Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Ohio Moments

Bogie and Bacall married at upstate farm of novelist

On May 21, 1945, movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were wed at Malabar Farm near Lucas, Ohio. The farm was owned by Louis Bromfield, a native of Mansfield who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist.

Bromfield, who grew up on a farm, studied agriculture and journalism before becoming a reporter. His third novel, Early Autumn, won the Pulitzer for fiction in 1927. During the late 1920s, Bromfield moved his family to France, where he continued to write successfully. But by the late 1930s, he longed to return to Ohio. He later explained: "I wanted peace, and I wanted roots for the rest of my life." He purchased Malabar Farm in 1938.

One of the central themes in Bromfield's work was the contrast between life in the city and the country. His farm - which he regarded as a refuge from the mechanized world - served as a meeting place for some of the nation's top celebrities. Bromfield began writing non-fiction and became a highly regarded conservationist and farmer.

After his death in 1956, Malabar became the Louis Bromfield Ecological Center, an experimental farm. Today, it is managed by Ohio as a state park.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361.

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