From the Vineyard Gazette editions of May, 1908:
The lovely weather of the past week has been improved by housekeepers in having carpets beaten and a general war on dirt. Everyone is hustling to get their house in trim for the summer season. There have been many arrivals here during the week past of summer residents who have come to look after their property and have repairs or improvements made. Many residences are being painted and reshingled, modern improvements are being introduced, and while there has been less building going on this past winter, cottages are being made more comfortable to live in cool weather and are being enlarged and improved in a general way either inside or outside. These are signs of interest and faith in the idea of future growth of Oak Bluffs and its prosperity. The Memorial Day exercises by the pupils of the public schools of Vineyard Haven will be held in Association Hall on Friday afternoon. At the close of the exercises a procession will form, led by the Grand Army, followed by the Relief Corps and teachers and pupils of the public schools, and as many others as may desire, and march to the wharf to cast flowers upon the waters in grateful memory of those who gave their lives as a willing sacrifice to their country’s call. The brig Daisy, of Capt. B. D. Cleveland, recently sailed on another cruise to Kergulen Island, 1500 miles east-southeast of the Cape of Good Hope. The vessel sailed before the issuance of a decree by the French affecting that island. Whaling agents and whalemen generally have taken up a discussion of the prohibitive measures affecting the taking of sea elephants at Kergulen island, and the opinion prevails that the French government will not go to the expense of sending a war vessel to the Desolation islands in order to prevent Capt. Cleveland from finishing his voyage. Even if France should see fit to go ahead and take up a vigil of this desolate island, Capt. Cleveland would, upon being warned off, proceed to Hurd’s island, 200 miles southeast, and fill his brig, for the sea elephants have not been disturbed there in many years. Hurd’s island, however, is a more dangerous whaling ground. It develops that Capt. Cleveland can be reached if desired, for it is stated that he intended touching at the Cape Verde islands on his way out, and a cable to St. Vincent would be delivered to him in his arrival at Cape Verde.
The full bench of the supreme court has dismissed the petition of Henry B. Davis against the inhabitants of the town of Chilmark et al. The petitioner who, with his family resides on the island of No Man’s Land, near Martha’s Vineyard, asked for a writ of mandamus directing the town authorities of Chilmark to provide sufficient accommodation for his children and ordering the school committee of Chilmark to provide a suitable place for the schooling of his children, together with fuel and such other things that are necessary for their comfort. No Man’s Land, which is part of the town of Chilmark, lies about four miles from Martha’s Vineyard. The town at present maintains no school on No Man’s Land, but upon the main island has a sufficient number of schools, which are properly furnished and conveniently located. The petitioner claimed that a school should be established on No Man’s Land, although his children would be the only ones that would attend the school. He is the owner of the greater part of No Man’s Land and pays a tax on property valued at about $7,000. He has always resided in Chilmark and since 1904 on No Man’s Land with his family.
The court holds that upon these facts his contention cannot be sustained. “He has chosen,” says the court, “to establish himself and family upon a small island; only two of his children are under 14 years of age, and one has not reached the age at which school attendance is required. He cannot expect the town to furnish and maintain a school for his sole benefit.”
Steamer Uncatena, looking as fresh and nice as a new dollar, with a new smoke stack thrown in, came on this route again this week. Schooner Rebecca Bartlett sailed Saturday with a cargo of 325 barrels of Mattakeesett herring, salted. Catboat Rita, Capt. M. K. Silva, Antone Prada, mate, claims the largest mackerel brought in this season — weight 5 1/2 pounds. The Rita, in two nights’ work the latter part of last week, caught about 800 mackerel. Fishing schooner Teaser of Gloucester baited here early this week with 30,000 Mattakeesett alewives.
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hart left for their home in New Britain after a short visit in Oak Bluffs. Mr. Hart has purchased the cottage No. 36 Tuckernuck avenue, and after occupying it for several years under lease he knew about what he would like in the way of improvements. The partitions have been removed on the lower floor so that on one side of the center hall will be an airy living room with a fireplace.
Compiled by Alison Mead