Dexter's Barber Shop


Edgartown barber Clarence Dexter (1865–1925) shaves a customer at his shop on North Water Street, in the building now occupied by Skinny’s Fat Sandwiches. He was the son of former whaler and police officer Jason Dexter, who went on to serve as High Sheriff of Dukes County for nearly three decades.

Clarence found a gentler calling as a lifelong downtown Edgartown barber. He was also an accomplished oil painter, rendering and sometimes selling maritime scenes and local landscapes. His granddaughter Marcia Torrey of Rhode Island remembers his “enormous fruit picture,” which hung in the back room of the barber shop for many years, but was later lost in a house fire.

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