MV Obsession

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


Newport, RI – Part 1 – Marble House…

As you may have guessed from the clues in the previous post ‘April Road Trip’.. our trip was to Newport, Rhode Island to visit the mansions of the Gilded Age.  And gilded they were.

Mansion #1- Marble House.



According to Wikipedia :  “The mansion was built as a summer “cottage” retreat between 1888 and 1892 for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. It was a social landmark that helped spark the transformation of Newport from a relatively relaxed summer colony of wooden houses to the now legendary resort of opulent stone palaces. The fifty-room mansion required a staff of 36 servants, including butlers, maids, coachmen, and footmen. The mansion cost $11 million ($260,000,000 in 2009 dollars) of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet (14,000 m³) of marble.”

The tours are audio guided which lets you progress at your own speed…  also now photos are allowed with smart phones.  You can use SLR’s without flash with written permission when you get there.  I used my SLR digital camera as well as my smart phone.   Let’s step inside now and begin the tour of Marble House…

Foyer and staircase….


Around the house..

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marble house

Deb pic

Deb pic
Deb pic



Alva was big in the Women’s Suffrage movement, you can find this ‘Votes for Women’ china in the gift shop.


One cannot leave Marble House without walking around the grounds and visiting the Chinese Tea House on the back lawn.


pizap.com14624870194831This is only a sampling of the many pictures we took.  This house, escuse me ‘summer cottage’ is incredibly beautiful and interesting.  To read more about it and the original owners, William Kissam Vanderbilt and his eclectic and interesting wife Alva… CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

Coming next… the ultimate ‘summer cottage’.  Can you guess which it is ?

(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)


Outing To Clinton, New Jersey …

Clinton, New Jersey, a picturesque town set in Hunterdon County isn’t far from where I live and so daughter Deb and her dog Chappy and I set off to explore a bit.   Clinton is most recognized by the iconic picture of the red mill… it pops up on many NJ websites, calendars and is a favorite subject for artists and photographers.

Here we are, let’s explore…


mosaic357a50e68c8076bffe1938e55b50d3b507a28165First up, as always on a Saturday is coffee.  We found a cute little place by the river and settled down to relax and enjoy the scenery.  Chappy even made a new friend.

mosaic82f3209de547717f38366625f02883eef9b4e7f0We walked over the bridge to the other side of the river to get pictures of the Red Mill and the Stone Mill which is now the Hunterdon Art Museum for Craft and Design…

mosaic5fdca8936ae2ba117fc7bc8844aae317b5405556Outside the museum is a chalk board wall, how clever is that…

mosaic7a152ef3c721efad7d45e9d4432aaea03f533d9eMore of Clinton…


 One last picture of the Red Mill.


IMG_1356Another nice outing exploring the beauty and charm of New Jersey 🙂



Coffee With Chappy …

I had no intentions of doing a fourth Saturday coffee outing but Deb’s dog Chappy (my granddog) joined us and made it extra special.  He was so happy to be going out with us that he actually relaxed in the car.


We headed out to western New Jersey to Blairstown which is set in the rolling hills of Sussex County.  The sky was dotted with puffy white clouds everywhere.


As always though… coffee is first.  Deb & I have been to the coffee shop before.  This was Chappy’s first time there though and he really enjoyed sitting outside being admired by passerby’s.


Of course Chappy doesn’t drink coffee but usually we can entice him with bites of whatever we’re eating but he didn’t seem to be interested in my bagel.

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Although this shot makes it look otherwise, he still refused. (This was a lucky shot, I didn’t realize until later I’d gotten his tongue at just the right moment).

Chappy’s ready now to move on to the next phase of our outing… a walk around town.

100_8207So off we went…


Through the grounds of the Blair Academy…


Wandering around town taking in the sights… (and sniffs)

I thoughtfully browsed in a store for a bit so Chappy could relax with his mom.   Dogs always look comfy no matter where they are.


If you’re looking for hope, here it is… Hope, New Jersey.. we drove thru it on our way home  🙂


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Small Town Charm …

  This past Saturday Deb and I ventured to the charming small town of Blairstown, New Jersey for our Saturday morning coffee outing.

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My creation

We couldn’t help but notice the Blairstown Theater right across the street.  It was built in 1913 as a silent movie house and was restored and painted bright blue in 2005… it definitely is an eye catcher.

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Walked around town and enjoyed the beautiful architecture.

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I think though that my favorite spot was Blair Walk and waterfall by the old mill.

My creation

– by Joan –


Trinity Circle …

On the island of Martha’s Vineyard – in the town of Oak Bluffs– in the Methodist Campground is Trinity Circle and Trinity Park.

Sharing Trinity Park for 133 years are the Tabernacle (erected in 1879) and Trinity Methodist Church (built in 1878).

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Both have undergone major changes.

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A look inside the Tabernacle and Trinity Methodist Church.

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Looking at the Tabernacle from inside Trinity Methodist Church… I love this picture.


Trinity Park is a perfect place to enjoy some quiet time… to indulge in some contemplation, read, maybe snooze, enjoy a game of catch, or wander around with a camera.

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According to the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Assn. website:

“The original layout of Wesleyan Grove was a simple formation of a circle enclosing the preaching area and the society or church tents.   In 1859 a road, now known as Trinity Circle, was built which encircled that area.   In 1864, the Association purchased the 26 acres it had been renting.   As the area continued to expand (additional grounds were purchased in 1866), it developed in a radial-concentric pattern which was little used in America at that time.   Paths radiating from Trinity Circle led to smaller circles where large groups of tents had been located – County Park (Wesleyan Grove), Forest Circle, Washington Park (Victorian Park), Cottage Park Avenue (Cottage Park), Crystal Park (Vincent Park), Washington Avenue (Butler Avenue), Rural Circle and Clinton Avenue, which, at one time, had been the main entrance to the Campground.   The smaller circles, some surrounded by larger circles, had small paths radiating from them leading to other circles or parks.   The method of the grounds layout was an additive one of discrete neighborhood units, each built around small various shaped parks.   Some street and park names (current names are in the brackets) have been changed for various reasons over the years”.

Here are some links:

Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Assn. website

My ‘Bells Are Ringing’ Post

The Tabernacle

Trinity Methodist Church

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Off The Beaten Path …

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.


Edgartown Captain’s Homes …

The whaling industry was in its prime from about 1820 until the Civil War.  Edgartown had its own fleet of whaling ships and thus its share of whaling captains.

Dr Daniel Fisher was not a whaling captain, but his home, built in 1840, is one of the loveliest in Edgartown. Besides being a doctor he was a successful and versatile businessman.  He supplied whale oil to many US lighthouses, he owned a candle factory on the harbor, a hardtack bakery, a flour mill in N Tisbury,  and he founded the Martha’s Vineyard National Bank.  The Dr Daniel Fisher house in now owned by the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust.

The Harborside Inn on S Water Street is made up of seven buildings several of which are 19th century whaling captain’s homes.

These homes are also on S Water Street, the Victorian Inn is among them.

N Water Street has an abundance of captain’s homes also.  This is one of the prettiest streets in Edgartown.

The Charlotte Inn on S Summer Street is a cluster of five 18th and 19th century homes.

These are but a few of the gorgeous, beautifully restored captain’s homes. When you’re on MV enjoy wandering through the streets of Edgartown and see them for yourself.  I particularly like early Sunday mornings for my jaunts.