Vineyard Gazette Is to Occupy Office, Pre-Revolutionary House, in Fall

Purchase of the former Isaiah Mills house at the corner of Davis Lane and South Summer street, Edgartown, by the Vineyard Gazette was completed yesterday. Plans for use of the property are still in a formative stage, but it will be occupied by the Vineyard Gazette as an office some time this fall. The premises are separated by one house from the present Gazette office, owned by Philip S. Pent, which has been occupied for seventeen years.

The so called Mills house was built by Capt. Benjamin Smith, who was sheriff of the county and also captain of one of the companies stationed on the Island for defense of the coast during the American Revolution. In just what year the house was constructed is not known. However, Benjamin Smith married Love Coffin in 1764, and it is probable that the house was built sometime between that year and the beginning of the Revolution.

Benjamin Smith died May 4, 1821. In 1809 the house was sold by him to Ebenezer Smith, who in turn transferred the property in 1825 to Isaiah Mills and Dennis Ripley. The name of Mills continued to be associated with the house. It was used as a residence by various representative citizens of the town until more recent years when it was turned into a four family tenement, becoming known familiarly as the Beehive.

The sale was made by Mrs. Leroy M. Tilton, Mrs. Viola W. Geddes, and Fred A. Simonton.

In converting the property to business use, care will be taken to restore and preserve the original character of the house, outside and in. Although the original small-paned windows were removed some years ago, and an addition built at the rear, the house retains many of its original features, including mantels and wainscoting.