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...

This Was Then: The fair, September 1889

Kids from all over the Island pose together at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society’s fair in West Tisbury in September 1889. They’re identified here...

This Was Then: The artist mystic

Hanging in the staff room of the Edgartown Library is a 10” by 16” oil painting titled “Scene at Cuttyhunk” signed by the artist,...

This Was Then: The marble works of Indian Hill

Established in 1888, Henry H. Norton’s granite and marble works stood near the top of Indian Hill in North Tisbury. While clay, sand, peat,...

This Was Then: The Pawnee House

The Pawnee House is occupied today by Ben & Bill's, Eastaway, and other Circuit Avenue shops, albeit just a stump of its former four-story...

This was then: The wooden leg

William Cunningham of Boston was barely 10 years old when he was sent to reform school in 1870 for “larceny and disobedience.” His parents...