Nancy Michael plaque to get facelift

Nancy Michael’s plaque in Edgartown. The site will get a facelift and another plaque with new artwork. — Eunki Seonwoo

The Nancy Michael plaque in Edgartown, which is part of the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard, will get cleaned up and feature a new sculpture this spring.

Heritage Trail executive director Elaine Weintraub met with the town select board Monday and received approval for the project.

Weintraub said the plan is to clean the plaque and place a small stainless steel sculpture on the rock.

Michael was born into slavery in the 1770s, was part of an intense legal battle over her status as a slave, and was considered to have the power to give good or bad luck to men leaving on long whaling voyages. Mariners would seek her protection before leaving.

Town administrator James Hagerty said he didn’t see any issue with the project as long as it was done after the extensive Memorial Wharf project that is expected to be finished before Memorial Day.