What a wonderful week. Our darling granddaughters Rory and Fiona are back at Camp Nana, which this week includes adventures with Kids Discovery Days at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.
Ages 5 and up learn all about bugs today at 4 pm at the Vineyard Haven Library. Marvelous Marvin teaches bug habits and the importance of bugs to humans with circus arts, magic, and music. Next Thursday at 4 pm, Mister Rocketman will show us how to make amazing rockets.The kids launch their creations, and it’s anyone’s guess as to where they will land.
You are familiar with Moth and NPR. Saturday evening at the Tabernacle hear islanders sharing brief true stories told live. Time is 7:30; cost is $40.
Tom Dresser, Herb Foster, and Jay Schofield will be in the Community Room at Hillside Village at 2 pm Sunday, after the NAACP meeting. Their book, “Martha’s Vineyard in World War II,” is already in a second printing. They talked with Vineyarders who were here during the war, including my husband and his cousin Buddy Mayhew, and researched files of the Gazette and the Museum. Views of life on the home front of Martha’s Vineyard during the war range from plane spotters at town hall to workers at the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard. The talk is free, the book is $20.
On Tuesday adults can hear Susan Klein speak on Folklore & Mythology From A Woman’s Perspective. That’s at 8 pm at Featherstone.
Students from fifth grade through high school were chosen by their music teachers as the most talented and hardworking young singers and instrumentalists on the Island. They will perform at 7:30 pm on Tuesday at the West Tisbury Grange Hall to benefit the new West Tisbury Library. Tickets are $15 and half price for age 12 and under, available in advance at Tisberry Fro Yo off Main Street.
I should remind you that shopping online harms our local businesses. But I am a realist; I know you sometimes order stuff from Amazon anyway. Next time you do that, use this address because 1% of the sale can go to charity: http://smile.amazon.com.
Next Wednesday, author Josh Ruxin will speak about his new book “A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope, and a Restaurant in Rwanda” at 7 pm at the Vineyard Haven Library.
This is the story of a Columbia University professor picking up and moving to deepest Rwanda, where he helped revitalize a village and fell in love with a little restaurant called Heaven. Hear about living in Rwanda, building a village, then constructing a restaurant, and, during it all, beginning his own family.
How can anyone think bicycles don’t have the same rights as cars on our roads? The moped riders have these rights, too. Owning a vehicle does not give you the right to be the only one on the road. If you find these people slow you down, you should have left home earlier. Your being late is not their fault.
Peter Pan! Live! A week from tomorrow, August 15, the Island Theater Workshop presents a benefit performance of Peter Pan at 7:30 pm at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center. The performance is directed by Kevin Ryan to benefit the MV Center for Living and support services for Island seniors. $25 for adults and $12 for children. More at 508-939-9440.
You will want to know about two special events at the Federated Church in Edgartown next week. On Sunday morning from 8:30 to 10:30 is the annual blueberry breakfast. Then on Tuesday afternoon five lovely homes on School Street and South Water Street in Edgartown will be open for you as a benefit for the church. Historian Mary Jane Carpenter will speak at 1 pm before the afternoon tour begins. Tea and refreshments are offered at the Mayhew Parsonage. Tickets are $35 at the Meetinghouse on the afternoon of the tour. More: Anne Vose at 508-627-7077.
Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to John Edmond Coogan today. Wish the best tomorrow to Bobbie Donavan. Happy birthday to Goodie Stiller Corriveau who parties next Wednesday. Belated greetings go out to Sharon Coogan.
Heard on Main Street: It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
A Navy Band concert will cap a parade and ceremony to commemorate the park's 50th year.
A Flag Day celebration on Saturday hosted by American Legion Post 257 in Vineyard Haven will include a parade and rededication ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Veterans Memorial Park. As a special treat, the 45-member Navy Band Northeast from Newport, R.I., will participate.
That evening the band will perform a free concert at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. The morning parade will be canceled if it rains, but not the evening concert, according to Legionnaire organizer, and trumpeter for all occasions, Edson Rodgers.
The Navy Band Northeast will play the National Anthem and patriotic songs during the park ceremony. At 7 pm Saturday night, the band will perform a 70-minute show under the direction of Lt. Commander Carl J. Gerhard, U.S. Navy.
“I think people are in for a treat and are really going to enjoy it,” Lt. Cdr. Gerhard told The Times in a phone call Tuesday. “We’ll play music for all ages — patriotic songs, popular tunes, Big Band, swing, Dixieland — we’ve got it all.”
Veterans and Tisbury town officials, accompanied by the Navy Band, will step off for the parade at 11 am from St. Augustine’s Catholic Church on Franklin Street. The half-mile parade route takes them down Church Street, right on Main Street, right on State Road, and left on Causeway Road down to Veterans Memorial Park.
A rededication ceremony at the park will pay tribute to the hard work and generosity of American Legion members who envisioned its creation and carried the project through the 12 years it took to complete. Legionnaire Fred Thifault, the only remaining member of the park’s original building committee which he joined in 1962, has been invited to participate.
A living memorial
Over five decades, generations of Islanders of all ages have enjoyed Veterans Memorial Park’s sports fields, grounds, and playgrounds. The public park is the hub for soccer, baseball, softball, and volleyball games.
A plaque in the park notes that the land was purchased and the park constructed by “members and friends of Gen. Geo. W. Goethals Post 257, American Legion, Vineyard Haven.”
According to an early fundraising pamphlet, the Legionnaires decided that a War Veterans Memorial Park was more suitable than a memorial made of bronze and granite to honor those who died in war.
“We don’t want a statue’s face, stuck against a stone,” a poem entitled “Appreciation” said. “We would like a living place we could call our own.”
What few people probably realize today is that the park’s ball fields were once literally diamonds in the rough. As the pamphlet described, the park land the Legionnaires purchased was “an unused and seemingly useless hollow covered with tangled thickets and a jungle of reeds taller than a man.” One section they bought in 1951, where Bass Creek headed up, was a swamp with a deep bog-hole.
On December 7, 1951, the Veterans Memorial Park project received a charter as a nonprofit organization.
“There was a job to be done and Legion volunteers went to work,” the pamphlet said. “Perhaps they found assurance in the fact that their post was named for the man who dug the Panama Canal, and chose the Vineyard as his home. As General Goethals connected two oceans, so they would transform a swamp into a 10-acre park.”
It was no small feat, and the project required vision, sacrifice, and dedication. Legionnaires and their friends put in countless hours of voluntary manpower. Mr. Rogers recalled that many of them put in a full day at their regular jobs, then headed to work at the park in the evening.
They cleared the land, drained it, and brought in a total of 60,000 cubic yards of fill. Owners of equipment loaned them trucks that hauled 10,000 loads of earth.
The Legionnaires raised $20,000 over several years through ham-and-bean suppers, dances, auctions, and entertainment events to fund the project’s start-up. Once they began it, they realized that even with those funds, voluntary labor, and donated fill, it would not be enough. Over the next eight years, the Legionnaires conducted fundraisers that brought in more than $30,000 from year-round and summer residents.
About 12 years after they began, the Legionnaires realized their dream. In keeping with a vote at annual town meeting in 1964, Tisbury accepted the War Veterans Memorial Park as a gift from the nonprofit organization formed by American Legion Post 257. Along with the deed to the park, the Legionnaires also presented a check to the town for $6,000, raised through raffles, dances, and suppers, for betterments and improvements.
In 2008 and 2009, Veterans Memorial Park underwent major renovations, at a cost of about $590,000. Tisbury voters gave the town approval to borrow about $493,000 for the project and to appropriate about $100,000 in Community Preservation Act funds towards it. The park was closed to the public and topsoil removed, and new turf and drainage and irrigation systems installed. Two new scoreboards, bleachers, and fountains were also installed. Tisbury held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 12, 2009, to reopen the upgraded park.
In a visit to The Times offices on Monday, Mr. Rodgers said the idea for the park’s 50th anniversary rededication ceremony stemmed from a suggestion from Michael Flynn of Vineyard Haven. While on a walk through the park one day, Mr. Flynn happened to notice the date on the plaque commemorating its gift to the town in 1964 from the American Legion. He called the park’s fiftieth anniversary to the attention of Dukes County Veterans Agent Jo Ann Murphy, who mentioned it at a subsequent Legion Post meeting.
“That’s when the lights went on for me,” said Mr. Rodgers, a musician who formerly served with the Navy Band Northeast before retiring in 1987. “It occurred to me that Flag Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to our country, and here is a group that waves our flag 365 days a year. I asked her permission to seek the band out, to see if we could do a rededication ceremony, and at the same time, a concert.”
With Ms. Murphy’s approval, Mr. Rodgers took the reins as the event’s organizer. He said he ran into a few snags, though, starting with the band’s overnight accommodations.
After calling several local hotels, Mr. Rodgers learned they all require a minimum two-night stay during the summer season. He alerted Lt. Cdr. Gerhard, who took up the search and was able to book 21 rooms at the Vineyard Harbor Motel, thanks to general manager Marcia Moore, who agreed to make a special exception.
“Her help was very much appreciated, because we wouldn’t have been able to pull off the parade, ceremony, and nighttime concert in one day and catch the last ferry,” the band director said.
Navy Band Northeast, established in 1974, is attached to the Naval War College at Naval Station Newport. As one of the U.S. Navy’s 13 official bands stationed worldwide, the group performs over 500 engagements annually in an 11-state area. The band travels in four 15-passenger vans and carries its equipment in a 26-foot truck.
The band performs at the request of the public, through an application process. Although many of its performances are day trips, the band receives operational funding from the U.S. Government for travel expenses, Lt. Cdr. Gerhard said.
“I thought this was a great return on investment, to come out to Martha’s Vineyard and not only play one event, but three,” he said.
Mr. Rodgers said Post 257 will pay a small fee to the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association for use of the Tabernacle, which includes paying an electrician to handle the lights.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) recently approved the designation of the Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District. Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande announced the news at the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night and presented the selectmen with a new sign provided by the MCC.
The designation is part of a state-wide program the MCC launched in April 2011. Arts Martha’s Vineyard (formerly the Martha’s Vineyard Arts and Culture Collaborative), spearheaded the local cultural district initiative.
Selectman chairman Jon Snyder thanked Martha’s Vineyard Commission planner Christine Flynn and Vineyard Playhouse artistic and executive director MJ Bruder Munafo, who were instrumental in the district’s designation, for all of their hard work.
Ms. Flynn said the process took about a year and a half. Over the last several months, the cultural district’s organizers put together the application, created a map, put together a business inventory, and held several public hearings.
The Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District links institutions like the Vineyard Playhouse, the Bunch of Grapes bookstore, the Vineyard Haven Library and the MV Film Center together with art galleries and local arts-related businesses into one unified area.
“We feel very fortunate to have the leadership of the board of selectmen, who provided their support,” Ms. Flynn said. “This has been a great cooperative effort between the public and private and nonprofit sectors, and a great partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which has done a lot to invest in Vineyard Haven as well as the Island.”
The Vineyard Haven Cultural District will have a searchable online presence among other designated districts on state-sponsored websites and be included in marketing materials.
“We look forward to working with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and continuing our partnership,” Ms. Flynn said.
Fed up with weeds and trash, Carol Salguero now spends a few hours each week to improve the shabby look of Five Corners.
Each week, Carol Salguero of West Tisbury puts her gardening skills to work in an effort to beautify the Vineyard Haven post office parking lot. It would seem an impossible task to grow anything in the narrow strip of abused land that separates the sidewalk from the congested parking lot adjacent to the busy Five Corners intersection.
But the woman does not mail it in. Each week, she devotes two hours on Wednesday mornings to the task.
Five years ago, tired of the shabby look of the Vineyard’s major point of entry, Vineyard Haven, Ms. Salguero took it upon herself to do something about it. Her mother, the late Jane Gannon, was an early member of the Friends of Tisbury, formed in 1963 to do similar work throughout the town, which included the post office. The group lost steam after almost 50 years, mostly through attrition, according to longtime member Kathy Ivory, now of Edgartown.
“I had a cumulative impression of getting off the ferry and feeling that the whole first sight of Vineyard Haven and Five Corners was so forlorn,” Ms. Salguero said. “It has a weedy, shabby I-don’t-care look about it. It looks like a town that doesn’t care.”
Other than the post office, Ms. Salguero said her gardening is limited to a small vegetable garden at home and a substantial area in her yard she has planted since building her house back in the woods of West Tisbury.
Her post office project began one Sunday, five years ago. She had some extra plants from her home gardening. “I couldn’t bear to throw them away, so I just took them down to the post office,” she said. That was the first of many subsequent trips.
“I didn’t ask for permission and I felt a little odd at first,” she said. She first tackled the strip along Beach Road, a small area, before expanding to work on the rest of the parking area. “From the very first year many people have stopped to say ‘thank you.’ Several people stopped to say they remembered when my mother worked on town gardens with the Friends.”
Ms. Salguero has relied on her own ingenuity to come up with materials and help. Several landscapers have donated materials over the years, Heather Gardens and Working Earth among them. “Working Earth donated the lilies that are in bloom right now,” she said.
Her brother, Vineyard Haven boat builder Ross Gannon, helps out. He has trucked supplies and trimmed the trees along Lagoon Pond Road in front of the post office.
Working primarily by herself, plugging away week after week, she has been unable to keep up with the amount of work required to keep the lot in shape. Recently, acting on a suggestion, she approached Major Sterling Bishop, assistant deputy superintendent of human services at the Dukes County Jail and House of Corrections, about the possibility of getting some help.
Mr. Sterling oversees the inmate volunteer program at the jail. The program gives inmates who have proven their trustworthiness and who are close to re-entering society an opportunity to work in community service programs.
“Last week, two inmates volunteered,” Mr. Bishop told The Times, “and there may be three in the coming weeks.” Ms. Salguero appreciates the help doing some of the more strenuous jobs.
“It is great having some young muscle to do some of the things that are hard for me,” she said. “The three of us got a lot accomplished. We weeded and cleaned the large triangular area at the south end of the parking lot. They were so enthusiastic and said they would return.”
After working 15 years in institutional development and raising three children, Ms. Salguero went back to school to get her masters in public administration at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1989. The last of her children was off to college and she wanted to live abroad again as she had with her former husband, a Spaniard.
Ms. Salguero spent almost 13 years as a journalist in Bolivia and Peru, working as a stringer for US News and World Report, Bloomberg News, the Economist, and a London based mining journal called Metal Bulletin and returned to the Vineyard often for short stays before moving to the Vineyard full-time in the 2003. For ten years she covered the office for the boat building business her brother co-owns, Gannon and Benjamin.
Ms. Salguero has received little more than emotional support and encouragement from the postmasters whose cash-strapped budgets have little money for maintenance, but she thinks her work and the attention brought to the condition of the Five Corners area by the proposed Stop & Shop renovation, which she strongly endorsed, has pushed the post office into action.
“Carol is wonderful and a huge help,” Vineyard Haven postmaster Debbie Chickering told The Times.
Ms. Chickering said that she has received assurances from the post office district office in Boston that money has been allocated for cleaning both the front and back parking areas in the next couple of weeks. She said she expects fence repairs and tree trimming as well. A maintenance team comes down several times a year to take care of routine maintenance, she explained. She is expecting a new roof over the side entrance, with columns sometime this summer.
Ms. Salguero said she will continue her gardening beautification efforts Wednesdays, from 9 until 11 am, and would welcome volunteers and contributions of drought-tolerant plants, and other supplies.
Chris Baer teaches photography and graphic design at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. He’s been collecting vintage photographs for many years.
Crocker Second Harness Factory
The Vineyard Haven skyline was once dominated by this enormous harness factory where today stands the stone bank building. One of the largest factories of its kind in New England, the Crocker Harness Company was easily the largest employer on the Island for two decades, employing over one hundred workers and supplying harnesses throughout the east coast (as well as for two presidents.) For many years the factory whistle became a popular downtown timekeeping device, and the elevator was the first on the Island. This was Crocker’s second harness factory -– the basement of his first, built eleven years earlier, was the origin of the Great Fire of 1883 which completely destroyed the entire downtown area in an enormous and tragic conflagration. This building was burned in a much smaller fire at the turn of the century following the collapse of the company, and ultimately demolished.
Our town shares in the shocked sorrow over the murder of Pat Gregory last weekend in California. For years he was a good friend to all and a strong leader in the Tisbury business community. He will be greatly missed. Only a month ago our son and family had met him on the ferry and of course enjoyed the meeting. Then we saw him again in Menemsha. Now they share in the sorrow.
This Saturday is the opening reception at the Louisa Gould Gallery for the Sail into Summer show. Island artists including Adam Thompson, John Holladay, Christie Scheele, Laura Roberts, Donna Blackburn, and Nancy Furino have artwork on exhibit until June 23.
The Tisbury Senior Center hosts the annual open house on Sunday, June 1, from 2 to 4 pm, with music by Christine McLean and Serendipity. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.
From Memorial Day through August you are invited to a free tour of the 1828 meeting house of Edgartown’s Federated Church, which will be open from 1 to 3 pm every day. Information about the history of the church will be available. You can sit in the pews downstairs or upstairs and imagine a worship service in this special place which has changed little in the past 186 years. A large chandelier has old whale oil lamps. The large windows let in bright sunlight. The architect, Frederick Baylies Jr., later designed the Baptist Church and the Old Whaling Church. For more, call 508-627-4421.,
The late Pat Brown was the school nurse for all of the Island schools and uncounted children. You are asked to send memories and photos to Jennifer Marlin (Jennifer.email@example.com) or Box 1311, Edgartown 02539 to be shared at Pat’s Celebration of Life on June 27.
FlexiTickets are available at the Vineyard Playhouse until May 31 for the 2014 summer season performances on the new Patricia Neal stage. Opening night for The Whaleship Essex is June 21. A Wiki-Folk Musical Experience in Two Acts, Search: Paul Clayton opens July 19. Opening August 16 is Satchel Paige and The Kansas City Swing, where jazz fills the night, baseball the day in 1947. Tickets are available online now at mvplayhouse.org.
Tom Dresser, Herb Foster, and Jay Schofield will talk about their book “Martha’s Vineyard in World War II” on Tuesday at the Vineyard Haven Library and on Wednesday at the Bunch of Grapes, both at 7 pm.
The children’s march to the sea with flowers on the Friday before Memorial Day is the most wonderful event on our Island. You feel the emotional tug as they toss the blossoms on the water in memory of those who have died for our freedom.
Happy anniversary to Allan and Ann Davey, who mark 22 happy years together.
Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out today to Elaine Ciancio. Tomorrow wish the best to Olyvia Houston. Victoria ‘Honey’ Campos, Shawn Townes, Leah Ellis, and Shawn Willoughby celebrate on Saturday. Betsy Edge and Ann Haller party on Monday. Tuesday belongs to Kylie Townes and Kristina Ivory. Birthday greetings to Steve Mussell and Cheryl Stark on Wednesday.
Heard on Main Street: Fly your flag and celebrate Memorial Day with friends and neighbors on Monday.
Vineyard Haven wants to get on the map. Literally. On Thursday, representatives of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and a handful of town and Island officials toured downtown Vineyard Haven and stopped in at a number of businesses as part of an application process to designate Vineyard Haven a state cultural district.
If approved, the designation would put Vineyard Haven on the state arts and culture map, said Nancy Gardella, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce.
“Because Vineyard Haven is the year-round gateway to the Island, establishing a cultural district is a way of telling everyone who leaves the ferry that they are coming to a special place, a place that celebrates arts and culture,” Ms. Gardella said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse artistic and executive director MJ Bruder-Munafo led the tour that began at 1 pm at the Vineyard Haven Library and included stops at the Playhouse, CB Stark Jewelers, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, the cupola deck of the Mansion House and The Martha’s Vineyard Times.
The tour culminated with a brief boat ride around Vineyard Haven Harbor followed by a round-table discussion at the Katharine Cornell Theater.
Town administrator Jay Grande, Tisbury selectmen Jeff Kristal, and Martha’s Vineyard Commission economic development and affordable housing planner Christine Flynn joined the outing.
“This designation is something that could be very important for the town and for the local community, especially local businesses,” Ms. Flynn told The Times.
As defined by the MCC, a cultural district is “a specific geographical area in a city or town that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. It is a walkable, compact area that is easily identifiable to visitors and residents and serves as a center of cultural, artistic and economic activity.”
Communities must apply to the MCC’s cultural districts program in order to be considered. To date, the program has designated 23 cultural districts throughout the state.
“It’s a fairly comprehensive process,” said Anita Walker, the MCC’s executive director. “What’s great about taking the walking tour is meeting the people involved and getting a sense of the community’s support.”
Following Thursday’s site visit, Ms. Walker said the MCC will review Vineyard Haven’s management plan, strategic goals, cultural assets, public infrastructure, and marketing plan.
A decision on the designation will be made as early as May 15.
If the Vineyard Haven plan is approved, the state will provide official signage that the town can post within the designated area. The Vineyard Haven Cultural District would have a searchable online presence among other designated districts on state-sponsored websites, and it would be included in marketing material.
The proposed cultural district would bind institutions like the Playhouse, the Bunch of Grapes, the library and the MV Film Center together with art galleries and local arts-related businesses (like designer boutiques and jewelers) into one unified area.
Abraham T. Rendon, the driver of the Toyota that smashed through the fish market wall, causing a chain of destruction, was drunk, police said.
Updated 5 pm, Tuesday, April 8
The clean-up continued at The Net Result this week, following an early Saturday morning car accident that left the interior of the market littered with debris from smashed walls and display cases.
“We’ll try to open as soon as possible, but at this point, I have no idea when that will be,” owner Louis Larsen said. Mr. Larsen said he had considered reopening only a portion of the market where the take-out counter is located, but he must first be certain that a partial opening will not jeopardize his insurance claims.
Tisbury Police Lieutenant Eerik Meisner told The Times Monday morning that Abraham Torres Rendon, 25, of Edgartown, was at the wheel of a 2004 Toyota 4Runner heading from Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven when he drove the SUV into the exterior of the fish market about 1:40 am, Saturday morning.
Mr. Rendon and his female passenger, who was not charged with any crime, left the scene of the accident and fled to a nearby motel where police found them. Lieutenant Meisner said Mr. Rendon was charged with operating under the influence, marked lanes violations, speeding, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, destruction of property, and resisting arrest.
Lieutenant Meisner said that Mr. Rendon offered the arresting officer $200 to let him go free. That netted him an additional charge of attempted bribery.
The couple did not sustain any injuries in the crash, police said.
Mr. Rendon refused to take a breathalyzer test at the State Police headquarters.
Mr. Rendon was released from the Dukes County Jail that same day, April 5, on $500 bail.
The Saturday morning accident caught The Net Result fully stocked for the busy weekend and Lent.
Inside the Net Result Saturday morning, owner Louie Larsen, employees and family members surveyed the extensive damage. Mr. Larsen said it appeared that the driver of the 4Runner barely hit the brakes before the vehicle hit the building. Once inside the building, it appeared the driver attempted to back out, he said.
Insulation, shattered glass, wood framing and vehicle parts littered the floor Saturday. The car struck a fiberglass lobster tank weighing thousands of pounds filled with lobsters for the weekend and pushed it into a stainless steel counter, bending the counter. The counter crushed the end of a 12-foot custom fish case and shattered the display glass. The impact sent the case into a wall freezer, breaking the glass door.
“None of this stuff is light,” Mr. Larsen said. He estimated the damage at more than $250,000.
The tank lost all its water. Early Saturday morning, employees moved the lobsters to a refrigerator
Unfortunately, Mr. Larsen said, the lobsters rescued from the damaged holding tank, which amounted to about 700 pounds, had to be thrown out. The tank was found to be full of broken glass from the windows and front display case, which made them unsafe for consumption.
Mr. Larsen said he was grateful for the quick response from police and firefighters. He said the store was fully stocked Friday in anticipation of the busy weekend. As Mr. Larsen made plans to begin the cleanup he said he was happy no one was hurt.
On Tuesday afternoon, a crew from Oceanside Fire and Water Damage Repairs worked in the shop, alongside Mr. Larsen.
Mr. Larsen said he has hired an insurance adjuster and is still trying to figure out what equipment is broken and what has to be completely replaced. He plans to turn the disaster into an opportunity to make some upgrades when he has to purchase new fixtures and equipment. “We’ll come back better,” he vowed.
“We might have to park a food truck outside,” Mr. Larsen said with a smile, adding that he hopes to have some kind of fish available for Good Friday.
Mr. Rendon is no stranger to motor vehicle charges.
On April 3, 2008, a charge of unlicensed operation of motor vehicle was dismissed upon payment of $100 court costs and completion of 16 hours of community service, according to The MV Times court report.
On June 12, 2013, Mr. Rendon was found guilty of unlicensed operation of motor vehicle. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine. A charge of operating under the influence (drugs) was dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth. He was found not responsible for a failure to signal.
He was found guilty on a second charge of negligent operation of motor vehicle and received one year’s probation. He was ordered to pay $100 in fees and complete 28 hours of community service.
On September 4, 2013, Mr. Rendon appeared in court on charges of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and no inspection sticker.
On November 4, 2013 a charge of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license was dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; he was found not responsible on a charge of speeding.
On November 7, 2013 a charge of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license was continued without a finding for six months. A charge of unlicensed operation of motor vehicle was dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth. He was found not responsible on a charge of no inspection sticker.
Town officials work on many projects, but often they do not get to see physical proof of their labor. However, under their watch, over eight years, members of the Tashmoo Spring Building Committee saw a brick building crumbling beneath overgrowth restored to a space worthy of weddings and Island artists.
“The Town of Tisbury took on a daunting restoration project — the building was severely deteriorated and needed a significant amount of work to save it,” said Chris Scott, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, of the project located at the head of Lake Tashmoo.
“The Preservation Trust was impressed with the commitment of the town and the vision of their committee,” Mr. Scott said. “The building is now fully handicapped accessible and restored in a manner that respects the architectural integrity of the structure. We applaud the Town of Tisbury for preserving this part of our heritage, for the enjoyment of generations to come.”
Originally opened in 1887, the brick pumping station was built to bring pure water to Vineyard Haven and West Chop. “It represents a historically important connection to the town’s past; an impressive industrial building that for many years supplied residents with fresh water,” said Mr. Scott. “It is also one of a handful of brick buildings on the Island.”
Because of their efforts, the Town of Tisbury Tashmoo Spring Building Committee recently received the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust’s annual Preservation Award for its restoration effort. The committee members are Henry Stephenson, Patricia Carlet, Denys Wortman, Lorraine Wells, Aase Jones, Harriet Barrow, Ralph Packer, Joe Tonetti, Harold Chapdelaine, Sandra Kingston, Paul Brissette, Ruth DeWilde-Major, Marian Halperin and Marie Laursen.
The building had remained relatively vacant since the facility closed its doors in 1971, and it was in a dangerous state of disrepair. In 2004 engineers deemed the crumbling chimney a liability, and the Town of Tisbury was faced with a decision.
“The chimney was going to come down by itself or we had to do something about it,” said Mr. Wortman, a former selectman. “People would not believe how bad it was.” Along with fellow committee members, Mr. Wortman decided that the Tashmoo Spring Building was worth saving.
At the initial town meetings, some town members disagreed.
“One of the hardest parts was explaining it in front of the town,” Mr. Stephenson said. “The engineers told us something had to be done, but some shouted at the town meeting, ‘get the bulldozer.’”
However, the committee insisted that the building be saved.
“As a committee, we all met at Denys’s place way back when,” Mr. Stephenson said during a recent tour of the building. “We talked about this being a centerpiece of this space. It’s not just a renovation of some nice little building. It’s something the town can use and appreciate.”
The committee delivered a finished product under the millions it was projected to cost, with the total renovation costs coming in just over $800,000. Campbell Construction served as the General Contractor for the restoration project and completed all of the exterior work. The entire project from conception to finish took nine years.
“We asked the town for $25,000 at the beginning to deal with the safety issue of the chimney. When the chimney repairmen were here, they looked at it and said they could rebuild it for a quarter of the cost,” Mr. Stephenson said.
After the initial money was granted to deal with the crumbling chimney, no further taxpayer money was used to restore the building. A combination of private donations, money raised from multiple fundraisers, and Community Preservation Act funds were used to finance the project.
“At the beginning of this project, we promised the town that we would keep restoration costs under $1,000,000 and we’ve been able to do this primarily through funds we have received through the Community Preservation Act,” said Patricia Carlet, manager of the Tashmoo Spring Building. “We could not have saved this incredible town asset without the support of the CPA.”
The building, consisting of three rooms, boasts high ceilings with brick and plaster walls. Carlton Sprague completed all of the interior construction while Eric Ward served as the architect.
“When we stripped this off, the lower level of plaster got left on. Looks terrific — artsy,” Mr. Wortman said, pointing to the walls in the main room. The main room also has a painting on the wooden floors indicating where the spring still remains. In the future, the wood may be replaced by see-through glass allowing visitors to see the water below.
One of Mr. Wortman’s favorite parts of the building is the courtyard that once held coal to fuel the pump-house. Now, remnants of the track that carried the coal cart into the building can be seen above the stone bench, built by P & P Masonry.
“The renovations turned out exactly as we wanted. We kept it very simple and straightforward so the building could be usable by a lot of community members for different reasons,” Mr. Stephenson said.
The building has two handicapped-accessible toilets that are also accessible for public events held outside.
“We’d like to thank the Water Works Company. Whether it was cutting the grass or shoveling, if something needed to be done they just did it. We didn’t have to ask,” Mr. Wortman said. “We are really proud of the way it came out. The whole town can be proud of it.”
The building became available for rentals in 2012. “Marsha Winsryg has produced a beautiful Solstice Puppet Festival at the building each June, The Vineyard Playhouse uses the Spring Building and grounds each summer for its theater camp, and we’ve had several artists rent the building for solo and group art receptions and shows,” Ms. Carlet said.
“We’ve booked retirement parties, an annual pig roast benefit for cancer victims called Hope Strengthens, surprise birthday parties, and wedding rehearsal dinners. The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group will be hosting a benefit art show with a big reception this July, and our first wedding will also happen this summer.”
The receipts from these events will be used to maintain and preserve the Spring Building.
Day rentals range from $300 to $850, depending on the number of guests. Discounts are given to nonprofit organizations. For events over 150 people, portable toilets are needed. For further information on renting the Tashmoo Spring Building, call 508-696-4202 or visit tisburyma.gov.
Adrienne Forgette is a frequent Times contributor. She teaches English at the high school.
The Martha's Vineyard Times is a weekly newspaper on Martha's Vineyard.