Civil War plaques arrive in new home

The two controversial plaques removed from the Civil War monument in Oak Bluffs have arrived at their new home at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

Selectmen voted to remove the plaques and donate them to the museum last month after several meetings and an impassioned forum. The town’s Highway Department removed the plaques the day after the vote. Richard Combra, the Oak Bluffs’ highway superintendent, and Bonnie Stacy, the museum’s chief curator, both said it took a few weeks to coordinate their schedules, but the plaques arrived safely Wednesday afternoon.

Stacey told The Times she knows how interested the public is in the plaques. She plans to have them on display within a month. Any signage put up with the plaques will be an ongoing process, as the museum takes public input and recommendations from an educational committee being formed by Oak Bluffs selectmen that will consist of a veteran, a member of the NAACP, a museum employee, a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), a selectman, and potentially a student from the high school.

“[The plaques] don’t speak for themselves, which is one of the problems with the previous way they were exhibited,” Stacey said. “This is our job. Not just to interpret the easy history, but the difficult history. We welcome the opportunity to be a part of teaching the public about this very complicated piece of history.”