From the Vineyard Gazette editions of March, 1968:
The sale of the Dunroving Ranch property at Menemsha was announced this week. The property includes 200 acres with several dwelling houses and about two-thirds of Prospect Hill. One of the Dunroving houses is the lovely old Cape Cod type farmhouse owned by Capt. Richard Flanders who, in the period of 1831 to 1861, was master of the whaleships Endeavor, Lucas, Almira, India and Falcon. The late Elmer J. Bliss, who acquired the property in the mid-thirties and named it Donroving following his retirement after a long career as head of the Regal Shoe company was the grandson of Capt. Jared Fisher Jr., and Edgartown whaling master.
Mr. Bliss built the Windmill and Ox-Bow house, seen from the North Road, and constructed a dam which brought Dunroving Lake into being. On the top of Prospect Hill he arranged for a structure of native stone which would appear to be partly fallen, in the manner of a Norse ruin, and named it Leif Erickson’s Lookout.
Zoning suffered its traditional defeat at the annual Edgartown meeting on Tuesday evening by a vote of 93 to 123 against. Since a two-thirds margin was required, an affirmative vote of 142 would have been needed for adoption of a code, which had been prepared by the planning board with unusual thoroughness and consideration of diverse interests.
Extensive repairs and improvements are taking place at the Tabernacle in the Camp Ground. These include taking up the remaining two-thirds of the wooden flooring and replacing it with cement. One section was done some time ago. The benches will also all be taken up, sanded and refinished.
It is believe that the flooring and the benches are the original ones installed when the Tabernacle was built. Perhaps the benches are those used in the wooden tabernacle which was replaced by the present steel structure. This belief arises from a survey of the massive timbering from which the bench-ends are made. It has been many years since such lumber could be obtained.
For the last several days, workmen have begun laying the underflooring for the first of what is projected to be an 18-unit, three-cluster village of houses at Katama, on land recently purchased by Stanmar, Inc. of Sudbury. The land is bordered by Katama Road and Edgartown Bay Road. Some years ago developing the property was contemplated, offering prospective buyers of lots an architectural service. The project, which was to have been called Mattakeset Village, never came to fruition.
In a community such as Martha’s Vineyard, geographically apart and with a relatively small year-round population, it is inevitable that the cost of education as broken down for each pupil must be higher than the average on the mainland. New England average costs per pupil are slightly higher than in the rest of the nation, with a cost of $483 for an elementary pupil and $628 for a secondary pupil. According to the figures in the town reports, the Island’s cost for an elementary pupil is $741 and for a secondary student, $957.73. Reports show 929 pupils in the elementary and 393 at the regional high school.
Twenty-six residents of Martha’s Vineyard met at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Milton Mazer on Sunday to discuss the formation of an organization to promote the nomination of Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy as Democratic candidate for President. Throughout the meeting it was stressed that the organization would be non-partisan, composed of concerned Republicans and Democrats who, distressed the Johnson administration’s Vietnam policies, wish to register their protest by voting for Senator McCarthy in the primary elections.
An agreement has been signed for the sale of the Vineyard Gazette to Mr. and Mrs. James B. Reston, and it is expected that the transfer will be completed in the near future. Mr. Reston, twice a Pulitzer Prize winner, is associate editor of the New York Times.
The present staff of the Gazette will continue with the new ownership, and the paper will remain under the editorial direction of Henry Beetle Hough. The Vineyard Gazette was established in 1846 by Edgar Marchant and was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Hough in 1920 from the founder’s grandnephew, Charles H. Marchant.
Mr. and Mrs. Reston are interested in the continuity of publications of the Gazette in its long sustained advocacy of Vineyard interests.
February is apt to be the month of lowest temperatures, as in the unforgettable freezeups of 1916, 1933 and 1934. But this February cardinals were singing, the small steeples of daffodils were appearing above ground, snowdrops were blooming, and if some old time Vineyarders had been alive they surely would have appeared at the Gazette office with cheering springs of shiny myrtle leaves bearing one or two sky blue flowers.
Compiled by Alison Mead