This Was Then: Studley’s store

Items still used “nearly daily.”

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Studley’s Grocery, Circuit Avenue, circa 1920s. Clem Studley is likely the gentleman on the far right. —Courtesy Chris Baer

Clem Studley came to the Island as a toddler with his Yarmouth-born parents, and after a brief period selling tea in Providence with his brother, he and his wife Martha opened a grocery about 1910 in Oak Bluffs on the upper end of Circuit Avenue. By 1930, it had evolved into a hardware store.

Described as both “grave” and dignified” but also as “the kindest of men,” Studley was also credited for his good sense of humor. Martha, known less for humor and more for her nickname, “Queen of the Island,” was described as “Victorian.” Their daughter Barbara (known as “Bobby”), a member of the Oak Bluffs High School class of 1933, earned an English degree, moved to upstate New York and became a teacher.

Barbara’s daughter Pat, a New York physician, writes, “I still have some things from the store. I have a wonderful floral painted tray, large, with the price tag still attached to it. I use it nearly daily during the summer. I have bean pots that I still use, and a pencil from the store.”