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Chris Baer

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This was then: The Capawoc

Methodist lay pastor Louis Jansen, a young London-born religious firebrand, may not have been well educated, but he was a passionate and popular speaker....

This was then: Mrs. Cottle’s fast ride

A few doors up from the old Mansion House — not far from where Mocha Mott’s is today — once stood the carpentry workshop of...

This Was Then: The State Road

In the late 19th century, Martha’s Vineyard’s concrete down-Island roads were said to be among the best in the nation, and were a renowned...

This Was Then: The new jail

During 1874-5, a new jail was built on the corner of Main and Pine streets in Edgartown. Pressure to move the jail had begun...

This Was Then: The old jail

“Oh, that jail!” wrote a Chicago Tribune reporter visiting Edgartown in 1873. “It’s not well patronized. A few years ago, a man was put...

This Was Then: 02573

Frederick Alton Long, a 29-year-old butcher from West Dennis, was hired as the first postmaster for the new development of West Chop in 1891....

This Was Then: Harry Horton

The electric trolleys which ran between Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven for more than two decades ceased operation about 1918. One became a house,...

This was then: Speed

In 1902, Edward Mulligan of Quincy, a wealthy Boston broker and Cottage City summer resident, was charged with manslaughter after his speeding automobile caused...

This Was Then: The artificial creek

Tashmoo is a saltwater estuary today, fed by a small, spring-fed freshwater pond, but prior to the 1938 hurricane, it was a freshwater lake...

This Was Then: The boys who fled

Philip Higgins of Westfield was 13 years old when he was arrested for robbing $40 dollars from a local store in 1879. One of...

This Was Then: The grist mill and the rat fire

The old S.B.S. grain store on Water Street, Vineyard Haven, was a longtime side business of the successful grocery enterprise of Smith, Bodfish, and...

This was then: Going up!

Elevators have long remained off-Island curiosities for the entertainment of Vineyard kids visiting the mainland, as there have been precious few to ride here...

This was then: The Martha’s Vineyard Air Meet of 1928

“Fully 10,000 persons” reportedly thronged the road from Edgartown to Katama over two days in 1928 to witness the Island’s first-ever air meet. More...

This was then: Arvagasugiaqpalauqtut Kinguvaanginnik Qaujinasungniq

Consumer DNA tests have become an important new tool for historians. Companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA (which recently announced its 5 millionth customer) can...

This Was Then: Cap’n Dave

Cap’n Dave Butler of Menemsha Creek (1859-1943) grew up on Nomans Land, the son of artist George Butler, one of the Vineyard’s first photographers.As...

This was then: The Edgartown Cornet Band

The Edgartown Cornet Band, under the direction of band leader Richard G. Shute, played during the summer months in the late 1890s.Chappaquiddick ferryman Charles...

This Was Then: Stella

Stella Abiah Ryan was born in 1885 in the town once known as Gay Head, the daughter of Charles Ryan and Rachel Diamond of...

This was then: The Joggins

It emerged from a heavy fog into Vineyard Haven Harbor just after midnight on August 8, 1888. It was nearly an eighth of a...

This was then: Summer Toboggans, the Casino, and the North Bluff Flying Horses

The Flying Horses, the Casino, and the Summer Toboggan Coast are clustered in the background of this late-1880s view down Kennebec Avenue toward North...

This Was Then: Studley’s store

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...