I’m of course partial, but Oak Bluffs may be one of the best places for Thanksgiving, if that’s something on your schedule next week. Born of myth and mandated by a popular president in unpopular times there are several deltas where the histories of our town and the event intersect. Related to the myth, Oak Bluffs was called Ogkeshkuppe by the original people in the fall of 1621 when King Massasoit and 90 of his Wampanoag men sat down to share a three-day long meal with the Pilgrims, the 53 survivors of the Mayflower who had migrated to their shores. About 100 Wampanoag’s lived in Ogkeshkuppe back then and it wasn’t until 1642 that the first white man – Joseph Daggett — moved to Farm Neck and married Ahoma, the daughter of the leader of the Sanchekontackett sachem. No one date is certain but the event took place sometime between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11 and turkey was not one of the dishes served. Sarah J. Hale, an abolitionist and editor of the popular Godey’s Magazine, that heavily influenced fashion even in Oak Bluffs, lobbied 5 presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, to adopt Thanksgiving as an annual event. He did and Ms. Hale advised homemakers that turkey was the protein for the repast. In 1863, Lincoln proclaimed a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens” would be celebrated on the last Thursday of November. Lincoln’s public relations goal was to salve the wounds of the Civil War by convincing families to again sit down at a meal.

President Lincoln never made it to the Vineyard but President Ulysses Grant did. What else the two had in common was the Monohansett, the side wheel steamer built in 1862 by the New Bedford, Martha’s Vineyard, & Nantucket Steamboat Company. The 182-foot ferry made its first trip to the Island on June 1, 1862, and was chartered by the Union Army in August 1862 as a dispatch boat during the war. General Grant was fond of the Monohansett, President Abraham Lincoln and his wife also spent time aboard her, and it was the vessel that conveyed Ulysses S. Grant after he became president and visited Oak Bluffs in 1874.

This Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. those crazy kids at the Oak Bluffs Library have scheduled what they call an Amazing Race, where families and friends of all ages compete as a team to complete challenges all around the library. Also, from Tuesday, Nov. 22 to Saturday, Nov. 26 (closed Thursday) there’s a Scavenger Hunt to keep kids busy while on vacation, with hunts for readers and pre-readers and prizes for all.

Trinity United Methodist Church hosts a Holiday Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Trinity Parish Hall in the Camp Ground. Accompanied by a lunch of clam chowder, gluten free chicken and rice soup and vegetarian minestrone soup with hot rolls and beverages, the bazaar has something for everyone. Included is jewelry, crafts, greens, a white elephant sale and knitting. What’s ‘greens’, kale? Everyone is welcome to stop by. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were enough homes open in the campground for a holiday light competition? That would be magical!

Featherstone Center for the Arts begins its 14th Annual Holiday Gift Show Friday, Nov. 18. The preview party is from 6 to 8 p.m. with refreshments. Featherstone is open every day from noon to 4 p.m. until Dec. 18 so you can shop for holiday gifts.

WCVB-TV, Boston channel 5’s Chronicle aired a special this past Monday that was produced by Oak Bluffs’ Shayna Seymour called Main Streets and Back Roads/Martha’s Vineyard. The show portrayed why autumn is so fabulous on the Island, highlighting cool, crisp days, a calmer pace. It also showed a kayak tour and a video essay on the derby, the Kelley House Hotel and several Island celebs. Featured were the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s Katy Fuller, Oak Bluffs resident Elizabeth Rothwell of the Harbor View (and Kelley House) Hotel, photographer Peter Simon and our very own, self-taught artist Harry Seymour, Shayna Seymour’s father. To see the show, check out wcvb.com/article/chronicle-msbr-martha-s-vineyard-seg-3/8290729.

Perhaps it’s the paucity of rain that provided us with the gorgeous colors of fall and last week’s huge new moon was worthy of marvel. It’s easy to be thankful to be in Oak Bluffs for Thanksgiving, and I hope you are too.

Keep your foot on a rock.

Send Oak Bluffs news to sfinley@mvgazette.com.