Round and Round

From the Gazette editions of December, 1983:

The Flying Horses, the famous and historic Oak Bluffs carousel where generations of children and adults have circled and made happy Island memories, will be changing hands. Mary and Robert Lucas bought the 20-horse carousel in 1971 for $90,000. Today they will sign a purchase and sale agreement on the landmark with James Ryan of Osterville, owner of the Ryan Amusement Company, for $500,000. Mr. Ryan said he planned no major changes, just renovation, to the carousel. In 1979, after two years of research the carousel was named to the National Historic Register. It was carved in 1876 by Charles W.F. Dare Company in New York and transported by steamer to Oak Bluffs.

Its original location was on the corner of Ocean Park. Sold to William Davis, it was moved to its present location. Mr. Davis sold the carousel to William Haynes, an Oak Bluffs selectman, and Mr. Haynes sold it to the Turnell family, who held onto it for three generations. The Turnell family sold the Flying Horses to Al Brickman, David Levine and Jack Levett. They sold it to Lester Hastings and Mr. Hastings sold it to the Lucas family.

You start getting interested in evergreens just about this time of year. They begin to assert their importance, of course, as the deciduous trees “leave” for the winter, giving way to these sturdy year-rounders. And there is an even more pointed need as the holiday season is underway to locate interesting pine cones and evergreen boughs for wreath making. The truly indigenous conifers are two. Pitch pines have needles in bundles of three and pine cones that stick to the branches like burrs for years. Then there is the eastern red cedar, not really a cedar but a juniper, whose dark green, pyramidal shape is so abundant in Vineyard fields (and giver of such place names as Cedar Tree Neck in West Tisbury and Cedar Neck in Vineyard Haven.)

If you walk around any of the towns though, you will notice many other kinds of evergreens, brought here by human intervention rather than nature’s, many species of spruces, firs and hemlocks native north of here, as well as arborvitae from even farther north, white cedar from coastal swamps, blue spruces from Colorado, Norway spruces from Europe and yews from Japan.

Seaside Dairy will produce its first vat of cheese this week, and by next spring the Vineyard’s own brand of cheese will be available in your grocer’s dairy case. This cheese production will smooth the seasonal ups and downs in milk production, making life easier for the cows and the Edgartown dairy more profitable for Stephen Potter. “We’re going to try to make a really good cheese,” Mr. Potter said. His dairy will first market a cheddar cheese, which is the easiest to make. Depending on the volume the dairy sells, he would like to make several varieties of cheddar, ranging from mild to sharp, and gouda, blue and feta cheese. “I’m hoping a lot of Island people will want to send Island cheese to their family and friends off-Island and that summer people will also want to buy a Vineyard cheese,” he said.

The sixth annual turkey derby, held at Scrubby Neck Farm, and benefiting the Nathan Mayhew Seminars, drew crowds. The ground rumbled as the horses rushed by, and the sound, the speed and furor rallied the crowd. Standing atop a flatbed truck with a hot dog in one hand and a microphone in the other, race track announcer Klee Dobra led the audience, which grew to over 800. The final race brought the star: Sarah Wise, 14, of Chilmark, riding Temperance.

Once the race was over most of the crowd were on their way to the seminar’s fund-raising auction at the Hot Tin Roof. One item auctioned was described glowingly: “See the world! Ride with Trip Barnes on a short or long distance haul, Boston through to Florida. Bring your luggage!”

Three weeks ago, after two years of thought and planning, the Tisbury Water Company put its product on the shelf to compete with the Perriers, the Poland Springs and the other bottled waters of the world. Tashmoo Springs Water is not a true newcomer to the bottled water business. Years ago Tashmoo Springs Water was bottled as soda water in the building that is now the Coca-Cola company office on State Road, Vineyard Haven. There was a time when water from the Tashmoo Springs was considered the best in the state of Massachusetts. Dale McClure, superintendent of the Tisbury Water Company, says the reputation of quality is still justified. He says that you’d have to go far to find better water.

But it is economics, tight times, that have brought Tashmoo Springs Water bubbling into the marketplace again. The old brick pumping station at the waterworks is in a state of disrepair and has been for some time. Mr. McClure and commissioner David Dunham decided it was time to bottle water again, to make enough money to fix up the old building.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner