From the June 24, 1927 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

“The old order changes, giving place to new,” was well demonstrated at the opening dance held the other week at Chilmark Tavern, once well-known as Elliot Mayhew’s store.

An addition and the remodeling of what was once the dry goods department in years gone by have provided space for a tea room and a dance floor, both of which were well patronized at the opening night.

What a change of scenery in a couple of decades! Dancing in Chilmark, to begin with, is a thing which would have shocked the parents of many who were present on Tuesday evening, especially as it took place on the very spot where for years one of the staunchest pillars of the Methodist church measured calico and sold men’s trousers, although it should be said that Mr. Mayhew loved to see people enjoy themselves and never begrudged them harmless pleasure.

The store was built by Elliot Mayhew and his brother Arthur at Quitsa in 1875 and was conducted there for about a year by the two brothers.

It was then moved to its present site and was known by the name of its proprietor, “Elliot’s”, up to the time of his retirement in 1912, when it was sold to Ernest J. Dean. Mr. Dean conducted the same line of business and sold it to Charles Turner in 1918.

After continuing without any marked change in the business until last year, Mr. Turner sold the store to Benjamin R. West, the present proprietor.

During the half century that it has stood there, the store has been the gathering place for the people of Menemsha each evening. As the post office has been in the building since it was moved from the Middle road many years ago, there was an added incentive for people to drop in at mail time and the practice has continued without serious interruption up to the present day.

While the store proper and post office have been slightly altered, they are much the same as they were 25 years ago, and the rubber boot cases still sit in a row in front of the counter with lids polished to a glassy smoothness by the trousers of three or four generations of Chilmarkers who have sat there waiting for the mail to open.

The hitching posts have long since disappeared from the roadside in front of the building, but there is no need of them in this horseless age. In place of the shed filled with grain in the rear there is a gasoline pump and a stock of tires and accessories.

Yet it is still the country store, a place of quaintness and charm, where men in boots and overalls with stubbles of beard on their chins may still be seen exchanging dry witticisms and keenly pointed jokes.

There is still a comfortable seat by the stove in winter or in the cool breeze from the door in summer where a man may loaf for a half hour and smoke his pipe without being scowled at.

And yet a single partition separates this survival of a more moderate age from an institution as modern as bobbed hair and rainbow colored stockings and the new business occupies the most space.

Mrs. Carrol Noseworthy of Vineyard Haven received a letter from relatives in England by airplane mail on Saturday. Just what this means is not quite clear, but evidently the letter was carried by airplane at both ends of the route. Mrs. Noseworthy has been told that she is the first Islander to receive a letter in this way. The postage was one shilling and a half-penny which is about 26 cents.

The letter bore two postage stamps of the value mentioned, also a third stamp, dark blue, with “Airplane Mail” printed upon it in black letters.

Service by the Boston Airport Transportation Company may be said to have begun on Wednesday when Albertus Cahoon and Mrs. Richard Foote of West Tisbury, and Clinton West of Edgartown hopped off in the first flight from Katama Field with Pilot Hopkins. They flew in Miss Martha’s Vineyard, which, with Miss Nantucket, will take care of daily delivery of Boston newspapers, sport hops, passenger service to Boston, and chartered trips to New York.

The planes are beautifully constructed with attention to strength of fabric and comfort in the passenger compartment which resembles the interior of a sedan to some extent.

There is little difference between the instrument board and that of an automobile, except that there are two steering wheels which are installed for the purpose of instruction and to permit two drivers to relieve each other without changing seats.

It is hard to imagine a circumstance where this would be necessary since the pilot may leave the wheel, once the plane is in the air and smoke or move about the plane freely. This was done both on the trip up from Nantucket and on the last run to Boston.

As to the ease in handling, which seems destined to make flying popular, the controls of the plane were turned over to Mrs. Foote on this, her first flight, and she handled the ship without the slightest difficulty.

Compiled by Hilary