The early summer heat and confounded traffic that snarled everywhere except the roundabout is making the Vineyard Transportation Authority’s #7, #9 and #13 Oak Bluffs buses into bargains, if not blessings. The apocryphal story I’ve heard is that due to the debris Hurricane Sandy dropped into the water along the Jersey shore, it’s too dangerous to swim, and vacationers have chosen the Island as a replacement destination. Cottage City has always found ways to assist with the transportation needs of its visitors with the goal of making it more convenient for travelers to empty their deep pockets before departing.

The majestic Highland House Hotel opened in June of 1871 with its own wharf (where the East Chop Beach clubhouse is today) and was built by the Vineyard Grove Company to compete with the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company’s Seaview House. Separated by Lake Anthony and a mere thousand yards from the original wharf, the four-story, 150-room hotel provided a horse-drawn trolley to deliver boat passengers to the heart of the campgrounds. It eventually extended this street railway down Lake avenue, up Seaview and onto Waban Park with a four-car line. By 1873 though, the service ended.

From 1874 to 1895 the Martha’s Vineyard Railroad tracks used a steam engine that ran from the Steamship Authority along the bluff towards Town Beach, the Inkwell and State Beaches, all the way to Katama in an effort to share Cottage City’s burgeoning commerce with Edgartown.

From 1890 to 1894 another horse-drawn trolley took passengers from downtown Cottage City to Lagoon Heights, passing the Prospect House Hotel on the way to its wharf on the Lagoon.

Cottage City, the first Island town to have electricity, was also probably the first in southeastern Massachusetts when, in 1884, the first two generators were fired up in the Highlands. Electric power was provided for street lights in Ocean Park — and the Seaview House Hotel – but was rarely used for interiors of buildings and homes. Ultimately, a new plant was built at Eastville to service an electric railway from Cottage City to the bridge at the Lagoon where passengers were then barged across the harbor since there was no solution to a train over the drawbridge. Later in the 1800s the unsuccessful Windermere Land Company developers devoted a great deal of attention to the railway whose seven mile round trip took 12 minutes. That railway shut down in 1918 after automobiles, taxis and busses became the major forms of transportation.

Speaking of buses, interestingly enough, the graphics that wrapped our new local tour buses have been toned down with a map of the Island replacing some of the more talked about caricatures.

Island kid Ian Minor’s second annual Battle of the Bluffs basketball clinic and four team tournament was a success last Friday and Saturday even though the New York team won the dinner at Hooked. On Friday the big guys taught fundamentals to small kids and pre-teens. The Hartford team showed up in a taxi just before game time.

The Lagoon Pond Association is again offering low-cost, 50-gallon rain barrels for $81 at the Sailing Camp from 8 to 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. More information is available at Tomorrow afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m. stop by the season’s first Oak Bluffs Arts District Gala Gallery Stroll on Dukes County avenue for fun, food and of course, art. I’ll be there with the Gazette’s new old truck if you’d like to stop by and say hi. It would be nice if that short section of the street could be blocked from traffic for the few hours of the celebration.

Jimmy Sea’s restaurant was vandalized over the winter. In what may be the crossover musical coup of the season, in honor of his planned reopening next week a pre-opening show will be held at R Bar at Hooked on Saturday night. Jimmy expected to host a group of legendary rock stars for dinner this weekend but construction delays foiled the plan. Instead, an extraordinary band composed of former members of Boston, The Wailers, the James Brown band, Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers — highlighted by Jeffrey Skunk Baxter—are performing for the special one-time event tomorrow night at 9 p.m. at R Bar. Sounds like the hot ticket to me.

The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Golf Tournament is at Farm Neck on Sunday and the cocktail party with a purpose starts at 5 p.m.

The Tanglewood Marionettes present a puppet show, the Dragon King, Monday at 6 p.m. at the Tabernacle in the camp grounds, fun family entertainment with donations accepted.

This week, Renaissance House at 31 Pennacook presents Susan Klein on memoir writing at 7:30 p.m. on Monday and Holly Nadler speaks Tuesday on how to blossom from the shadow of her husband (I’m pretty sure we know which one she’ll be speaking about).

Happy birthday Captain William A. Martin next Wednesday, July 17, 1830 to September 5, 1907, son of the slave Rebecca of Chilmark and one of the members of one of the shortest lists of all time — black whaling captains.

The Cottagers House Tour is next Thursday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to its website. Tickets are $25 and are available at C’est La Vie and Cousen Rose.

The Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament starts Thursday. Dun dun dun dun…go Bruce!

The Library Friends of Oak Bluffs has its annual book sale at the Oak Bluffs Public School from Thursday to Saturday starting at 10 a.m. each day for the benefit of the library.

Welcome back Vanessa — all’s right in Farm Pond for another year and the whole town is delighted you’re back.

Word for the day: Brobdingnagian. For NStar’s new Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road telephone poles.

Keep your foot on a rock.