From the Vineyard Gazette editions of Nov. 1966:

In a letter to Gov. Volpe this week, Rep. Benjamin C. Mayhew Jr. of the Vineyard made clear his opposition to reducing the number of members in the state House of Representatives from 240 to 160, as has been called for in an initiative petition. Such a reduction would in all likelihood eliminate not only Dukes County’s individual representation in the legislature but also Nantucket’s as well.

Four months after the operative date of Medicare, the effect of the program upon the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has begun to be apparent. With a ration of Medicare patients already approaching nearly to a third of the hospital’s admissions, it is obvious that the plan and its provisions will be a major factor in future administration and planning.

Word was received by Tisbury selectmen that an engineer from the state Department of Public Works will be on the Island Wednesday to look over the site for the boat ramp in Lagoon Pond, the ramp being paid for by the state. The second ramp voted by the town, for Tashmoo Pond, has been in use for well over a year.

Seven towns of Dukes County rallied to the cause on Tuesday in a manner not often equalled in this backwater of state and national politics, polling 2,627 votes out of a total registration of 3,841. Traditionally a Republican stronghold, the county voted heavily in favor of that party.

Edward W. Brooke of Newton and Oak Bluffs became the first Negro ever elected to the United States Senate by a popular vote on Tuesday, when he defeated former Gov. Endicott Peabody for the seat vacated by Sen. Leverett Saltonstall.

Abner Leach Braley, who served as judge of district court from 1929 until his retirement in 1961, died at his home in Edgartown on Tuesday at the age of 76. In Judge Braley’s courtroom, the defendants, the lawyers and the prosecuting officers were often treated to capsulized lectures in law history, Judeo-Christian ethics, Roman jurisprudence, the Civil War and sundry other subjects that had captured the judge’s far-ranging interest. He could flourish extralegal Latin expressions as easily as he could summon up the homeliest of Yankee idioms in order to relieve the aridity of routine courtroom procedure. These and his other utterances were all made in a voice with a timbre and accent that was pure “old New England” speech abundant in broad “a’s” and twang.

An agreement was made this week by George and Benjamin Cohen, the proprietors of the G&B Store of Oak Bluffs, to purchase the Pawnee Building on Circuit avenue. The building consists of the first two floors of what was once a hotel, four stories in height.

A 60-foot ketch, Paule’s Fancy, went ashore last night on South Beach in West Tisbury, having gotten far off her course — Marblehead to Bermuda — because of yesterday’s storm. C.M. Dodson, master and owner of the Paule, said: “We were about 250 miles offshore. The wind was southeast and getting worse all the time. We were broached several times, and finally it seemed that the only thing to do was to wear and run before it, and this we did with bare poles. I don’t know how high the seas ran, but when we dropped into the trough, they looked higher than our main-masthead.”

Four members of the Vineyard Coast Guard crew fought a losing battle lasting for hours to save a burning Canadian sea-scalloper tossing on the ground swell of open sea on Saturday night. The Pat and Judy 2nd, a 92-foot craft carrying a crew of 13, went to the bottom while a fire hose from a Coast Guard firefighting tug was pouring water into her hold.

One-day automobile fares will be extended to cover two-day excursions to accommodate holiday season travelers to and from the Vineyard. If the trial reduction in fare is successful this year, the Authority intends to extend it to the entire off-season period in future years. The Authority also announced that it will allow no-charge off-season parking at its Woods Hole terminal during the winter months.

All interested Islanders will be welcome to attend the opening of the Vineyard Room in the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. This is the room incorporating the remarkable primitive painting (a respected authority pronounced it “one of the most valuable of all early American primitives”) which so long formed the overmantel in the Capt. Leander C. Owen house at Vineyard Haven, and the wainscoting mantel and carving as well. Mrs. G.A. Murman, present owner, gave what was, in effect, the whole room to the Smithsonian. Mrs. Murman donated the room to the Smithsonian in memory of her husband.

Compiled by Alison Mead