Saturday, February 24, 2024

History & Culture

At ‘Home’ at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum

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Home can be a sanctuary, a community, a place of yearning, and the new exhibition at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum looks at home from many different angles, using engaging art, audio recordings, and places...

This Was Then: Here and there

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The English settled Martha’s Vineyard from the outside in; early colonial settlements clustered around natural harbors and mill-powering streams, mostly near the periphery of the Island. The dry interior — that scrubby triangle formed...

Fossil Day 2023

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Martha’s Vineyard’s National Fossil Day 2023 brought paleontologists, geologists, and citizen scientists to the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs for two afternoons the last weekend in September. Hundreds of people came. At this annual event,...

This Was Then: The Tisbury School

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Welcome to the new Tisbury School! It’s 1930. Students, staff, and teachers have moved into the new school on West William Street, to pomp and parades. The deteriorating old Tisbury School on Center Street, together...

This Was Then: Francis Lewis

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Deborah Lewis was born about 1730 in Yarmouth, the daughter of John and Thankful Lewis. She came to the Island of Martha’s Vineyard with her parents when she was about 3 years old. In the...

This Was Then: KaBLAM!

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It’s Labor Day, 1929, at the New Bedford, Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket Steamboat company wharf in Oak Bluffs. The last steamer has departed for the night. The terminal staff has gone home after a...

‘A Kid’s Life’

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You’re never too old to play. And the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s new exhibition, “1923: A Kid’s Life,” asks you to do just that. This fun and engaging show, which is part of its centennial...

This Was Then: Jane Wamsley

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In 1859, two writers for Harper’s Magazine visited Gay Head on a day trip “to see something of the Indians.” One of them was the well-known illustrator “Porte Crayon” (David Strother), who would sketch...

‘They Were Heard: The Unique Voice of the Martha’s Vineyard Deaf Community’ at M.V....

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“They Were Heard: The Unique Voice of the Martha’s Vineyard Deaf Community” is a small exhibit that tells a big story about inclusiveness, which is welcome in our time, often fraught with tensions around...

What the African American Heritage Trail means to Jarrett Campbell

Twenty-five years ago, the notion of creating an African American Heritage Trail on the Vineyard was inspired by the questions of a group of my students, who asked, “Where were all the Black people...

Wood boats brought to life

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As a born-and-bred Manhattanite, boats were not part of my life. Moving here full-time, it seemed, much to my surprise, that everyone around me talked about boats an awful lot. After writing an article...

This Was Then: Rollo Wigglesworth

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The Island has had its share of colorful names. There was Major Pain, the Chilmark lawyer who fought unsuccessfully to move our county seat out of Edgartown; Mayor Blood, who gave us the name...

Miss West at the museum

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“From ‘the Kid’ to Miss West: The Extraordinary Life of Dorothy West” opened Memorial Day weekend at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. The exhibition is made up of letters, memorabilia, photographs, even the Smith Corona...

History’s flight

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“Please touch!” That’s exactly what we’re encouraged to do with the five larger-than-life sculptures of birds that no longer grace this earth but stand as sentinels of the past on the lawn in front...

100 years of history

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The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is celebrating its 100th birthday with a series of exhibitions and events that reflect the changes in their vision, growth, and purpose as the organization has evolved over the years....

‘Martha’s Vineyard Flavors’

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Food crosses cultures and times. We eat it, think about it, cook it, celebrate with it, and some of us grow it. Food is also central to the Island, and accordingly, the Martha’s Vineyard...

This Was Then: The joys of Oak Bluffs

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The area we know today as downtown Oak Bluffs was known as “Squash Meadow” for longer than it has been called “Oak Bluffs.” The large body of brackish water at its center — today...

This Was Then: Charlie Bell

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He was known by everyone as “Charlie Bell” (and in his Vineyard property deeds as “Charles A. Bell”), but that, it turns out, was just his alias. “Charlie was a sight to behold,” recalled the...

Blockbuster on board

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You would be hard-pressed to find an Islander, vacationer, or much of the general public who doesn’t know about the connection between the movie “Jaws” and the Island. I saw this very first summer...

This Was Then: Laura Johnson

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She dressed in men’s clothing. She was openly gay. And she ran this town during the 1930s and ’40s. “Laura Johnson the real, real selectman behind the scenes, out of the express office, with...