We were
totally devastated with the shocking news of Shane's death.
After a time, the penthouse in New York seemed to have
served its purpose.
A few final reflections I feel important to add to this story as we pass
through and come to an understanding of the impact felt by others in the