Amid Cottage City’s growth and development, in 1871 a New Bedford newspaper fanned the flames of tourism: “Men and women of all nations and all natures, of all sections and complexions — the Portuguese, the Englishman, the Frenchman, the Southerner, the Easterner — all going to the Eden-like city by the sea.” By 1890 and the turn of the century the bloom was coming off of the rose. The days of masses of people coming to pray at the revivals passed, development had ended and several planned new communities faltered. The grand Sea View Hotel and several others were lost to fire due to negligence or arson. The influx of summer visitors greatly subsided and their financial contribution to the economy was substantially reduced.

Throughout this period, however, Oak Bluffs was fortunate that many newcomers included the Portuguese — people from the Azores, an archipelago of islands formed by volcanic activity, seasonally similar in climate to Martha’s Vineyard, itself formed by glaciers. It was largely due to the Portuguese that the town’s year round population increased. Emanuel Joseph was probably the first Portuguese settler on Martha’s Vineyard. According to the 1850 census data of Tisbury, he was born in the Azores in 1774 and married Mehitable Luce here in 1796.

Most of the earliest Vineyard settlers from the Azores were sailors and whalers and the September-October issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine has a colorful article about them.

A couple of hundred neighbors and friends attended the Say Goodbye to Summer party at The Inkwell last Saturday, the annual get-together of folks closing homes for the season who, due to the busy activities of summer, rarely get to see one another, although many have grown up together. Louise and Paul Johnson are credited with starting the event. Couples Gus and Millie Anglin, Bo and Lena Horne, and Kern and Cheryl Grimes are a part of the informal committee for the potluck party of food and desserts — either specialties or cupboard cleaners. Gracefully aging playmates enjoyed chamber of commerce weather. Many celebrities stopped by, including top shot Bob Graves, MIT Chancellor Phil Clay, Pirate Jack’s Burger Shack owner Ed Charter, diva Marla Blakey, MV NAACP’s Laurie Henry, singer Vivian Male, selectman Gail Barmakian, Millie Henderson and Ruth Scarville Bonaparte (our venerable sisters of Narragansett avenue) and Celtics basketball great M.L. Carr, one of several interviewed by Bobby Tankard for his Tank Talk Show on MVTV. Safe travels to all who’re forced to leave — and y’all come back again, y’hear?

The Corner Store closes Sunday for the season. Bye bye, Vanessa. Enjoy hibernation and we’ll see you next year.

East Chop’s Jean Kay has wonderful news! Her daughter’s daughter’s brand new daughter, Ashlyn, is Jean’s first great-grandchild. Jean looks forward to Thanksgiving when Ashlyn’s mom, Jennifer Ireland, and her mom, Carole K. Croteau, are home in Oak Bluffs with their mom Jean and the family to celebrate a fourth generation on the Vineyard. Special holiday happiness happens this year at the Kay home; congratulations to all.

Congratulations to Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company for winning Boston Magazine’s Best New Restaurant award. Co-owners J. B. Blau and chef Alex Nagi and the restaurant’s chowder were singled out for effusive praise.

Congratulations to Oak Bluffs for receiving an award of excellence from the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club for the beautification of Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you to Richie Combra and the parks department, Crossland Landscaping and the Friends of Oak Bluffs. Speaking of whom, the Friends are accepting donations for Christmas decorations at P.O. Box 1281.

Oak Bluffs was honored to be selected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be one of only 62 regional sites for the observation of Veteran’s Day 2012. Peter Hermann from the VFW made the announcement at the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday. The parade will begin at Nancy’s on Nov. 11 at 10:45 a.m.

The selectmen will host a meeting on Tuesday at 4 p.m. to discuss the strategic plan for 2013.

Interestingly, with plans afoot to construct the roundabout, the book Circle of Faith about the Camp Meeting Association has a picture of a traffic light at the foot of Circuit avenue. So the blinker wasn’t the first or only traffic light for our posterity.

Keep your foot on a rock.