Sorry more was not done earlier


To the Editor:

While I applaud Ernie Boch Jr.’s plan to turn his Beach Road property on Vineyard Haven Harbor into a park, it is lamentable that one of the few remaining buildings from Vineyard Haven’s days as a working waterfront is slated to be demolished in the process. The fact is that since Ernie Boch Sr. purchased the property nearly 30 years ago, neither he nor his son has ever done a lick of maintenance on the building, which is now referred to as “derelict” and an “eyesore.” It is not as if the Bochs couldn’t afford to keep up the venerable structure, only that they wanted to retain the footprint in the hope that the town would allow them to put up condos.

For years the building was the shop of well-known cabinetmaker and woodworker Sturgis Entwistle. It was a cozy workplace, redolent with the aroma of wood shavings. One of my favorite tools there was a dowel machine that resembled a giant pencil sharpener. When I built my house 35 years ago, Sturgis used the machine to fashion me sturdy white oak dowels to peg the post and beam frame together. Sturgis’s place always reminded me of renowned catboat builder Manny Schwartz’s shop, now the Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown. Imagine the public outrage if someone wanted to demolish that landmark structure.

It’s a pity Ernie Boch Jr. doesn’t have the foresight to restore the old shop so future generations could have a real sense of what the Island once was, instead of condemning it to the wrecking ball. He could probably even get a tax write-off.

Chris Crawford
Vineyard Haven