This was then: Immigrants


Martha’s Vineyard has long been an Island of immigrants. In 1905, more than a quarter of the residents of Oak Bluffs were foreign-born — mostly Portuguese-speaking immigrants from the Azores and Cape Verde. By 1920, almost one-third of the Island’s population were first- or second-generation immigrants. (By comparison, less than 10 percent of the Vineyard’s current population was born outside the U.S.)

“The Portuguese from the Azores are overrunning the Island” read one national 1894 newspaper story. “They will eventually form nine-tenths of the inhabitants. They are frugal and thrifty, and, as my driver expressed it, ‘live on potatoes and turnips.’”