Polly Hill Arboretum added to National Register of Historic Places

Polly Hill Arboretum is now listed on the National Park Service's (NPS) Register of Historic Places. — Courtesy P.H.A.

The Polly Hill Arboretum (PHA) announced it is now listed on the National Park Service’s (NPS) Register of Historic Places as the Polly Hill Arboretum Historic District. It was added to the list in June.

Applying for a spot on the register is complex, requiring extensive collaboration among researchers and other organizations, according to a press release. The West Tisbury local historic commission worked on the application for years.

Formal recognition based on national standards “honors the exceptional importance of the historic property, as well as the PHA’s preservation efforts,” Polly Hill Arboretum officials said in a press release. “The Polly Hill Arboretum Historic District retains integrity, and its present appearance clearly conveys the property’s evolution across 300 years of island history, from colonial farm to summer retreat to arboretum.”

The 70-acre PHA was created by botanist Polly Hill in the second half of the last century, when she and her husband inherited the property, according to the arboretum’s website. Now it is one of the few historic farmsteads on the Vineyard open to the public. Polly Hill also features a number of stone walls, open meadows, and historic building sites, including an old homestead which was renovated for office space.

The PHA was named a historic area in April 2010, and the Massachusetts Historical Commission has listed the Polly Hill Arboretum on the Inventory of the Historic and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth, according to its website.

The NPS says that being listed on the National Register is the first step toward eligibility for National Park Service–administered federal preservation tax credits.

For more information, go to pollyhillarboretum.org.