Real Estate


Sept. 30, Paul S. Osterman and Susan E. Eckstein sold 34 Bijah’s Way to Luke Napolitan for $795,000.

Oct. 1, Robin, Leonard, and Lawrence Bell sold 62 Stonewall Rd. to Caroline R. Flanders, trustee of 62 Stonewall Nominee Trust, for $2,752,500.

Oct. 3, Nan J. Doty, trustee of the Brookside Realty Trust sold 489 South Rd. to Philip F. Curtin and Margaret D. Whitehouse for $765,000.


Sept. 29, David and Nancy Nachbar sold 1 Town Lot Circle to Henry I. and Karen E. Morgenbesser for $1,336,500.

Sept. 29, US Bank NA as trustee for the benefit of Citigroup Mortgage Loan Trust Inc. Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2005-HE3, sold 15 Twelfth St. South to Paul Natalizio and Charles Hajjar for $305,250.

Sept. 30, Joanne Carroll Homlish and Martin J. Homlish, trustees of the Joanne Carroll Homlish Qualified Personal Residence Trust, sold 230 Meetinghouse Way to F. Dominique LeMaire and Alison LeMaire for $1,925,000.

Sept. 30, Frances L. Clay sold 302 Chappaquiddick Rd. to John L. and Linda S. Anderson for $1,200,000.

Oct. 1, Coastal Estates LLC sold 65 Clevelandtown Rd. to Rudolph L. Johnson, Jr. and Maureen P. Johnson for $1,690,000.

Oct. 1, 40 Dark Woods LLC sold 40 Dark Woods Rd. to Eric B. Kasen for $1,200,000.

Oct. 3, Michael and Rebecca Hegarty sold 10 Jennifer Way to Tracy K. Firth for $2,450,000.

Oct. 3, Aram Onbashian, Jr. and Tracie A. Richardson, both individually and as trustees of the Ararat Realty Trust, sold 1 Orchard Lane to Vincent and Beth Laiosa for $490,000.

Oct. 3, Thomas C. Sullivan and Katherine McG. Sullivan sold 32 School House Rd. to Adam Troy Epstein, individually and as Manager of Innovation MV Properties LLC, for $1,399,750.

Oak Bluffs

Sept. 30, Jules and Barbara C. Ben David sold 2 Periwinkle Lane to Michael J. and Katherine B. Gibson for $225,000.

Sept. 30, Louis B. and Barbara Johnson sold 26 Hidden Cove Rd. to Thomas J. Sullivan, trustee of the Thomas J. Sullivan Trust for $856,000.

Oct. 1, John D. Vibberts sold 22 Martha’s Park Rd. to William K. Reagan for $649,000.

Oct. 3, Jonathan Koerner sold 11 Ploughshare Lane to David L. Rider for $669,000.

Oct. 3, Kathy A. Burton and Nancy F. Phillips sold 55 Tia Anna Lane to Julie and Alan Fish for $1,450,000.


Sept. 30, Higby Vineyard LLC, f/k/a Higby/Fulton Vineyard LLC, sold 337 Golf Club Rd. to Toney E. Godrey and Virginia R. Litle for $2,400,000.

Sept. 30, Charles T. Felder sold 62 Lagoon Ave. to Julie Anne McNary for $470,000.

Sept. 30, Kate W. Sedgwick, trustee of Maltese Falcon Trust, sold 29 Mill House Way to Kenneth and Jeanne Levy-Church for $4,000,000.

Sept. 30, Simon Delekta, Personal Representative of the Mary Jane Delekta estate, sold 157 Clover Hill Dr. to Charles T. Felder for $520,000.

Oct. 3, John R. Williams, Jr. and Nancy Williams sold 56 Hatch Rd. to Richard E. Thompson, trustee of the Richard Thompson Revocable Living Trust, for $2,500,000.

Local real estate brokers Lisa Stewart and Leslie Floyd announced that they are joining forces to bring Lighthouse Properties back to Edgartown. Leslie will be joining the Lighthouse team of Ashley Mundt, Trish Lyman, Rhea Cobban, and Sheylah Callen, according to a press release.  With a new, prime office location on North Water Street, a deep-rooted history on the Island, and more than 25 years of experience in real estate, they look forward to bringing a unique team approach to real estate on Martha’s Vineyard.

For more information, call 508-627-7005.

"The Brown Turkey." —Photo by Susan Safford

The Living Local Harvest Festival: at the Fairgrounds, West Tisbury!

Last week’s long-awaited rain amounted to 0.85” in my rain gauge. Luckily runoff was minimal, as it was delivered softly, without downpour.

My hens are pretty well molted, so I am cleaning the henhouse and composting the litter, preparatory to its mellowing over the winter in the soil of the vegetable garden. The litter has been building since last fall; its high feather content — protein — is a soil asset.

Figs, best savored unadorned

The growing of figs on Martha’s Vineyard seems to have been uncommon until relatively recently. It’s likely that horticulturalists of years back, such as the late John Perkins of Edgartown, tried them, though. Today, with changes in weather patterns — and Sumner Silverman’s indefatigable distribution of propagating material from the prunings of his several pampered fig trees — numerous Island fig trees now exist.

The common fig, Ficus carica, in the Moraceae, has been cultivated since ancient times, and has many mythological and classical connotations. As a garden plant in mild zones (zone 7 and south), the trees with their iconic foliage provide a bold textural contrast, and prefer to be sited “in moist, well-drained soil” (Michael Dirr) but are adaptable.

I accepted three of Sumner’s prunings and rooted them in water over the winter. Only one actually took well enough to pot on, and that is how I got my “Brown Turkey” fig tree, one of the more reliably hardy varieties for our plant zone.

The temptation to grow figs in-ground is great: Schlepping a potted fig in and out, with ever-increasing root-ball and container sizes, requires just the right sort of situation and a strong back or hand truck. The men in my family had, however, unilaterally decided that their projects required a concrete slab on the best spot for my fledgling fig tree.

As we saw, last winter’s weather proved to be a setback for fig trees planted in-ground by risk-taking Islanders. Many were killed down to the ground. Although most regenerated, some did not, and an entire season’s fruit was lost. It is the fruits (and eating them) that are the main point. The vexing concrete apron inadvertently saved my fig tree, most likely.

Culture of figs has been something of an enigma. Their being such newcomers here means there is no long-standing local tradition, unlike growing, say, apples or peaches. Sketchy information that exists suggests they are more suitable for the South or California.

Stories of the elaborate rituals that elderly ethnic gardeners of Watertown, Charlestown, and the North End of Boston have developed to cosset fig trees in their urban backyards have circulated for years. However, without firsthand knowledge of how to do the trick, it seems risky to attempt severing half the roots and bending over the tree (one reported technique) to bury it in a straw-filled pit!

Plus, figs have quirks that mean that by incorrect pruning, one can prune away the entire future crop. I was happy to acquire the following advice from “Gardening at Longmeadow” (BBC Books, Random House, 2012, 351 pgs.), by Monty Don, the respected British garden authority, and from “The Cook and the Gardener”  (W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1999, 632 pgs.), by the chef Amanda Hesser, whose cookbook is based on the gardening year in Burgundy.

I quote at length from Don’s “September” section of the above book, because it supplies the most complete information I have found on understanding fig habits. (The fig trees Don writes about are planted in-ground, in Britain.)

“Figs can produce three crops simultaneously and invariably have two on the go at any moment. At this time of year there will be large ripening figs, half-sized ones and, if you look closely, tiny pea-sized, even pin-head, fruit tucked into a joint between stem and leaf. These tiny ones are next year’s harvest.

“The in-between ones — essentially any that do not ripen by the middle of October — will never ripen in northern Europe although further south they will produce a delicious harvest from New Year to early spring …” He goes on to describe how they sometimes ripen further, but for various reasons never amount to anything.

“The solution is to wait until you have harvested the last ripe fig at the end of October and then remove every single fig bigger than a fingernail. … The fruit are formed towards the tips of healthy young shoots so for a maximum harvest it is best to roughly fan-train the fig against a wall, removing about a quarter of the oldest stems every year along with any growth that is growing out from the wall or crossing. Do this in April. Then in August, prune away any overly vigorous outward growth that will shade the ripening fruit.

Hesser writes in a similar vein: “In a warm climate, figs enjoy a double season like raspberries, only slightly later. The first season usually occurs about midsummer and a second in the fall. Burgundy is on the fringe of fig-growing latitudes, so only the figs from the first session actually ripen enough for consumption. The second-session figs grow halfway then shrivel up, burdened by the bite of frosts.

“The trees remain in this half-developed state through winter … until the trees are pruned in March.”

After I pruned my tree in early April, I was fortunate to be given a mammoth nursery pot for my “Brown Turkey,” at just the point when it had burst its former container and needed greater root room. I replanted with Fort Vee compost and was rewarded, as the photograph shows, with a nice harvest of fruit.

My collection of cookbooks is quite respectable, yet among the whole there are very, very few recipes for fresh figs. Hesser concludes her section on figs with a recipe for an apparently artless confection. She writes, “This is not a sophisticated recipe, as you can see by its length, but the last fruit I would ever want to torture with overcooking would be the fig.” Which goes to show that if you have fresh figs, the best thing to do is just eat them! Convert the surplus to jam.


Sept. 26, Timothy Mooney and George Whitman Casey sold 3 Attaquin Way to Barnaby and Sibel Suman for $587,500.


Sept. 26, Annaliese Kambour, trustee of Dyer Realty Trust, sold 30 Bijah’s Way to Jesse Burton for $750,000.


Sept. 22, Patricia A. Daly and Alan J. Cieto sold 34 Pilgrim Rd. to John T. and Susan Brooks Stephenson for $565,000.

Sept. 25, Benjamin L. Hall, Sr., trustee for Benjamin L. Hall, Jr. and Brian A. M. Hall, sold 60 Curtis Lane to Cynthia A. Grilli for $350,000.

Oak Bluffs

Sept. 25, Richard C. and Julia E. Schnetke sold 104 Carol Lane to Sara Safford for $365,000.

Sept. 26, Mary W. Sullivan sold 9 Syracuse Ave. to Kenneth J. Ward and Cheyenne E. Cimeno for $348,000.

Sept. 26, Howard H. Brown, a/k/a Howard Hawkins Brown, Personal Representative of the estate of Reginald Ridgley, sold 96 Dukes County Ave. and 8 Masonic Ave. to the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank for $40,000.

Sept. 26, Elizabeth P. Sorensen sold 9 Chickawaukee St. to James M. O’Donnell for $410,000.

Sept. 26, Stephen W. and Constance Hill sold 500 County Rd. to Hunter P. Denman for $403,000.

West Tisbury

Sept. 22, Thomas P. Major and Michelle Marie Marks sold 488 Edgartown Rd. to Tara J. Whiting for $610,000.

Vineyard Open House Real Estate celebrated its first year in business Saturday, Sept. 20 with an open house at its offices on Union Street in Vineyard Haven. More than 25 friends and clients attended. Broker Mary Sullivan, sales associate and Realtor Kristin Zern, and David Lott, Realtor and owner, hosted the event.

“We’ve had an excellent first year,” Mr. Lott said. “From a standing start last September, we registered $1.28 million in real estate sales, numerous rentals, and a growing client list. Kristin came on as a new agent during the summer. We’re excited to see what year two will bring.”

Mr. Lott said the timing was right. “The market has been active,” he said. “While total Island real estate sales are similar to last year, the big improvement has been in the median number of days homes sit on the market. Now homes are on the market prior to selling for about seven months, down from nearly 10 months last year. That creates the sense of a quickening market. On the other hand, prices have not risen and remained stable. That keeps more people in the market, which is a good thing.”

For more information, visit


Sept. 15, L&C Locust Lane LLC sold 5 Locust Lane to Gordon P. Moore and Shelley L. Berger for $1,100,000.


Sept. 17, Susan B. Whiting, individually and as trustee, and William A. Oates, Jr., trustee of the John W. M. Whiting Non-exempt Family Fund, sold a Beach Lot on Black Point to Theodora Budnik for $311,000.


Sept. 15, Phoebe Cole-Smith, individually, and ATG Trust Co, as trustee of the Sylvia Angevin Thompson Trust, sold 30 Fuller St. to Roberto Sella and Richard G. Worley, trustees of the Irrevocable Deed of Trust of Richard B. Worley for Richard G., for $2,575,000.

Sept. 17, Stanley C. Norton, Jr. and Kathryn H. Norton, a/k/a Kathryn H. Norton Meehan, sold 59 Martha’s Rd. to Robert W. and Regina A. Marchewka for $640,000.

Oak Bluffs

Sept. 15, William S. Legge, trustee of the Jane Sterns Legge Brown Trust, sold 85 Winemack St. to Annemarie Armstrong for $470,000.

Sept. 15, David Albertz and Joyce Baker sold 6 Old Dirt Rd. to Pasquale Didanato Jr. and Gayle Didanato for $365,000.

Sept. 19, Jay R. Grant and Yuliana M. Kim-Grant sold 36 Meadow View Rd. to Jonathan M. and Teresa A. Ettinger for $585,000.

Sept. 19, Lawrence Lenske, individually and as trustee of the Joan Davis Silvia estate and the Jeffrey Lenske Trust, and Gregory Lenske sold 4 California Ave. to Richard Cowen for $319,000.

Sept. 19, Jeffrey R. and Ardell C. Otten sold 261 Barnes Rd. to Michael Plouf and Toni Robinson for $2,820,000.


Sept. 17, Eugene P. and Concetta Kelley sold Unit 1 Tashmoo Wood I Condo on Sandpiper Lane to Adrianne Ryan for $600,000.

Sept. 18, Stanton G. Richards sold 104 Hines Point to Geoghan E. Coogan, trustee of 104 Hines Point Road Nominee Trust, for $900,000.

West Tisbury

Sept. 16, John G. Mezochow sold 230 Vineyard Meadow Farms Rd. to Christopher M. Zilla for $290,000.

Sept. 19, Jeffrey H. Pease, Elaine H. Hughes and Holly Hughes sold 208 Middle Point Rd. to Middle Point Shaq LLC for $2,280,000.

Sedum ‘Xenox’s’ glowing flowers are set off by its dark foliage; it partially obscures green-leaved S. ‘Matrona’ (behind). —Photo by Susan Safford

These are blue-sky days, great for weddings; but I am a gardener and hoping for rain. Everything I see is hanging in droughty ribbons. Yet “there is no drought, only abnormally dry conditions.”

Early Fall Garden

Gardeners face such a variety and quantity of projects and endeavors at this time of year that it is hard not to be bewildered and spun upon the wheels of indecision.

Redesign? Rework beds? Dig and divide? Renew soil? Prep houseplants to return indoors? Visualize plantings and order bulbs? Soil test? Lawn repair? Mulching? And it isn’t as if we are all ladies and gentlemen of leisure, daintily picking up a pair of garden snips in our endless idle hours!

However, let’s review these topics. The end of the season is a great opportunity to go through the garden with a revising eye, while the recollection of what worked, what did not, and what downright annoyed you, is still fresh. (This is where frequent photos of the garden help greatly.) In my garden, a Japanese maple sapling is coming out — not without guilt on my part. It was part of a scheme of three young trees, planted to create a backdrop with four-season interest for a portion of a bed. Well, this one proved to be more of a light-blocker than I’d anticipated, so — sayonara.

Reworking beds is simplified after plants have been cut back, although the digging can be laborious nonetheless. Removing growth creates clarity vis-à-vis their location and relation to one another, and there are no tops to deal with if you decide to shift some. This is a good opportunity to renew soil by adding compost or leaf mold, too, while plants are out of the ground, especially if you did find the soil hard to dig.

Mulching can be just about the last garden task of the entire year, done after leaf drop and cleanup, and just before true cold weather sets in. Alternatively, should you have had a load of mulch delivered and unloaded in a convenient spot, it can be spread, little by little, as you do this reorganizing work. Keep a bag of low-number, organic soil food (i.e., fertilizer) nearby, to side-dress the area around the plants as you mulch.

You know with certainty that next spring you will find that your place needs more spring-flowering bulbs, so don’t disappoint yourself. Ordering bulbs should be simplified if you have been perusing the bulb catalogues as they come in. Many arrive in spring, while bulb season is underway. The rub is that the lists may be made “mentally” and “mentally” disposed of, too.

With the endemic Island deer problem, where we can plant tulips for any real landscape enjoyment is a problem. For several years I have been locating tulips in my vegetable garden, more as a cut-flower crop than as an enhancement of the garden landscape. This year, however, voles (?) seem to have discovered them; I continue to find dug and gnawed tulip bulbs lying on the ground.

If you wish to have plants such as digitalis, lunaria, hesperis, and lychnis, biennials all, sow or locate the young plantlets and transplant, or let grow, now.

Houseplants have grown over the summer, and may need repotting before returning indoors. Water well and then remove root balls from pots and slice off about an inch of root mass and old soil, using an old kitchen knife. Replace in pots and fill in with fresh container mix. Soak them well. Top growth may need to be reshaped to balance the loss of roots.

Lawn repair and renewal is a classic fall project, but one that is predicated upon the arrival of fall rains. While warm, dry conditions prevail, hold off on this one.

Soil testing may be done now, and no oven drying is needed — the soil is already dry. The new address for UMass soil testing: UMass Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Lab, 203 Paige Laboratory, 161 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA  01003. Go to the UMass web site at for information and to download order forms. Specify that you want advice for organic management.

Fall Garden: Sedums

When summer’s annuals and perennials are looking tired, the sedums come along to enliven the garden scenery and attract myriad pollinators. In this dry month, they have been outstanding! Most familiar may be the sturdy, often-used “Autumn Joy” (Hylotelephium “Herbstfreude”), but there is actually much more to choose from among these succulents. Late-summer sedums’ color range is primarily pale pink aging through ruby to mahogany.

If one goes toplantlust.comone can view the many varieties and cultivars of sedum (also called stonecrop) available, and find where to get them. The variety is extensive and enormous, and many are for specialist gardeners. These are all succulents and well adapted to dry or rock-garden conditions, something to keep in mind during these “not drought” times.

My new sedum fave is “Xenox,” a dark-leaved cultivar just under two feet tall, with rosy pink flowers at summer’s end. I like it grouped with “Matrona,” a slightly taller German introduction with paler, starry flower heads that age pink, greenish foliage, and wine-red stems.

The stonecrops as a group are endearingly called “kinder” plants, as leaves and stem pieces root effortlessly, producing offspring, or “kinder.” Give them full sun exposure and well-drained soil, and divide after three or four years. The plants of large-flowered taller varieties may be pinched early in the season to make for bushier growth and daintier flower heads, which may lessen the need for staking a large clump.


Sept. 12, Zoia Properties LLC sold 63 Moshup Trail to John R. and Theresa M. Levinson for $3,025,000.

Oak Bluffs

Sept. 9, Bertha M. Williston sold 11 Dreamers Way to Peter Thigith for $389,000.

Sept. 10, Mary Beth Baptiste sold 106 Pennsylvania Ave. to Tracey and Allen Williams for $500,000.

Sept. 11, Lisa Strachan, trustee of Subtrust for the Benefit of Penelope Thomas, sold 52 Waterview Rd. to Jaime C. Benavente and Caroline Crosbie for $762,500.

Sept. 12, Eleanor P. and Norman Hohenthal, trustees of the Eleanor P. Hohenthal Revocable Trust, sold 364 Barnes Rd. to Charles S. and Marianne C. Sebastian for $385,000.

Sept. 12, Treva Bass sold 7 Pacific Ave. to Sheila T. Beasley for $470,000.


Sept. 11, Paul Tines sold 98 Pine Tree Rd. to Elton T. Nascimento and Sarah R. Monast for $278,000.

Sept. 12, Charles Dana Bangs and James Dexter Banks sold 115 Skiff Ave. to Paul S. Bangs for $116,666.

Sept. 12, Paul S. Bangs, trustee of the Dorothy K. Bangs 1991 Revocable Trust, sold 230 Skiff Ave. to Charles Dana Bangs and Elaine Louise Phoutrides for $343,332.

West Tisbury

Sept. 9, Christopher S. and Deborah L. Cini sold 89 Pin Oak Circle to Donald T. and Marcia W. MacGillivray for $245,000.

Sept. 12, John Lawrence Donnelly, 3rd and Amy Harrison Donnelly, trustees of the Harrison Donnelly Trust, sold 16 Red Coat Hill Rd. to Geoghan E. Coogan, trustee of 16 Red Coat Hill Road Realty Trust, for $445,000.


Sept. 3, Ann W. Bassett and Laurie J. Hall, trustees of the Gordon W. Bassett Marital Trust and the Gordon W. Bassett Revocable Trust, sold 49 Morse St. to Joseph B. McCall, IV, for $1,525,000.

Sept. 5, Joseph Araujo sold 1 Hollow Way to CIL Realty of Massachusetts Inc. for $625,000.

Sept. 5, Paul and Ashley Gilbert sold 29 Fourteenth St. South to Rebecca S. Hamilton and Jeffrey R. Lamarche for $505,000.

Oak Bluffs

Sept. 3, Doris I. Williams sold 31 Cannahoot St. to Robert M. Diebold for $332,000.

Sept. 4, Richard and Ruth Gaffey sold 37 Katama Ave. to Lisa S. Crisp, trustee of the Generation Skipping Trust, for $364,000.

Sept. 5, Jason F. and Luke F. Debettencourt sold 10 Lagoon Rd. to Charlotte E. and Matthew A. Bolduc for $384,000.

Sept. 5, Kristin Hanna sold 15 West Meadow Lane to Jeffrey J. Younger and Lorinda Karoff for $735,000.

Sept. 5, Michael Ashford a/k/a Michael S. Ashford, Doug Ashford a/k/a Douglas E. Ashford, Jr., and Sarah Safford sold 184 Circuit Ave. to Mary Dzialo for $445,000.

Sept. 5, Melanie Forster sold 61D Ocean Ave. to Thomas and Mary Jo Hjerpe for $430,000.

Sept. 5, Larkin B. Reeves, trustee of the Larkin B. Reeves Family Trust sold 35 Wamsutta Ave. to Andrew F. Upton for $395,000.


Sept. 3, Helen D. Howze and Judith D. Corbett, individually and as trustees of the Florence A. Dove 1991 Trust, and Helen D. Howze and Judith D. Corbett, as Personal Representatives of the estate of Florence Asher Dove, sold 73 William St. to Ethan W. and Tracey O. Stead for $1,287,500.

Sept. 4, Harvey M. and Heidi R. Scher sold 132 Canterbury Lane to George W. Brown, Jr. and Margaret V. Brown for $545,000.

Sept. 5, John G. Early and Jeffrey Serusa sold 32 Breakdown Lane to Carl J. Kenney, trustee of the Kenney Family Realty Trust, for $550,000.

Longtime Islander and residential-lending expert Jeanne Ogden has joined Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank as vice president, head of residential lending. She brings more than 20 years of banking experience to her new position, and will be based at the bank’s West Tisbury branch, located at 490 State Road. Ms. Ogden was most recently vice president/retail mortgage sales manager for Santander Bank, where she earned a reputation as one of the top business development officers in the nation while overseeing residential lending on Martha’s Vineyard, according to a press release.

“At Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, we pride ourselves on knowing our customers on a first-name basis,” said Paul Falvey, M.V. Savings Bank president. “With more than two decades of experience helping residents expedite the lending process, Jeanne Ogden exemplifies that personal touch. She is one of the most well-known and respected lenders on the Island and we are delighted that she has agreed to join our financial team.”

For more information, go to