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Chris Baer

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This Was Then: Art and Edna

Groceryman Art Smith (1867-1952) put the first “S” in S.B.S.: Smith, Bodfish & Swift, still Vineyard Haven’s revered grain store. Or half of an...

This Was Then: Pearson’s Drug Store

Pearson’s Drug Store was located in the part of the Arcade building occupied today by Sharky’s Cantina on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. Druggist...

This Was Then: Gifford's Boatyard

Ship’s carpenter and boatbuilder Charles Gifford was born on Penikese Island — then known as Pune Island, and still technically part of Chilmark — where...

This Was Then: Cottage City snoozes

“What a place Martha’s Vineyard would have been to the late Sancho Panza for his morning snoozes,” remarked a cigar-smoking Cottage City visitor, sitting...

This Was Then: Chick’s Vineyard Haven News

When Edson Chick arrived on the Vineyard in the summer of 1887, Islanders found him to be charismatic, well-spoken, impeccably dressed, and extremely outgoing....

This Was Then: The Naumkeag

With a capacity of 200 guests, the Hotel Naumkeag was among the largest in Cottage City, and at $3 a night, it was among...

This Was Then: Mayhew’s hardware store

Willie Mayhew’s parents had left Edgartown for California seeking gold just a year before he was born in 1859 in San Francisco. When his...

This Was Then: The Horse Fountain

That cast iron planter between the Green Room and the bank in Vineyard Haven was never intended for geraniums. Known by old-timers as the...

This Was Then: Alexander Graham Bell's “extraordinary phenomenon”

Alexander Graham Bell, known best for the invention of the telephone, wrote a letter in 1885 to his wife Mabel about an investigation he...

This Was Then: Salvaging the Port Hunter

At 1:48 am on the moonless early morning of Nov. 2, 1918, the 4,000-ton British steamship Port Hunter collided with the ocean tug Covington...

This Was Then: Five mothers, five babies

Five Vineyard Haven moms pose with their kids about 1890. From left: Mrs. Margaret (Soule) Hough and her daughter, Doris Hough; Mrs. Juliet (Crocker)...

This was then: George Alley’s Edgartown Market, about 1929

When we think of “Alley’s store” today, there’s only one that comes to mind — the old S.M. Mayhew Co. general store in West...

This Was Then: Darling’s

Darling’s, Circuit Avenue, about 1929: In addition to salt water taffy and “Cottage City Pop Corn,” Darling’s also sold potato chips, peanuts, ”log cabin...

This Was Then: George Salvadore

Updated Thursday, April 21, 1 pm*George Washington Salvadore of Edgartown was the world’s third-ranking welterweight boxer. Described as “rugged” and a “hoofer” measuring less...

This was then: Bunker’s Ice Cream Parlor

This photograph of Bunker’s Ice Cream Parlor in Edgartown was taken around the turn of the 20th century. A sign behind the gentleman on...

100 years ago, a Tivoli girl

This week, we expand Chris Baer’s “This was Then” column.“Come! Come! Tivoli Girl, dance the hours away —Come! Come! Tivoli Girl, don’t you hear...

This was then: The Ice Yachts

Before the 1938 hurricane (and the subsequent dredging of a wide, permanent channel into Vineyard Sound), Tashmoo was mostly fresh water and prone to...

This was then: The Tea House

The Betty Benz Tea House served lunch and afternoon tea at the Lagoon Bridge until its destruction by hurricane. “For ‘Tea’ we serve a...

This was then: George Fred

Captain George Fred Tilton of Chilmark, like his brother Zeb, is a Vineyarder of such legend that it’s not even necessary to use his...

This was then: The fut path

In 1685 Ponit, son of Cheesehahchamuk and sachem of Nobnocket, stated in a court record that the bounds of his sachemship had been defined...