Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories


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Janet was amazing through our entire search, negotiation and closing process. After years of dreaming about a home in Edgartown, my daughter and I now have our own little piece of the island, and are enjoying The Vineyard Life. Her deep location knowledge, legal insight, and advice on Island services…. Back News Feature Event. Originally inhabited by the Wampanoag people , Martha's Vineyard was known in the Massachusett language as Noepe , or "land amid the streams".

In , the Wampanoag numbered somewhere around 3, on the island. By , that number had dropped to The name was later transferred to the main island.

It is the eighth-oldest surviving English place-name in the United States. The island was also known as Martin's Vineyard perhaps after the captain of Gosnold's ship, John Martin ; many islanders up to the 18th century called it by this name. Thus for a time Martha's Vineyard was officially named Marthas Vineyard , but the Board reversed its decision in the early 20th century, making Martha's Vineyard one of the five [14] [15] placenames in the United States that take a possessive apostrophe.

He had friendly relations with the Wampanoags on the island, in part because he was careful to honor their land rights. The younger Mayhew began a relationship with Hiacoomes, a Native American neighbor, which eventually led to Hiacoomes' family converting to Christianity. Ultimately, many of the tribe became Christian, including the pow-wows spiritual leaders and sachems political leaders.

Mayhew's grandsons Matthew Mayhew — , John Mayhew — , and other members of his family assisted him in running his business and government. In , a settlement was arranged which allowed Mayhew to continue in his position while placing his territory under the jurisdiction of the Province of New York.

He was also appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Dukes county in , and remained on the bench until He was judge of probate from to In , at the collapse of rule by Sir Edmund Andros and the reorganization of Massachusetts as a royal colony, Dukes County was transferred back to the Province of Massachusetts Bay , and split into the county of Dukes County, Massachusetts and Nantucket County, Massachusetts.

Native American literacy in the schools founded by Thomas Mayhew Jr.


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Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk , the son of a sachem of Homes Hole, did graduate from Harvard in the class of All of the early Native American graduates died shortly after completing their course of study. Many native preachers on the island, however, also preached in the English churches from time to time. Mayhew's successor as leader of the community was the Hon. Customs Collector for Martha's Vineyard.

Like the nearby island of Nantucket , Martha's Vineyard was brought to prominence in the 19th century by the whaling industry, during which ships were sent around the world to hunt whales for their oil and blubber. The discovery of petroleum in Pennsylvania gave rise to a cheaper source of oil for lamps and led to an almost complete collapse of the industry by After the Old Colony railroad came to mainland Woods Hole in , summer residences began to develop on the island, such as the community of Harthaven established by William H.

Hart, and later, the community of Ocean Heights, developed near Sengekontacket Pond in Edgartown by the prominent island businessman, Robert Marsden Laidlaw. There is still a substantial Wampanoag population on the Vineyard, mainly located in the town of Aquinnah. Aquinnah means "land under the hill" in the Wampanoag language. The island was the last refuge of the Heath Hen , a once common game bird.

Despite 19th Century efforts to protect the hen, by , the population of birds had dropped to The last known Heath Hen perished on Martha's Vineyard in Martha's Vineyard was used by the Army, Navy and Air Force from through with training missions that ranged from landings on beaches to climbing cliffs and bombing practice. The island received international notoriety after the " Chappaquiddick incident " of July 18, , in which Mary Jo Kopechne was killed in a car driven off the Dike Bridge by U. Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy. The bridge crossed Poucha Pond on Chappaquiddick Island a smaller island formerly connected to the Vineyard and part of Edgartown.

Phyllis Méras . Illustrated by Thomas H. Cocroft and Robert E. Schwartz

As a foot bridge, it was intended for people on foot and bicycles , as well as the occasional emergency vehicle when conditions warranted. In , Steven Spielberg filmed the movie Jaws on Martha's Vineyard, most notably in the fishing village of Menemsha and the town of Chilmark. Later, scenes from Jaws 2 and Jaws: The Revenge were filmed on the island, as well. In June the island celebrated the 30th anniversary of Jaws with a weekend-long Jawsfest. In , distressed over losing their guaranteed seat in the Massachusetts General Court, inhabitants of Martha's Vineyard considered the possibility of secession from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, either to become part of another state having received offers from both Vermont and Hawaii , reincorporating as a separate U.

The separatist flag, consisting of a white seagull over an orange disk on a sky-blue background, is still seen on the island today. Although the idea of separation from Massachusetts eventually proved impracticable, it did receive attention in the local, regional, and even national media. Belushi often visited the Vineyard and his family felt it fitting to bury him there.

His grave remains a popular site for visitors to Chilmark and they often leave tokens in memory of the late comedian. Since the s, Bill Clinton spent regular vacation time on the island during and after his presidency, along with his wife, Hillary Clinton , and their daughter, Chelsea. Clinton was not the first president to visit the islands; Ulysses S. Grant visited the vacation residence of his friend, Bishop Gilbert Haven on August 24, As a coincidental footnote in history, Bishop Haven's gingerbread cottage was located in Oak Bluffs at 10 Clinton Avenue.

The avenue was named in and was designated as the main promenade of the Martha's Vineyard Campmeeting Association campgrounds. On July 16, , a small plane crashed off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, claiming the lives of pilot John F. Kennedy Jr. Kennedy's mother, former U. In the summer of , an outbreak of tularemia , also known as rabbit fever, resulted in one death and piqued the interest of the CDC , which wanted to test the island as a potential investigative ground for aerosolized Francisella tularensis.

Over the following summers, Martha's Vineyard was identified as the only place in the world where documented cases of tularemia resulted from lawn mowing. Martha's Vineyard was known as an "everyone signed" community for several hundred years, [42] and many Deaf people view Martha's Vineyard as a utopia. The island's deaf heritage cannot be traced to one common ancestor and is thought to have originated in the Weald , a region that overlaps the borders of the English counties of Kent and Sussex , prior to immigration.

Martha's Vineyard - Wikipedia

Researcher Nora Groce estimates that by the late 19th century, 1 in people on the Vineyard was born deaf 0. Deaf Vineyarders generally earned an average or above-average income, proved by tax records, and they participated in church affairs with passion. In the late 19th century, the mixed marriages between deaf and hearing spouses comprised 65 percent of all deaf marriages on the island, as compared to the rate of 20 percent deaf-hearing marriage in the mainland.

However, the geographical, time, and population proximities state that MVSL and ASL are impossible to develop in complete isolation from each other. In the 20th century, tourism became a mainstay in the island economy, and new tourism-related jobs appeared. However, jobs in tourism were not as deaf-friendly as fishing and farming had been. Consequently, as intermarriage and further migration joined the people of Martha's Vineyard to the mainland, the island community more and more resembled the oral community there.

As a result, winter temperatures tend to be a few degrees warmer while summer temperatures tend to be cooler than inland locations.

Houzz Tour: Martha’s Vineyard Renovation Preserves Memories

Spring and fall are transition seasons with spring being cooler than fall. Martha's Vineyard is divided into six towns. Each town is governed by a board of selectmen elected by town voters, along with annual and periodic town meetings. Each town is also a member of the Martha's Vineyard Commission, which regulates island-wide building, environmental, and aesthetic concerns.

Some government programs on the island have been regionalized, such as the public school system, emergency management and waste management. There is a growing push for further regionalization areas of law enforcement, water treatment, and possible government regionalization. Each town also follows certain regulations from Dukes County.


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  • The towns are: [ citation needed ]. West Tisbury and Aquinnah are "soggy" towns that serve only beer and wine, and Chilmark is a "dry" town. Martha's Vineyard is located approximately seven miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod. There are direct ferries to each place. The trip through Long Island Sound and along the shoreline of Rhode Island and Massachusetts takes about four and a half hours minutes. The airport also handles much general aviation traffic. Katama airpark, with grass runways, is popular with private pilots; it is located near South Beach.

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    Five of the six towns have their own elementary schools, while Aquinnah residents usually attend nearby Chilmark's elementary school. The Vineyard was a place where anything was possible, where anything could happen. Especially the memories of childhood. The natural world of the Vineyard spoke to the young girl, who came to spend long summer days swimming and exploring, reveling in the smell of beach roses and gathering multicolored scallop shells, finding seahorses on the beach.

    Surrounded by cousins out at Chappaquonsett, we went on picnics at Quansoo, maybe one yearly visit to the Flying Horses, and always a visit or two to the Ag Fair.

    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories
    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories
    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories
    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories
    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories
    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories
    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories
    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories
    Marthas Vineyard: My Island, My Memories

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