Although the first federal census was taken in 1790, over 100 years after Martha’s Vineyard was discovered, Oak Bluffs was a part of Edgartown so we don’t know how many people lived here. From 1775 to 1830 there were no separate population figures. But we do know the Eastville neighborhood that included Farm Neck had 15 homes and about 91 year-round people. The town was founded fundamentally as a resort for Methodists in 1835 and further developed by the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company. The success of the efforts led to our becoming a place where folks chose to live. According to Ellen Weiss’s book City in the Woods, there were 769 cottages and our population of about 672 persons in 1880 grew to over 1,000 by the time of our emancipation when we seceded in 1907, becoming an independent, year-round town.

Estimates for 2016 ( indicate our 4,839 persons live in 2,163 households where 67 per cent of us own and 33 per cent rent. The median income is $78,422, with 1,024 households (47 per cent) earn less than the median amount, and over a third (36 per cent) earn less than $50,000 annually. It is an older population with 1,098 of us 65 or older and 2,168 of us (45 per cent) 50 or older. The simple math is that over half of Oak Bluffs’s year round population is not in a position to buy a house, a fact confirmed by the Martha’s Vineyard All Island Planning Board’s Housing Production Plan sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

According to the commission’s website our 7.1 square miles account for 7.6 per cent of the total area of the Island, 27.5 per cent of its population and 25.6 per cent of its homes — 46 per cent of which are occupied year-round compared with only 25 per cent of Chilmark’s. Of the scant 411 affordable homes on Martha’s Vineyard, we account for 35.5 per cent. Of the 4,544 acres comprising Oak Bluffs, based on a 2009 commission report, 46 per cent are developed and 30 per cent are protected, leaving 24 per cent, or about 1.7 miles, available for development. Thought needs to be given to the plight of affordable housing and the All Island Planning Board seeks your opinion. Please fill out the survey at There will be another public meeting on the subject in November.

The Oak Bluffs Public Library is bringing back the Twin Peaks television show, a cult classic that returns next summer. The library is featuring the first two seasons every Thursday at 7 p.m. and serving coffee and pie, apparently a theme from the show.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25 enjoy a pre-Halloween event, Holly’s Hauntings, with ghost expert Holly Nadler who will expound on her brushes with the supernatural, including her exploration of the Marine Hospital, the new home of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Meanwhile, Island residents are invited to tour the museum’s exhibits for free on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until May 13, 2017, starting Oct. 29. Beginning Thursday, Oct. 27 Nan Doty will be leading a free four-part Qigong class, where participants will learn and practice gentle movement, guided meditation, breathing and self-massage. Registration is required in person or by phone and classes are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

This Saturday, Oct. 22 is Martha’s Vineyard Community Services’ Electronics Disposal Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its campus across from the high school. Sponsored by Bruno’s Roll Off this is a fundraiser where you can get rid of electronics for small fees ranging from $2 to $30. A new feature of the event is that community services will be collecting non-perishable food for the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. The definition of non-perishable is within the expiration date, not dented or opened and clearly labeled. Electronics Disposal Day is always busy, so bring coffee to enjoy while on line or your tablet to enjoy online.

Vera & Alex is the relatively new children’s clothing store on Circuit avenue with a wide selection of charming attire for those who are new parents or grandparents. Your patronage can make the difference in having a cool place to go offseason when something special is needed for a birthday or special occasion. Speaking of charming, Jordan Rebello is featured in the November Allure Magazine that will be available at Tony’s Market, Our Market and other places on the Island that sell magazines. Young Jordan makes us all proud to be from OB. Keep your foot on a rock.

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