From the November 14, 1918 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

When the Gazette went to press on Thursday of last week the news had been received shortly before that “The armistice had been signed and hostilities had been called off.” Immediately Edgartown, like all the rest of the country, started in to jubilate and the jubilations did not cease until it was ascertained for sure that the country had been hoaxed in the premature sending across of the alleged “big news.”

The big news first came to Edgartown at 4 a.m. on Monday through a telephone to Mr. Chester E. Pease from Mrs. George D. Flynn of Fall River, with a request to forward it to Mr. Flynn at Pohogonut, who was stopping at his place there with a party of friends. Mr. Pease quickly called up a few friends and gave them the glad tidings, and when Steamer Uncatena went out at 5:30 Capt. Marshall ordered the whistle blown from the wharf to beyond the Harbor Light.

But most of the people here were made aware that the great world event had surely happened and that the war was about to end victoriously, when at 6:30 a.m. of this week, the Congregational church bell began to ring, quickly followed by the bells of the other churches. Soon with bells clanging, autos honking, horns tooting, and all the other noises that young America knows so well how to produce on short notice, the old town started in on a varied program of celebration which did not end until after the light bearers of the evening had burned out their last torch and the rejoicers had wended their way home in the midnight hours. The racket and din was almost constant through the day of Monday. It was the greatest and best news possible to a war-weary world, and all wanted to do something to keep from bursting their belts.

The Rally at the Town Hall on Tuesday evening followed, which was an occasion of much interest and perhaps in a more conventional way testified to the interest of our people in the great conclusion which had been brought about. While the spirit of rejoicing was certainly present in the meeting to a good degree, the several speakers dwelt much on the great work which yet confronts the United States and allied nations in working out the problems which will follow peace, one of which will be to feed a world already short of food.

The meeting was presided over by Beriah T. Hillman, Esq., the instrumental music was furnished by Miss Hattie L. Shut and Mr. Richard G. Shute, the singing by a chorus and the audience. Rev. F. A. Balcom made the prayer, and addresses were given by Mr. Hillman, Rev. Arthur Wadsworth, Rev. Ernest A. Royal, and Mr. Alfred A. Averill chairman of the Board of Selectmen. Rev. Mr. Royal sang very finely “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” the audience joining in the chorus. After Mr. Henry A. Pease, chairman of the local committee, had explained briefly the aim of the United War Work campaign, the drive now being on in Edgartown and the Island, a collection was taken which amounted to $33.50. Miss Laura Dennett and Miss Louise Meikleham were the collectors. Mr. Wadsworth sang with much effect “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” and the audience enthusiastically applauded.

Taking a review of all that was said and done in Edgartown from Monday morning until Tuesday night it can be again stated that the old town fittingly and enthusiastically observed the virtual end of the Great World War.


Oak Bluffs: The good news that Peace had come was celebrated her on Monday with much enthusiasm. Bells were rung, whistles blew from the Gas House and Power House, and tugs and vessels in the harbor.

During the forenoon the town was enlivened by the appearance of a fine parade from Edgartown with automobiles gaily decorated with flags, the Red Cross Car attracting special attention and cheers. In the afternoon Oak Bluffs formed a parade and went about the town and visited Edgartown.

The cars looked fine with the abundance of flags and the girls of the High School had their car prettily decorated with flags and red, white and blue bunting around the body of the car and across the top an arched rod covered with white fancy tissue paper. The girls and teachers had bells which they rang and trumpets and whistles which aided in giving expression to their patriotic spirits.

In the evening there was a patriotic rally at the Methodist church at which several speakers took part.

After the exercises at the church the people of the town went to Waban Park where a huge bonfire was made and sent up its flames in the air as an eloquent expression of the peoples thanks that the awful carnage of war has ceased and the Allies had triumphed.

Late at night after people had returned to their homes the church bells were again rung for a short time. There is no doubt that the inhabitants of Martha’s Vineyard are patriotic and loyal to their country and our Flag, and always stand on the side of justice and right.

Compiled by Hilary Wall