Jeremiah Pease (April 8, 1792 - June 5,1857) was a man to whom Oak Bluffs owes much. Religious, possibly to the point of zealotry as often described by others, he was a good looking man — as was his wife with whom he raised 10 children. Known for selecting the spot for the Camp Ground, Mr. Pease’s real contribution comes from the diaries he kept that told the story of those halcyon days. Jeremiah’s work and activities were exhausting.
In 1974 the historical society (today Martha’s Vineyard Museum) began publishing the diaries in the Dukes County Intelligencer that he wrote from 1819 until his death in 1857. Although he was born, lived, died and was buried in Edgartown, he spent much of his life in the Oak Bluffs neighborhoods of Eastville and Farm Neck. In addition to his work with the church as an officer and minister, he traveled extensively. He was the first keeper of the Edgartown Lighthouse, a customs officer, cordwainer, farmer (hay, oats, corn,) surveyor, bone setter, carpenter, shoemaker, tent builder and chorister. He had the resources to invest in whaling and received funds from the sale of whale oil. He somehow found time to slaughter hogs, paint, pick blueberries, cut trees, chop firewood, fish and eel.
As part of his ministry he traveled on horseback or in carriages and walked when necessary to marry people and be with them at death. He wrote about these occurrences using expressions such as “died a happy death” and “peacefully and triumphant” — all suggesting close familiarity with the event. He also was an abolitionist and you can sense his warmth and sensitivity when he wrote about the Chappaquiddick funeral of Betsey Carter, “a pious coloured woman” in 1842, and Farm Neck’s Sister Celia Johnson in 1847.
His diary entries all had a weather report including wind speed and direction. It is thought that his son William gave him a thermometer in December 1847 because after that, he included temperatures in his reports. One Pease diary for the day ended: “Sinners awakened, Souls Converted. God grant to carry on this work to his own glory.” That was a pretty good description of Jeremiah Pease whose life, devoted to the cause, ended from heart disease June 5, 1857, 10 years before the Oak Bluffs Land & Wharf Company would meet with the Camp Meeting Association to announce plans of its soon-to-come new neighbor.
Tomorrow morning is the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services’ electronic disposal day. Reduce the clutter of electronic things broken and deliver them to Community Services across from the high school.
The Portuguese-American Club is hosting a fundraising dinner tomorrow evening on behalf of Lena Araujo Vanderhoop. Please stop by. Tickets are $15 and donations are graciously accepted.
Sunday is the anniversary of the day in 1962 that Oak Bluffs Capt. George H. Fisher’s 83-foot scalloper, the Stanley M. Fisher made its largest catch ever — netting the Navy’s first nuclear submarine, the 319-foot U.S.S. Nautilus. According to an account in the Gazette, Lieut. Commander L.W. Zech “ordered the crew to clear away the nets and cautioned Captain Fisher to remain silent about the incident.” Returning to port, of course Captain Fisher had the best story ever about the one that got away. A spokesman indicated Commander Zech’s reassignment had nothing to do with the incident. (And water’s not wet and gamblers don’t bet and cement’s not hard and Crisco’s not lard, right?). Today the Nautilus is a living museum at Groton — decommissioned on March 3, 1980 after 25 years of meritorious service. Captain Fisher, we salute you.
At the Oak Bluffs Library Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Miki teaches how to transition from a PC and windows to a Mac and on Thursday at 3 p.m. learn how to keep yourself safe online, including stronger passwords you can actually remember.
The long-whispered exciting rumors are true, Kathy and Paul Domitrovich’s Lola’s returns and reopens May 1. Fat Ronnie’s Burgers opens this evening and the front door to MV Gourmet Bakery next to the post office opens next Thursday. Back Door Doughnuts reopens next Friday night — fritters are back! Ironically, the Side Car — the original home of Jimmy Seas, won’t be reopening — and regretfully, neither will the immensely popular Jimmy Seas.
My friend and everyone’s good neighbor Gretchen Coleman-Thomas has been diagnosed with kidney disease and is undergoing dialysis. An approved patient at the Transplant Institute of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, she is in need of a transplant. For information on donating a kidney to Gretchen, please contact the transplant center at 617-632-9700.
If you missed town meeting, the beautiful cover of the annual town report by Rosemary Hildreth alone is worth picking up from town hall — besides the good news inside.
Keep your foot on a rock.