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...