From the August 28, 1964 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

One of the memorable places of summer is the water’s edge, a shifting conjunction of elements which may be shared by those who anticipate it from year to year.

To the water’s edge come vacationers of all ages, but for childhood the appointment has its most enduring spell. Sand castles are not what they used to be in the life of summer, but a different romance has come in; pails and shovels are replaced with flippers and skindiving goggles, and nowadays it is mostly adults who walk slowly, collecting shells and pebbles. All ages, though, will remember nothing more clearly and nostalgically in the long months ahead than the bright hours spent at the water’s edge.

The fog which had hugged up-Island during the morning lifted its ethereal breath just long enough to permit a large number of stalwart sailors to attempt two races on Menemsha Pond Sunday afternoon. A slight mist, which rested on the surface f the water, and a virtual lack of wind added sobriety and melancholy to a scene which for the last week had been sunny and windy. One could see the ghostly frigates creeping slowly over the becalmed water, as they rounded the markers in a valiant and at times seemingly futile attempt to reach the finishing line, which loomed in the distance like the retreating image in a dream.

The Harpoon, captained by Dr. Johnson in his last race of the season, prevailed over the low ceiling to strike the final mark in a considerable lead over the other boats to take a pair of firsts. Colin Pease at the helm of the Virginia Creeper took a second and a third, but he seemed at times to be following a course unknown to the other boats as he drifted off through the mist toward a non-existent buoy, going a considerable distance before he regained his sense of direction. Jimmy May in the Go-Go put out his usually impressive performance by taking fourth in both races.

Providing the only color and gaiety in the gloom with its multicolored sails and hulls, the Sailfish class glided past the starting mark at the gun with all eyes strained hopefully in search of the handicap class and the first buoy. The Ghoti outsped all other boats in the race to win a close race, as Myra Harrison demonstrated her sailing prowess. Rebounding from a disqualification, Tim Upson showed that he is no quitter as his Untouchabel outraced all other boats to win the second contest. Molly Stone’s Hangover proved to be no slouch by taking a commendable second and fourth in its respective races, but received stiff competition from Bob Wheatley, whose Gemini left its twin boats behind to come in third and second.

The enthusiasm which was exemplified by the large turnout Sunday in the face of such bad racing conditions is indicative of the pioneering and competitive spirit which has for so long been a Vineyard tradition. It is indeed worthy of praise.

Those who wish to visualize the Tivoli as it was in the era for which it was built should look at a full page advertisement in the Martha’s Vineyard Directory, a 214-page, hard cover volume published for the year 1907. It is the Tivoli which is now to be razed to make way for a new Oak Bluffs town building, and for an era considerably changed since 1907.

The advertisement reads: “The Tivoli, the New Casino, Oak Bluffs Avenue, Oak Bluffs, Mass. H. S. Peirce, Proprietor, House Furnisher, 661 South Water street, New Bedford, Mass.” As to the identity of Mr. Peirce, the Gazette files seem to offer no illuminating evidence.

The advertisement, however, includes a reproduction of a photograph of the Tivoli, complete with towers, flags, and a banner bearing this name and displayed from the seaward tower. The balcony of the casino is shown thronged with people, and in the street in the foreground are half a dozen horse drawn carriages, three vintage automobiles with tops, and one open touring car. In June, 1907, work was progressing rapidly in the construction of the new Sea View, now the Martha’s Vineyard hotel. The reception for graduates of the Oak Bluffs High School was held at the Tivoli.

“The season of 1907 will be remembered favorably for two important building operations,” wrote the Oak Bluffs correspondent of the Gazette, the erection of the fine hotel, the New Sea View, and the imposing Peirce Block, at the head of Oak Bluffs wharf.”

Incidentally, the name of the post-office was changed from Cottage City to Oak Bluffs on May 7, 1907.

It isn’t just the opening of school that impends, as September comes on apace. Here comes the resumption of club meetings on the Island, too, and when club meetings begin, can cribbage be far behind?

There is a tide in the affairs of men and women, and anyone living on Martha’s Vineyard can feel it changing just as surely as the altered atmosphere out of doors will be eloquent of the shift of summer into early fall.

Compiled by Hilary Wall