Aquinnah: Shops are opening

— Kyra Steck

Stores at the Cliffs are open! There is life in Aquinnah! On the Cliffs, Stony Creek Gifts and Hatmarcha Gifts are open most days (weather dependent) from approximately 11 am to 4 pm. This is the shoulder season schedule; as things ramp up, hours will become more consistent. The Aquinnah Shop is aiming to be open by the end of the month and I hear that Cliffhangers will be open too, I just don’t know when. The Outermost Inn will be open for dinner in June and Chilmark Tavern is opening for takeout May 20. The Orange Peel Bakery, last I heard, is not going to hold pizza night as it has been done traditionally, but will have pizza to go some nights during the week. Juli is continuing to carry grocery staples so if you need some basics, you do not have to go down-Island to get them.

Joan LeLacheur is hosting an open studio this Saturday, May 8, just in time for Mother’s Day. Call ahead to shop Joanie’s beautiful “Ocean Jewelry.” She will be in the studio all day. Call her at 508-645-9954 or 508-939-1691 to book your appointment. Her studio is located at 42 Old South Road in Aquinnah.

The Yard is hosting “An Afternoon with La Mezcla,” a family friendly event this Saturday, May 8, at 3 pm. There will be virtual dance performances, live music, and interactive movement workshops. The company will share some original rhythmic tap dance choreography, excerpts from their show “Pachuquísmo,” and director Vanessa Sanchez will lead some rhythmic movement activities that dancers and movers of all ages can enjoy. All registrations to this event are pay what you can, go to for more information.

The MV Community Greenhouse opens for the 2021 season on Saturday. You can shop to get your seedlings and starters on Saturday, May 8, (members only). It will open to the public on Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 9, Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16, and Memorial Day weekend. Hours of operation are 10 am to 4 pm.

Last Monday, Second Gentleman of the U.S. Douglas Emhoff and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced 16 additions to the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. The Wampanoag Tribe and the Randall Burton/Edgar Jones Escape Marker, placed by the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard (AAHTMV) and located on the land of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), is one of them. The marker is located on West Basin Road and honors the role the Wampanoag played in the escape of freedom seeker Randall Burton (a.k.a. Edgar Jones). In 1854, Burton escaped from Florida by stowing away on a ship. When he was discovered, Burton, fearful of being returned to slavery, stole a boat from the ship while it was docked in Vineyard Haven. He then made his way to Aquinnah. There, Beulah Vanderhoop, with other members of the Wampanoag Tribe, assisted Burton to New Bedford. At the time, the escape made national news because of the instrumental role that women played in the escape. The marker can be viewed by the public at any time. To learn more, visit

Happy Birthday Alex Taylor on May 6 and Happy Mother’s Day to: Tipaphai, Theresa M., Alex, June, Jeanie, Noli, Amera, Ona, Adrianna, Berta, Carla, Joanie, Roxanne, Anne, Noni, Nonie, Juli, Faith, Tiffany, Emily, Jamie, Nancy B., Nancy L., Robin, Heidi, Naushon, Mallory, Jeffie, Mimi, Elissa, Anja, Lane, Jo-Ann, Wendy, Kathy N., Eva, Sarah T., Sarah I., Irina, Diotima, Jessie, Teresa F., Christy, Belinda, Barbie, Virginia, Sheri, Kate, Aretha, Jean, Carolyn, Missy, Natalie, Penny W., Carole, Megan O-S, Megan G., Meg B., Meg H., Susie, Tanisha, Kelly, Isolette, Heather, Audrey, Nefititi, Melissa, Nerissa, Rachel, Melanie, Kathleen, Grace, Sabel, Lisa S., Vanessa, Noel and in loving memory of Angie, Amanda, Penny, Jean, Nancy C. and Betty. My apologies to anyone I’ve overlooked. Thank you for raising the next generation.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,