From the Vineyard Gazette editions of April 1906:
Will you permit me to call the attention of our townspeople to a sample proposition looking to the improvement of our village and which seems to me very feasible. The advantage of shade trees need not be argued, because few townspersons could be found who would not desire them if properly placed and of the right kind. The immediate moment for the proposition is opportune for several reasons: There is an apparent awakening of interest in the prosperity of the town; the matter of trees has already been broached, and I am informed that a committee has in prospect the planting of trees in the park; if anything is to be done to best advantage this year it should be done at once; if, as is expected, there shall be a public water supply soon, that fact will make much more easy the care of any young trees that might be planted.
I am able to say that maples and elms of eight to ten feet height, grown at the coast, can be secured at seventy-five cents each delivered in Edgartown. Is it not possible to create an immediate public interest in this matter so that a beginning may be made the present Spring to beautify our village in this particular? If such a thing can be, why not have a general observance of Arbor Day? If property holders are willing to set one tree or more on or opposite their own lot it would secure the public good, and if this could be done somewhat generally and in concerted action, we should have the pleasure of working at once and together for a common purpose. Probably there is no public money available for such purpose this year, but would it not be possible to raise a little money by subscription for a beginning, and let us have a “bee” to plant a few trees.
If the scholars in our schools will think kindly of the proposition they may take a lot of pleasure and do a public service in beginning the adornment of the school grounds. Why not each class that graduates from each department plant a tree to bear the date of their graduation, taking care of it until thoroughly rooted. Time goes so rapidly the good results will be manifest before very long.
It is probably more difficult to make young trees live here than in a different climate and in heavier soil, but we have trees enough now to prove that they can grow, and testimony could be secured for our encouragement from towns overcoming the same general obstacles not far from us.
Florus L. Streeter
Considerable interest is being manifested in the planting trees and shrubs in Edgartown this “Arbor Day” season. In addition to 12 trees which we understand the Park Commission will set out in Memorial Park, the following “memoranda” of trees to be planted is handed to us. We print the same with pleasure, and hope the good work will continue through the entire spring season:
FACTS OF PROGRESS IN THE MATTER OF TREES.
Class of 1906, High School, will contribute and plant two, class of 1905, one, Grammar School contribute and plant one. Enough trees are supplied from the common fund to furnish ten in all for two rows south and north side of the lot. Maples have been chosen and will be set Friday afternoon at half past three.
For the North School, Mrs. Deane’s department contribute and plant one, Miss Pease contributes two from her own home, and Captain Mellen provides two to be placed along the road on the school ground opposite his lot. The primary scholars also contribute a tree. To these several will be added from the common fund. It is decided to put elms on the North School lot.
For the general tree fund the following contributions have been made: Members of the Woman’s Club, six trees; Mr. Thomas Coffin, six trees, cash in hand for two trees.
Besides this, Com. Mills places a tree on his recent purchase, South Water street, and Mr. Thomas Coffin assures the placing of one between the houses owned by the Baptist church next to the bank. The Edgartown National Bank will see that an appropriate tree or shrub is placed in the nook at the rear of their property. Mrs. Fannie A. Deane contributes an elm for a memorial tree to be placed on the lawn of the Methodist Episcopal church. Deacon Charles Mayhew places a row of trees at the front of his lot west side of South Water street, two maples being purchased and the remaining ones transplanted from his lot across the street.
Other work is being done individually which add to the general improvement in this particular. The elaborate landscape scheme being prepared on Senator Butler’s grounds is very apparent. Mr. Henry A. Pease has been planting many trees and shrubs on his newly purchased lot.
Trees have been placed near the drive and about the new house of Mr. King, Tower Hill, some willows have been set along the road leading to the Hill, and Mr. John B. Osborn is considering a row of trees along the drive from South Water Street on his side.
Compiled by Hilary Wall