You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Information’ category.
These are pictures inside the original Fresnel lenses that lit the Gay Head Lighthouse from 1856 until the 1950′s when it was automated. You can see these lenses, which are made up of over 1000 prisms at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown.
“One red, three white light our slumber through the night… Three white, one red bring us back home to Gay Head” Kate Taylor
Down a dirt road in the woods of West Tisbury near Indian Hill, is Christiantown.
Christiantown was established in 1659 by Wampanoag sachem Takemmy as a home for Native American converts to Christianity.
A plaque on the above boulder commemorates “the services of Governor Thomas Mayhew and his descended missionaries who here labored among the native Indians.”
By 1600 there were two or three congregations of Native Americans on the Island.
The Christiantown Meeting House, or chapel was built in 1829. There is a tiny altar and six pews inside… nearby is an old graveyard. This is a wonderful place for hiking or a walk in the woods.
The Wampanoag tribe now owns the memorial, the chapel and the burial ground containing graves of early converts.
Christiantown is off the beaten track but worth the effort to find.
In the center of Edgartown stands the Old Whaling Church.
Built in 1843 it is considered the Vineyard’s most outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture.
The Gothic columns are one of its most distinctive features…
…as is its 92 foot high tower. The light in the steeple can be seen many miles out at sea.
Not used as a Methodist Church anymore, the Old Whaling Church is part of the Martha’s Vineyard Trust properties and is used as a performing arts center as well as for weddings and other festive occasions.
One of the most popular concerts is by the Minnesingers chorale group from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. You can see them perform in December during the ‘Christmas in Edgartown’ weekend.
According to Dictionary. com among the definitions of standard are: normal, accepted, definitive, and official to name a few. I bring this up because today, March 13th is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time… or in my own definition…fake time Hang in here with me as I try to explain.
I’m one of those rare people who like it when it gets dark early. I like a long evening in the house to be cozy and comfy… not that you can’t do that when it’s light out but it seems somehow more cozy when it’s dark. I know there are some others out there that agree with me but somehow when we mention this preference we get looks of disbelief. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy an evening stroll, I’m not totally a hermit… I have been known to actually be outside after supper and enjoyed it.
But… and here is where I usually lose people with my explanation of ‘real’ time versus ‘fake’ time. OK…so in my head it goes this way… when you were born determines what YOUR real time is. I was born in February so my ‘real’ time is Standard Time… my daughter Patty was born in June so her ‘real’ time is Daylight Savings Time. Deb was born in November, her ‘real’ time, Standard Time. Wait, not so fast, they changed the time change from the end of Oct to early November and so her ‘real’ time should now be Daylight Savings Time – but it isn’t because she was born before the change so she’ll always be a Standard Time person. Talk about messing up body clocks.
Totally confused! Me too but I needed to get this whole silly thing off my brain. Hope you remembered to change your clocks at 2 a.m. — and why is it 2 a.m. why not midnight ! Anyone know? I’ve got such a headache now and I’m sure you do too.
As for me, I’m always…
(I know there are very good reasons for the time changes, I’m just indulging my sense of silliness with this timely post).
There are many, many good restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard but you won’t find a fast food establishment anywhere… not that the biggest of them hasn’t tried though. Back in the late 1970′s McDonald’s tried and failed.
A No Mac committee was formed which included Carly Simon, James Taylor, Mia Farrow authors John Updike and William Styron and other Vineyarders. They fought against the conglomerate and it worked and McDonald’s gave up saying they didn’t need the aggravation.
From Atria in Edgartown to Zephrus in Vineyard Haven the food on Martha’s Vineyard is eclectic and delicious… but not so fast.
Long ago and far away in the year of nineteen hundred and eighty four a staff of very clever, creative and whimsical people put out a parody issue of the Vineyard Gazette ingeniously titled ~ “Not The Vineyard Gazette”. I, collector of all things Vineyard actually have a copy of this one-time parody edition.
One of the articles on the front page is about the discovery of a baby Vineyard named Arthur’s Vineyard after the helicopter pilot who accidentally found it. There were several theories of how the baby Vineyard came to be, one of which was that it was the baby of MV and Nantucket and that a recent rain storm had been the baby shower. So funny.
Another article on the front page is “Oak Bluffs Changes Name to Oaks Bluffs.” Apparently the name change was due in part to the fact that too much time was being taken correcting people who were getting Oak Bluffs name wrong and it was decided to just not fight it anymore. Of course that would never ever ever happen.
Here’s an amusing article about Edgartown hiring fashion police. Apparently a glitch in getting the fashion police out on the streets is the inability to agree on a color scheme for their uniforms. Tawny brown and mocha versus cranberry and puce. I would think they’d have trouble recruiting anyone if they had to wear those combinations of colors.
Take your pick of a Vineyard themed movie.
This was an actual drink on the Vineyard. It was grape flavored water and it was delicious. I wonder whatever happened to it… I wonder why I didn’t keep a bottle of it, or the label at least. Here’s to the memory of Vine… sigh.
Every year the second weekend in December is the Christmas in Edgartown celebration. I didn’t get to go this year but it got me thinking about the four times I have gone, and it is quite an experience. Actually it was almost five times but in 1993 a blizzard prevented us from getting to the Vineyard (CLICK HERE to read that post). Edgartown does a terrific job of celebrating the oncoming of Christmas. The town is decked out in all its holiday finery and happily welcomes visitors to enjoy all that is offered.
I took this picture of the Whaling Church early in the morning … it looks so typically New England to me. The Minnesingers from the high school put on a concert here as part of the weekend celebration. You can’t help but feel the Christmas spirit after this glorious concert.
I think one of the most fun things is the Christmas parade. You won’t find big inflated balloons here, but what you will find is pure enthusiasm and joy. From the horse drawn wagon in the beginning of the parade, to the fire truck with Santa at the end which is always a crowd pleaser and a smile maker.
Even four legged celebrants get into the act wanting to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
A Santa scallop !
It’s hard to keep up with all that Edgartown offers for the three day celebration. There are open houses at many of the inns where you can get a chance to look around and sample goodies they are offering. And while you’re enjoying that often times carolers drop in to serenade with a song or two. The stores are all open and they too have foods to sample and ciders and wines to taste. You can literally eat and drink your way around Edgartown.
Another highlight is Donaroma’s Evening of Enchantment (click on special events on the website), it’s a twinkling fairy land of lights, music, garden displays and entertainment by enthusiastic bell ringers.
Christmas in Edgartown … a joyful experience indeed, one I hope to experience again someday.
West Chop lighthouse and US Coast Guard station.
My dear friend Seamond Ponsart Roberts grew up here at West Chop Lighthouse in the 1950′s. She was the daughter of the last lighthouse keeper. Imagine living next to this beautiful lighthouse on the harbor in Vineyard Haven… the ocean and stunning views right outside the door and the busy harbor only a few feet away. A few years ago I was lucky enough to go inside the lighthouse and the view was breath taking. If anyone should be writing a book about MV it should be Seamond… she’s rich with interesting and informative tales. The lighthouse itself was built in 1817 of wood. It was replaced in 1838 with the current brick one. As far as I know it’s been moved back from the edge of the cliff twice, once in 1848 and then in 1891.
CLICK HERE to read about Seamond.
In response to a previous post I did about West Chop Lighthouse, Seamond wrote the following:
Now, Joanie, you KNOW I’ll have to write about West Chop Light. It’s so dear to me always. Yes, I lived there (in the house away from the tower, as Sam Fuller, our assistant keeper and his wife, Mattie, lived in the tower house). We lived there from 1946-1957. Dad and Sam, as well as keeping West Chop up and neat and shipshape and government working approved, also had the responsibility of caring for East Chop, Edgartown and Cape Pogue, as well as the two harbor jetties at Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs. I tell you this to assure you that your tax dollars back then spent on lighthouse keepers paid for a whole lot of work and if a lighthouse keeper was found by the government inspection team to have been “lazy,” well, he was fired. Dad and Sam mowed the lawns at West Chop and East Chop with a push mower and a sickle bar for the sides of the property. They whitewashed the West Chop tower yearly and when we went over to the other lighthouses, our visits entailed a complete inside cleaning job. For East Chop and Cape Pogue, we also brought the mower and sickle bar for the outside work. Being a kid at West Chop was extra neat. I had my very own tower for my lighthouse interpretation of Rapunzel and imaginary dragons, too. When I got older and Elvis Presley was THE rage, well, I took my portable record player over to the tower and turned it up top volume. What a great echo chamber! Sam Fuller, however, living in proximity of the tower somehow (?)just didn’t appreciate Elvis, so my best echo chamber ever stuff didn’t hold out too long. In the summer, we were surrounded by the wealthy and famous and other than visits to see the lighthouse, they left us alone and vice versa. We were miles apart in economic strata. In the winter, we virtually owned the whole “chop,” like it was our own island. I went to school by bus and quite often the town would not plow as far as us, so we frequently got stranded and I got a few extra days of playing in the snow and out of school that way. We had many pets and that kept us occupied. I had a little flock of chickens and they were also my pets. One of them, Henny Penny was a big black hen weighing ove 10 pounds, and she was my special friend. I would take her for bike rides in the basket and take her to the “rich peoples” houses to go dig in their verdant lawns. Mom and Dad read all the time and so did I. I played piano and the record player. Dad played the harmonica and one of our fun things was to go sit on the back porch and sing along with Dad’s harmonica. And, so, as above, along with many other things passed my life at West Chop Lighthouse. I go back as often as I can and always feel a special ownership to that dear place. If you’d like to read some of my stories on the internet, go to Google and type in my name as Seamond Ponsart Roberts. I hope you enjoy reading of times long ago when I was a little lighthouse kid. Seamond
Built in 1843, the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown is considered the Vineyard’s most outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture.
The Old Whaling Church is part of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust properties and is used as a performing arts center as well as for weddings and other festive occasions.
“C’mon everyone” said Dad, “we’re going to the Field Gallery in W Tisbury.”
“But Dad” protested Scotty and Becky, “that will be boring and besides we’re so hungry we feel like we have holes where our tummies should be.”
“Don’t worry kids” said Mom “we’ll get something to eat and then go to the gallery. You’ve never seen anything like it and I promise you you’re going to have fun.”
“Hey” squealed Becky, “this is cool. Look at the neat statues all over the field.” “I know” ageed Scotty, “I like this metal cow sculpture, it’s sort of like they’re flying through the air. “
The kids took off running through the field trying to copy the poses of the statues. The family, including Zelda the dog, agreed the Field Gallery is an interesting and fun, and not a boring place to visit. Don’t miss it when you’re on the Vineyard.