From the Vineyard Gazette editions of August, 1906:
One of the most important moves for the benefit of the town since its incorporation, is on foot, and has gained much headway within the past week. For a long time some of the best friends of the town have felt dissatisfied with the name of Cottage City on the grounds that the name was a misnomer and did not convey to outsiders a true impression of the benefits to be derived from a summer’s sojourn by the sea or of the beauty of the fine groves of oak, pines and other trees which enable visitors to enjoy both seashore and country life together, on this lovely Island of Martha’s Vineyard, set like a gem in the sea. And on Saturday evening last this dissatisfaction culminated in a meeting of several of the most prominent resident and nonresident property owners in the town, at the residence of Hon. Philip Corbin on Ocean Park.
Behold how good and pleasant it is for neighboring towns to help each other in the spirit of fraternal love and neighborly fellowship. This is quite evident between Chilmark and West Tisbury. The various organizations in these towns give some kind of entertainment from time to time for the purpose of raising money for some good cause. On such occasions it is a pleasant sight to see how Chilmarkers turn out to help the West Tisburyites and vice versa. And why not? Are they not all connected with the sacred ties of blood and marital relationships?
That favorite expression with the newly arrived summer visitor is “Oh, how quaint!” Of course Edgartown is quaint, in some respects, and well she may be. She is old, very old. Still in spite of her great age, she carries her years lightly. Does the average summer visitor realize that Martin Pring and his company of English voyagers from Bristol trod her soil in 1603; that Major John Pease and his companions made the first settlement in 1630; that Charles II, the Merry Monarch, reigned over England, and us, when Edgar’s Towne, in 1671, became an incorporated town ship, named for Prince Edgar, nephew of the king and direct heir to the throne?
Edgartown streets are narrow we grant, but they have resounded to the tread of marching British soldiery during the early wars, and the guns of hostile England have commanded the town as her frigates lay at anchor off Stony Point during the War of 1812. Citizens of Edgartown served His Majesty in the French and Indian Wars, and in the War of the Revolution and in all the wars of the country since the Vineyard patriot was found. Edgartown was old when the larger portion of the country was young or yet to be, and it’s no wonder we are “quaint.” Yes, perhaps quaint is the word, but there is a reason for the quaintness of parts of the town.
That the deposits in the Edgartown National Bank on August 1 stood at $102,837.94, which isn’t a bad showing for an institution which began business only about eight months ago. That an estimate has been made, by one who would seem to be as good an authority that can be found, that there are 175 automobiles on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard at the present time. That they nearly all get to Edgartown within the twenty-four hours seems to be apparent on pleasant days.
That the person in a distant town who informed the master of the three-masted schooner Everett Webster, Philadelphia for Edgartown, that it would be impossible for his vessel drawing 15 feet of water to get into Edgartown harbor and up to a wharf without the aid of a tug. Edgartown has sent in years gone by scores of ships and barks to sea, direct from the dock, drawing from 16 to 19 feet of water. The Webster made her wharf without any difficulty and sailed directly from the dock for Boston.
“Although forty-six and forty-nine inches tall,” informed the posters, “the Misses Sara and Lucy Adams are possessed of good histrionic ability and talent out of all proportion to their size.” And the entertainment that was given by the talented Vineyard favorites, at the Agricultural Hall Friday evening, substantiated every word of the poster’s announcement. The petite artistes who, as inimitable entertainers have won numerous laurels wherever they have appeared from Maine to California, not only admirably sustained their well-established reputation, but even out-did themselves. Their catchy songs, their artistic readings, their entertaining dialogues, their Grecian art tableaux consisting of perfectly statuesque characterizations of certain emotions and actions and mythological stories, and especially their beautiful costumes, captured every heart and delighted every eye in the large audience. The suspension act which was performed by Miss Sara Adams, gives the spectator the impression of actual suspension in all sorts of postures between the ceiling and the floor of the stage. The device used in producing this complete and fascinating illusion has been invented by the entertainers.
Compiled by Alison Mead