Oak Bluffs: Fire Museum is a dream come true


Did you know that on January 7, 1891, the Good Will Hose Company of the Oak Bluffs Fire Department met with the following persons from Highland Hose No. 2 answering roll call with the still familiar names of Landers, Carter, Rice, Pease, Webb, Mayhew, Harriman, and Ripley responding? Neither did I, but you will find this information and much more at one of our town’s hidden treasures, the Oak Bluffs Fire Museum, which is tucked gently into the corner of Wing and County roads at the site of the Nelson W. Amaral Fire Station.

The museum was the dream of Donald Billings and the late Assistant Fire Chief William Norton. The dream became a reality when construction began in 2008. Donald tells me that the labor and materials that were donated to this effort totaled $98,000. The beautiful landscaping was done by Mark Crossland and Tony Rebello. In addition, many people were inspired to make cash donations that totaled around $60,000.

The 1929 Maxim truck is the pride of the exhibit. Purchased new by the department, it was retired in 1955 and was purchased by a New Hampshire resident. Another donor, who wished to remain anonymous, kindly donated it back to the museum and many people cooperated in helping it to be restored both with time and materials, including fire department personnel from Chilmark and West Tisbury. You will find many photos of fires and fire department members, from many years back to the present time. There is much written history, photos and trophies that will awe you when you realize what little equipment these dedicated people had to work with at one time. If you would like a tour of this piece of history, you may contact Donald at 508-693-0106. Donald also said he is usually there on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Many thanks to the people who had a part in preserving an important part of Oak Bluffs history.

The re-scheduled meeting with Senator Dan Wolf will be on Monday, April 7, at the MV Chowder house in Oak Bluffs, from 5 to 7 pm. All Islanders and any other interested people are invited to come and share you thoughts and ideas with Dan.

A Forum on Emergency Preparedness in the event of a winter storm or hurricane is planned on Monday, April 14, at 1:30 p, at the The Tisbury Senior Center. Speakers Chuck Cotnoir, Beth Toomey, Jim Klingensmith, and Chris Cini will answer Tisbury emergency-management questions.  Subjects will range from planning for shelter arrangements for your pets to contents of an emergency go-to bag. Call 508-696-4205 for further info and to sign up.

Beginning on April 16 the Alphabet Storytime class at the Oak Bluffs Library will be replaced by Storytime Lab on Wednesday each week at 10:30 am. This will be a hands-on STEM-based storytime for ages 2 and up. Stories and experiments with Zoe.

The Green Thumb Club, a monthly plantings club for adults, will take place on Tuesdays each month. The first meeting is April 22, from 11 am to 12 noon. The subject for April is “seed bombs.” The Activity changes each month.

And the ever popular Movie and Pizza Night will be on Thursday, April 3, 6 pm.

Phyllis Dunn, 749-549-9088, is having a solo photography exhibit at the Chilmark Library for the month of April. Opening reception is Saturday, April 5, 3–5 pm.  Refreshments will be served.

From April 7 through May 12 on Mondays from 10:30 to 11:30 there will be a free five week art program of “art looking” and “art making” for people with memory loss led by local artist, Nancy Cabot.  The group will meet at Featherstone, the M.V. Museum, and other Island galleries.  As space is limited, please contact Mary Holmes at 1-508-862-1933 or  mholmes2@partners.org.

On Sunday, April 13, at 4 pm, the MV Center for Living is holding its first fundraiser of 2014. The event will be held at the MV Film Society Center located at 79 Beach Road in the Tisbury Market Place, Vineyard Haven.The ticket is $25 per person and $20 for society members. The event will include wine, hors d’oeuvres, and mini-desserts prior to a showing of “Away From Her” a movie starring Julie Christie, about a marital relationship which is strained when the wife is sent to an Alzheimer’s facility. Her cognitive decline is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.  Following the movie there be a Q&A with Karen Achille as facilitator. Eileen Murphy, Supportive Day Program Administrator, and MVC4L Director Leslie Clapp will field the questions. For reservations, call Leslie at 508-939-9440.

We Send birthday smiles to Heather Hall Holt on April 4, Sandy Ferreria on the 6th, followed by David Tchorz and David Hill on the 7th. My birthday twin, Ben Hall 3rd, on the 8th, Donald Combra and Richard Giordano on the 9th, and Tevin Antone Araujo on the 10th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.