From the Vineyard Gazette editions of September, 1851:
The New County Road, between Edgartown and Holmes Hole, is in a good state of forwardness; that portion lying within the Tisbury boundary, we believe, is entirely completed. We passed over the road a day or two since, and are free to confess that we consider this the greatest improvement to locomotion ever made on the island. Through a considerable portion of the route, the road is already as hard and as handsomely finished as any turnpike we ever passed. There are some portions, to be sure, where improvements are yet needed; but from the commendable spirit of rivalry which exists among the contractors, we doubt not these will be made before the 21st, when the whole route, according to the contract, is to be completed.
Great care has been taken on portions of the route where the snow is apt to drift badly, to make the road so much higher than the general level of the earth, as to prevent the track from being banked, even when the snow may fall to a depth of two or three feet.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to many of the contractors, for their manly and persevering determination to make a road every way acceptable to the Commissioners and the public, notwithstanding the stubborn fact, that a portion of those employed will not clear over 50 cents per day for their labor.
When this road is completed, we may look for an earlier arrival of the mail, and a more extended intercourse, both social and commercial, with our sister town.
A travelling correspondent of the Yarmouth Register, “F.W.C.,” under date of “Edgartown, Aug. 25, 1851,” says:
“If possessed of a good Hotel, this might become a pleasant place of resort for the inhabitants of our cities during the heated months of Summer. The breezes are always comparatively cool and invigorating. The air is dry and healthful. Fevers and all malignant diseases are exceedingly rare. The harbor is a fine place for yachting operations, and a good variety of fish are found in its waters. Its woods yield huckleberries ‘by the ton.’ Gay Head with its rainbow cliffs, lies only twenty miles distant, and a passage to it by water would be safe and pleasant. A steam passage may be had to within eight miles of Edgartown from any of the neighboring cities. The scenery in its neighborhood if not of the ‘greenest’ kind, is such as would gratify the dweller among bricks and stones. In truth, as was said just now, little is wanting besides a good Hotel; without which, attractions to which we have referred become almost null and void."
The correspondent has been to Nantucket, and comes to Edgartown via Holmes Hole, of which pleasant village he thus speaks:
“When entering the harbor, the village of Holmes Hole presented a very pretty appearance. The buildings cover a considerable area and seem surrounded with trees and foliage. — The Hills, which are numerous, correspond in size, and look much more verdant than one could expect in this locality. These stretch out in an extended line to the right and serve to make up a very fine and satisfactory landscape."
“F.W.C.” says he “attended the services of the Baptist and Methodist churches. The congregations were ample and presented a fine appearance. That worshipping in the Baptist church wore a decidedly genteel and fashionable aspect. You will pardon me the irreverence of the remark that the ladies were especially fine looking and attractive.”
We should like to have a gentleman of the intelligence, point out to us any difference between the gentility implied in the above paragraph.
The following statement, which occurs in the letter, has shaken our confidence in the author’s truthfulness:
“We pass through a portion of the village of Holmes Hole and are forcibly impressed with the conviction that a right in common to the surname ‘Luce,’ is held by its every inhabitant. All the signs read ‘Luce.’ If a man halloes to another, it is ‘Mr. Luce.’ If one is introduced to a lady, she is sure to be a ‘Mrs. Luce.’”
The writer has some pleasantry in regard to the driver of our stage, which is not exactly in good taste; and betrays his ignorance by asking silly questions, which the driver would not answer. On the whole, we should set the author down as a stripling engaged in his first attempts at scribling for the press.
Friend Marchant: — The old Methodist meeting house has been purchased by Chas. Smith and Richard G. Luce, Esqs. It is henceforth to bear the name of Capawock Hall. Apropos, of Indian names — I confess to a real affection for them, and wish I could infuse a portion of it into the hearts of all our people. Many of our ponds, perhaps most of them, our “necks,” hills, and other localities, still retain the names given them by the Indians. Some of them are exceedingly pretty. Here are a few that occur to me — Tashmoo, Quansoo, Katama, Menemsha, Quattapoag, Washqua, Capegan, Natsaquitsa.
Compiled by Hilary Wall