MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography..genealogy and life in general and this and that…

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Final Goodbye …

An article a year ago in the Feb, 2009 Vineyard Gazette wasn’t good news for the beloved ferry, the Islander.  The Islander was retired in March of 2007 and had sat idle in New York harbor.  She was supposed to travel back and forth between Governor’s Island and Lower Manhattan.  But some issues had arisen and the Islander was  put up on Ebay.  What a sad end for the Islander and  for those who loved her.  The article starts out saying:


“Failboat,:  Islander Is No Longer Seaworthy, Course Set for eBay”

Less than two years after her final Vineyard voyage, the once-beloved ferry Islander is floating unwanted off Governors Island, N.Y. waiting to be auctioned off on eBay like so much attic junk.

She is scheduled to appear on the shopping and auction Web site on the morning before Valentine’s Day. There is no reserve bid.

It was supposed to be a new lease on life for the old girl. When the board of Governors Island stepped into buy the ferry in 2007, some dignified sunset years looked in store for the 57 year-old vessel, plying the few hundred yards of calm Hudson waters between Lower Manhattan and the tiny New York bay island.

But she never even made a single journey.”


On Feb 23, 2009 the Islander was sold for an estimated $23,600. The new owner was not sure if he would sell it whole or scrap it.

For two years the Islander sat idle in NY Harbor.


According to an article, ‘SO LONG WE WON’T SCRAP THE MEMORIES’, in the Feb 11. 2011 Vineyard Gazette by Mark Alan Lovewell, the Islander was acquired by a marine salvage company in NJ and is being dismantled and the scrap metal being recycled to various foundries.

In 2008 the Martha’s Vineyard Museum did acquire one of the original lifeboats.


A sad ending for a work horse of a vessel who, even though not sleek or graceful, for 57 years brought her own special beauty to the waters surrounding the Vineyard. The Islander will continue to exist through paintings, photographs and in the memories of those who loved her. There was just “something” about her.


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Trains, Planes, Automobiles …

(Counted cross stitch done by my daughter Deb)

Martha’s Vineyard has an airport and it certainly has its share of cars.  But did you know there once was a railroad on the Vineyard? In the the book:  The History of Martha’s Vineyard by Arthur R Railton, you’ll find that indeed there was one, the Martha’s Vineyard Railroad.

It was built in 1874 and ran along the beach from Oak Bluffs to Katama.  Storms often washed the tracks out and expensive repairs were needed. It had its share of problems and eventually in 1900 the bankrupt railroad stopped running.

There was actually another railroad that’s sort of connected to MV.  The old  New York/New Haven/Hartford railroad.  Its Old Colony line used to go all the way to Woods Hole.  The station was located where the parking lot for the ferry is today.


Christiantown …

Down a dirt road in the woods of West Tisbury lies 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.

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.

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Former Daggett House Inn …

I stayed a few times at the Daggett House inn before it was recently renovated and turned into a private residence.  One of the things I remember most is their famous Grape Nut bread which my daughter is baking today.

On the lower level of the inn was the breakfast room.  According to the Guide to Martha’s Vineyard:

“The room was the first tavern on Martha’s Vineyard to sell beer and ale.  In 1660 the taverner, John Daggett, was fined five shillings for “selling strong liquor.”  In 1750 the Daggett House was added to the building.   Through the years the Daggett House was a custom’s house, a sailor’s boardinghouse, a store, and during the whaling era, a counting house. “

An interesting feature of the Daggett House was its secret room.  I’m not sure what it was used for in the 1600’s or so but during the past years as a B&B it was a guest room … provided they could find the secret door somewhere near the above pictured fireplace !!!

The back of the Daggett House had a nice expanse leading to the edge of Edgartown Harbor.  A perfect place to have a breakfast of their delicious Grape Nut bread toast.

Grapenut Bread from the Daggett House.

Now, remember, this recipe was a staple of the Daggett House Bed & Breakfast on Martha’s Vineyard until it closed. They used to readily hand out recipe cards, and the recipe was posted on the MVOL website up until recently–so I’m assuming there are no copyright issues. But just in case they are, I’m giving full credit here to the inn–it’s their recipe!

Makes 2 loaves


2/3 c Grapenuts

1/3 c wheat germ

3 T butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 c dark brown sugar

1 1/3 c boiling water.

Stir and let cool to barely warm.

Then, combine 1 T yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 2/3 c warm water, and let stand until bubbly.

Add yeast to the dry mixture. Add 4 c all-purpose flour.

Knead until soft and smooth, then return to bowl and let rise, covered, until double in volume.

Punch down and divide into two loaves, knead for a few minutes, and put into greased loaf pans. Let rise until double in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.