Oak Bluffs was tongue-in-cheekily referred to as the Barbary Coast in the 1700s when it was only Edgartown’s Eastville/Farm Neck neighborhood. One of the main Martha’s Vineyard docks was located at that road to nowhere at the north end of Eastville avenue — nearby the site of the famous Eastville Inn, our first tavern.

Early settlers and visitors eked existences from the sea. Whaling, fishing and shipping were dangerous occupations, so when people made landfall they wanted to eat, drink and be merry as tomorrow was not guaranteed. When “Jack” — as the seamen were referred to — came ashore, the only public houses available were in Eastville. Beginning in 1730 inn holders and taverns named Claghorn, Cunningham, Cousins, Pease, Davis and Smith were licensed by the county to do business.

After 1835 when the Methodists had popularized the town, the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company developed the rest of the town, including its hotels and bars. I’m not sure when Oak Bluffs got the “Honky Tonk” moniker or who gave it to us but it is not too difficult to imagine it came from Edgartown after the unpleasant secession of 1907. Oak Bluffs grew from a distant village of Edgartown to the town everyone from performers to presidents wants to see and be seen in. More U.S. presidents have visited Oak Bluffs than any other Island town (Grant, Coolidge, Clinton, Obama — and after the fund-raising event at Farm Neck this summer, if he wins next week, Mitt Romney joins that small club). Even during prohibition there was no problem getting a drink in Oak Bluffs — one merely visited one of over a dozen hotels like the colossal Sea View or the major Circuit avenue hotels, the Pawnee, the Metropolitan and the Island House among them.

The nature of seafaring was such that rum running to an island was an unsurprising choice of revenue. Miles of beaches, a friendly port of call and the demand of tourism made prohibition a guideline. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), begun in 1874 by women concerned about the abuse of alcohol and its impact on families, chose total abstinence as their lifestyle. They visited Oak Bluffs each August and indeed, Calvin Coolidge — before he was president — spoke to the group in 1919, prior to the advent of Prohibition. In a sop to the Camp Ground community, the homes built by the Land and Wharf Company had early purchase and sale agreements that included covenants prohibiting drinking, gambling or commerce on the premises.

The Finley house built in 1872 has those covenants, religiously defied by our family. Eighteen or so present-day eating and/or drinking places stem from a long proud history. Seasonally standing room only, they are reasons to be “proud to be from OB” and popular enough Island-wide that other towns have changed their liquor laws in an effort to compete.

A joyous celebration took place for the 60th wedding anniversary of Allen and Beverly Dea, who were married Sept. 27, 1952. They are former Oak Bluffs residents who now live in Beverly Hills, Fla. Many children, grandchildren and relatives attended the happy occasion.

Tonight the Oak Bluffs School raises money at Dreamland at 6 p.m. for the eighth grade trip to Philadelphia. The event includes silent and live auctions with a light harvest supper provided by the MV Chowder Company for $30.

Two-for-one entrees start again this Monday at Offshore Ale Co.

Walter Vail, one of our dedicated selectmen, is a retired mortgage executive who has lived in East Chop since 1974 and has visited Oak Bluffs since 1948. Born and raised in Binghamton, N.Y., Walter enjoys swimming, tennis, golf and walking. He likes the diversity of Oak Bluffs, the pretty views of Ocean Park and the harbor, but doesn’t like visitors who take advantage of our diversions by becoming disorderly —something he and the other selectmen are addressing.

Remember to vote on Tuesday. Polls will be open downstairs at the library from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A sign in the window of what was once Deon’s announces for May 2013 “a new, luxury entertainment destination featuring small plates dining, a mixology lounge, and an integrated coffee house and retail complex.” The sign offers employment for 12 positions.

Are Mocha Mott’s, Sidecar, Ben De Forest’s Ken ‘n’ Beck and Dockside Mall consolidating and moving to Circuit avenue?

Maybe the new place will be called “New York”. . .

Keep your foot on a rock.