This was then: Chief Chadwick

Photo courtesy of Chris Baer

Blacksmiths Ed Colleton (1876–1964; left) and Elmer Chadwick (1868–1953; right) stand in Chadwick’s workshop in Vineyard Haven, located roughly where Tisbury Market Place is today, at the bend in Beach Road.

Chadwick the blacksmith was a fixture in Vineyard Haven for nearly 60 years, first shoeing horses, and later straightening car frames and crafting everything from andirons to eel spears. In his spare time he raised dahlias in his beautiful backyard garden on the corner of Look and Main streets. Chadwick was also the fire chief of Vineyard Haven for many years. The late Basil Welch remembered, “He was a great fire chief. He didn’t have a car, and couldn’t drive a car, so we always had to go and pick the fire chief up and take him to the fire.”

Chris Baer teaches photography and graphic design at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. He’s been collecting vintage photographs for many years.