In 1866 when the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company built America’s Great Watering Place, they employed the services of the brilliant Robert Morris Copeland, the Boston landscape gardener, to design the layout of Cottage City. It was Erastus P. Carpenter’s genius in identifying Copeland — experienced with rural cemetery design — as an acceptable designer for the influential Camp Meeting Association, who could have thwarted the Land and Wharf Company’s plans by moving the campgrounds to the Highlands. They all helped construct the town with the most parks per capita of any in the world, and one of the most photogenic places in America.

But then there were the Victorian era views (pun intended) on bathing. Views of the water at Cottage City were, in fact, fully and completely blocked by rows of wooden bath houses. John Walter, an editor of the Dukes County Intelligencer, described them as “the ugly, boxlike structures obliterating views of the water and occupying great swatches of sand.” I’m not the only one to have stubbed a toe while looking for beach glass on a smoothly rounded post protruding from the sand — a painful reminder of the bathing houses, which included as many as 900 rooms for folks to change from street clothes into bathing costumes. These structures lined Pay Beach, the Inkwell and Highland Beach (East Chop Beach) until 1944 when the last one was removed. The original Seaview House Hotel was adjacent to the Steamship Authority along the shoreline and it, too, blocked 300 feet of water views until 1892 when it burned down. A huge skating rink at the other side of the steamship dock on the north bluff and the Flying Horses (at its first location) blocked views on the other side. Bathing was new, swimming didn’t quite catch on until the 1890s, and sunbathing was unheard of, so those on the scant amounts of sand at the beach didn’t complain about the monstrosities above. It’s not surprising how little impact the bath houses caused from a historical perspective. Most pictures we see of the beach today were taken from boats and a multi-story tower above the boardwalk, minimizing the fact that you couldn’t have seen the water otherwise.

I learned that telephone poles on South Circuit avenue along Farm Pond are going to be removed and the lines buried. Telephone poles (with phone and cable and power lines) remain along Seaview avenue and throughout the Cottage City historic district. C.G. Hines, scion of the man Vineyard Haven’s Hines Point was named after, published a book about the Island in 1908 and wrote “The writer would like to express his disapproval of the telegraph-telephone-trolley poles and wires that line so many public highways to the serious detriment of their beauty; the generation is probably not far off that will wonder why such disfigurements were allowed.” One hundred and five years later, we are that generation and we should be asking that question, technology rendering those inherently dangerous poles and lines anachronistic.

Oak Bluffs civic superstar Christine Todd is heading up the Oak Bluffs Association — congratulations to us!

Jimmy Seas will be open this season. An unthinking act of vandalism caused substantial water damage to the iconic restaurant, and the delay is due to the typical insurance adjustments and construction to follow. Bolognese soon.

Crowds are back, parking is gone and we’re open for business. Welcome back to The Sidecar and its delectable small plates! Stop and see new pictures at Allison Shaw’s Gallery in the Arts District if you’re in need of a gasp or sigh of delight. Some of Alison’s photographs are available this evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Windemere’s annual auction, which funds music, yoga and exercise programs. Admission is free. Light fare and wine will be served and contributions are welcome, along with additional auction items like paintings from Ray Ellis, handmade crafts, and memories to be treasured from items like a weekend on a farm on Chappaquiddick.

Tom Dresser is giving a talk on his book Women of Martha’s Vineyard on June 4 at the Oak Bluffs Library at 6:30 p.m.

Support the youth of Martha’s Vineyard at the 19th annual Children’s Benefit Golf Tournament at Farm Neck on Sunday. Tee off is at 8 a.m.

The children of the Martha’s Vineyard School of Ballet are performing Alice in Wonderland on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Performing Arts Center and admission is $10. Oak Bluffs’ Ava McGee is starring in the role of the popular Cheshire Cat.

There is no T or R in Strand but no mopeds in the lobby, either. Progress.

Keep your foot on a rock.