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Chris Baer

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This Was Then: Journey to the center of the earth

The word “Chops” — as in East and West — derives its name from the business end of a mouth, the parts one might...

This Was Then: The tinman

For nearly 50 years, Charles Mayhew ran a popular Edgartown hardware business, selling stoves, plumbing supplies, dishes, kettles, keys, cinder shovels, pumps, pipes, wire,...

Welcome to Martin’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard … Martin’s Vineyard ... well, which is it, anyway?Actually, historians have never been able to agree on what our original English name...

This Was Then: The artificial pond

Oak Bluffs’ parks are as old as the town itself. Designed in the late 1860s and early ’70s by landscape architect Robert Morris Copeland,...

This Was Then: The Augusta

On August 26, 1924, a hurricane swept the coast of New England. Crops were ruined, trees uprooted, highways flooded, and shipping virtually stopped along...

This Was Then: The Grove Hill Seminary

In 1868, the Rev. Horace Barrows Marshall moved to the Vineyard from Maine with his wife Annie and their three young sons. A graduate...

This Was Then: The Makonikey Inn

In July 1893 the Boston Globe reported the opening of a new hotel on Martha’s Vineyard “called by the ultra-fashionable name of Makonikey inn,...

This was then: Immigrants

Martha’s Vineyard has long been an Island of immigrants. In 1905, more than a quarter of the residents of Oak Bluffs were foreign-born —...

This Was Then: Professor Miller’s mill

Professor Leslie Miller loved the tranquility of Martha’s Vineyard, but as a lifelong city dweller he really missed one thing: running water.Miller began his...

This was then: The Boston House

Krikor Barmakian was born in 1883 in Malatya — a large city in what is now central Turkey, 100 miles from the Syrian border...

This was then: Tisbury High Basketball

Jesse J. “Jed” Oliver (1897–1957) played forward guard. An Azorean native, Oliver later became a fisherman and ran a filling station in Vineyard Haven.Theodore...

This Was Then: Welcome and the ape

Welcome Tilton of Chilmark (1856–1949) was a whaleman, trap fisherman, lobsterman, cod fisherman, coaster, fishmonger, and later in life, door-to-door vanilla salesman. He came...

This Was Then: Old Island cooking

Want to prepare an authentically old-fashioned Vineyard meal for the holidays? Look no further than the "Island Cook Book," published in 1924 as a fundraiser...

This Was Then: Whit, Gabby, and Scotty

Lowell native Howard Whitney (1892–1972) operated Whitney’s Variety Store on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, in the early ’20s. Later he became the janitor at...

This Was Then: The Lockup

The old Vineyard Haven lockup — where local lawbreakers were temporarily detained by the town constable — once occupied the northeast corner of this barn...

This Was Then: Buried treasure

In gale winds and heavy seas in the fall of 1850, the bark Missouri of New York, loaded with a cargo of Indonesian pepper...

This was then: The Cottage City Carnival of 1882

Illumination Night in the late 19th century was very different from the laid-back traditions we enjoy today. During the 1870s and ’80s it took...

This Was Then: The Japanese stores

Martha’s Vineyard has a uniquely deep-rooted relationship with the Far East, particularly Japan. Island whaling families still adorn their homes with Japanese treasures brought...

This Was Then: West Tisbury Time

Daylight Saving Time was instituted in Massachusetts in 1920 under Governor (later President) Calvin Coolidge. Everywhere except West Tisbury, that is.“In a spirit of...

This Was Then: Walter and Dorothy

Walter Jenney, a New Bedford blacksmith’s son, came to the Vineyard just after the turn of the 20th century, and clerked for the Vineyard...