From the September 11, 1942 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

The passing of Labor Day on the Vineyard this week was truly traditional. Known from generations past as the day of the exodus of summer visitors, it was marked for that event as usual, and the movement of people was not less than the regular rule. Close to 3,000 people left the Island on four different trips during the course of the day, a total of 2,650 being accounted for officially, the rest being estimated.

This is very close to the top figure in Labor Day traffic during the past seventeen years. Although there have not been nearly so many cars on the Island this year as usual, the number was considerable, and the fact that the boat company lacks facilities for handling cars as in previous years, caused many people to leave a day or two, or three, earlier than they intended.

That fact accounted for the large crowds that left each morning through the week, but seemingly, it had little or no effect on the Labor Day exodus, to judge from appearances and the official figures. The 4:30 boats, two in number, took the bulk of the crowd as usual. The passengers gathered on foot and in cars, long, long ahead of the sailing time, at the Oak Bluffs pier. There they were as they have been each Labor Day for a century, different only as to dress. The pioneers of this shore resort would have probably shrieked and fainted in windows, if they could have looked upon this scene. But times have changed, and no one was excited.

Yes, there they were, old, young and middle-aged, the only missing figures being the college youths. They were not there. The college girls, their little brothers and sisters, their parents, cousins and aunts, but not the college boys. He either had no vacation or he has enlisted.

The group that was leaving, loaded with suitcases, raincoats and babies, was divided into the usual three portions. One was on the dock, where the worried ones congregated and milled in a closely-packed circle. One was at the head of the wharf, where there was unlimited space, but where instinct compelled them to jam as closely as possible, obstructing the gangway for the third group, who were also worried for fear they would be left behind and who would periodically charge on the dock-head like a regiment of vodka-maddened Cossacks of the Don, battering their way through to the ticket-taker who nonchalantly would inform them that the boat was not yet in sight.

But the traditional gaiety was all there. The hails and farewells, the picnic spirit, the holiday glamor, and the sincerity revealed that the season was over, the vacation passed, and that the mainland and its duties beckoned.

The first boat loaded, and her upper decks were clouded with waving handkerchiefs, to which waved back some scores from the beach walk. Then she moved, and with her chorus of whistle-blasts sailed away, followed by the wild honking of auto horns, shouted goodbyes and regretful looks from the remaining crowd. The second boat was loaded as well, and with the same orderly confusion, for there is never any real disorder on Island docks; and only those who had come down to say goodbye remained.

Slowly they vanished, one by one, or two by two, until only a few taxi drivers remained, talking it over, and agreeing, one and all, that it hadn’t been a half-bad season, that continued warm weather would bring still more vacationists, that everyone had made some money this year, and that it was a pretty good world after all. Labor Day had passed, and another official summer had passed with it.

Negotiations are under way which will remove an ancient landmark from its original site in Eastville, Oak Bluffs, and transfer it to Edgartown. This is the Oliver Linton House, so called, which is in process of being purchased by Mrs. Mabel Farr of Edgartown. The house will eventually be taken apart in sections, or “flanked”, and moved to Edgartown, in the vicinity of the Eel Pond, and there restored. This work is being done by H. C. Hancock and Son, Vineyard Haven contractors.

Records show that the Linton house is one of the oldest on the Island. In the annals of Oak Bluffs, Banks History of Martha’s Vineyard, the house is referred to as the Claghorn Tavern, but it is not clear whether the tavern keeper built the house or whether it had been standing for some time before it became a tavern. In either event, it seems quite clear that the house is at least two hundred years old.

The locality in which it stands was a principal landing place in those days, with a wharf at the end of Old County Road, and certain places of business nearby. It is this house in which Capt. James Lawrence, hero of the loss of the frigate Chesapeake, was said to have slept before sailing forth to his death, and Paul Jones and Isaac Hull are also said to have lodged there. Tales of romance and mystery have always been told of this portion of Eastville, known to older people as the Barbary Coast, and the old house has figured in many of these.

Compiled by Hilary Wall