From 1835 to 1879, Edgartown’s Farm Neck/Eastville community grew dramatically, due to the Camp Meeting Association replacing family tents with permanent wooden homes. Almost simultaneously, the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company built the new seaside resort now frequently called Cottage City, which is believed to be one of the first communities built all at one time.

This resulted in a village with over 1,000 new homes, businesses and hotels whose property value accounted for 60 per cent of the taxes paid to Edgartown. With only 500 year-round Oak Bluffs voting citizens, most taxes were paid by visitors who owned the majority of the seasonal property — a collection of buildings that were empty during winter.

Essentially all political control rested in Edgartown, which profited from the new taxable property, but gave little or nothing in return. For example, an Edgartown leader refused to fund a bridge to Vineyard Haven, cutting the new community off from easy access to the westernmost Island towns. Conversely, when Edgartown decided to invest in building the Beach Road to tap into the new commerce, it was Cottage City taxpayers who objected.

When the new citizenry realized that Edgartown had fallen into decline while the economy shifted to their new community, the salt of secession streamed through the otherwise sweet air.

Secession was assured by the 1879 Island-wide election of Chilmark’s Stephen Flanders, a supporter of Cottage City’s separation. That year’s election was the first time Gay Head’s original people were allowed to vote. They, along with Farm Neck’s black residents, helped pass the petition after three earlier attempts.

At 4:40 p.m. on Feb. 17, 1880, Gov. Thomas Talbot signed the petition in the state legislature proclaiming Cottage City independent of Edgartown. The naming of the new town became one of many controversies. Residents wanted it named after their own neighborhood; Vineyard Grove was preferred by the Camp Meeting Association and Oak Bluffs was preferred by Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf neighbors. Finally, Hiram A. Blood (former mayor of Fitchburg, summer resident and owner of the Blood Cottage on Narragansett avenue) suggested the compromise ­­— Cottage City.

The new government devoted itself to the needs of the year-round community. With schools, fire and police departments, a library, and the maintenance of its streets, Oak Bluffs became its own entity, joining the other four towns (Edgartown, Tisbury, Gay Head and Chilmark) of the Island. The town name, with little credibility to it being a city, was changed to Oak Bluffs on Jan. 25, 1907.

At the town meeting in 2003, Oak Bluffs voters resurrected the Cottage City name by passing an article establishing the Cottage City Historic District. The district includes 75 acres with 386 houses and 12 parks. It extends from Farm Pond, up Seaview avenue, down Oak Bluffs avenue, behind Kennebec and on down Circuit avenue to South Circuit and back to Farm Pond.

On a granular level, the 7.4 square mile area of land of Oak Bluffs incredibly includes at least 33 official and unofficial neighborhoods: Bayes Hill, Bellevue Heights, Cottage City/Copeland District/The Gold Coast, Deer Run, East Chop, Eastville, Elinwood Heights, Englewood, Farm Neck, Farm Pond, Forest Hill, Fresh Pond, Hart Haven, Head of the Pond, Highlands, Lagoon Estates, Lagoon Heights, Majors Cove, Meadow View Farm, Oak Grove, Oakland, Oklahoma, Pond View, Prospect Heights, Sengekontacket, Southern Woodlands, Squash Meadow, Tomahawk Corner, Tower Ridge, Tradewinds, Vineyard Grove, Vineyard Highlands, Wesleyan Grove/The Campgrounds, Waterview Farm and surely some I’ve overlooked. One of these is relatively new (Southern Woodlands), at least one is gone (Squash Meadow) and several romantically remain in memory only.

Before 1642, the original people’s Nunnepog tribe (or Sachemship) called Oak Bluffs Ogkeshkuppe, a damp thicket of woods. By the 1870s, Methodists and developers had built Cottage City in its midst. Perhaps it is time the town sought national historic recognition to allow the district to take its place alongside the Camp Ground, the Tabernacle and the Flying Horses.

The Columbus Day 5K Road Race and Fun Run is on Sunday. Contact Roger Wey at 508-693-7887 if you’d like to participate.

Based upon a presentation by neighbors on MVTV, it seems the new extended parking scheme on the North Bluff is sparking controversy. I wonder if gaining another 20 parking spaces is worth the angst while a potential alternative location exists for as many as 300 spaces on Vineyard Avenue, between the P.A. Club and Oak Grove Cemetery — a less trafficked area.

Nancy’s owner Doug Abdelnour was featured on the Travel Channel special Travel Like a President this week, cooking fried shrimp favored by President Obama on his trips to the Vineyard. Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino said that after spending three weeks here he thought he knew every side street on the Island. Really? Meet me in the Highlands. Nancy’s closes for the season on Monday.

If considering things to look forward to in October, there’s Season’s $7 half-pound burgers and Coop de Ville’s $15 Lobsterfest on Tuesday, the Ocean View’s $19 lobster dinner on Wednesday and $19 prime rib on Saturday, Main Street Diner’s dinner and a movie . . . oh, right, that’s Edgartown. Not only do our theatres lack movies, but one of them lacks an “R.”

Keep your foot on a rock.