From the July 1, 1960 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

The long boat strike came to an end last night after the ratification of an agreement with the unlicensed men closely following the pattern of that previously reached with the licensed men. The agreement is, in essence, the modified 0-4-4 proposal which had received widespread publicity.

The engines of the Islander were turned over at 10:30 last night, and operation will begin today, with regularly scheduled operation to start tomorrow. The steamer Nantucket is expected to begin operation tomorrow.

The strike lasted seventy-six days, not counting the April 1 to April 15 so-called wildcat strike of the officers of the Nantucket.

The strike began with a partial tie-up when the officers of the Nantucket refused to sail that vessel without multiple manning of the bridge, claiming that under the past practices clause this could be demanded. The Authority countered with a suit in the amount of $100,000 for breach of contract. The suit has since been withdrawn by agreement.

There were rumors that the crews of all vessels would walk out in sympathy with the Nantucket officers, but they waited until April 15 and, on the expiration of the old contract, went on strike and presented a series of demands which were published in the Gazette.

The strike was but a week or so old, and the reaction of the public on the Islands seemed uncertain still, when in a full-page advertisement the Authority published the existing wage scale and summary of payments and benefits. That did it. The lot of the Authority personnel was so conspicuously better than that of workers of all kinds, skilled, professional, and all other, on the Vineyard and Nantucket, that the resolution of the Islands solidified and never relaxed.

The first great test came with the approach of the Memorial Day weekend, traditionally a big occasion of the arriving season. But the Islands dug in, gritted their teeth and saw it through. Meantime, arrangements for emergency transportation multiplied and were improved. A debt of Island gratitude to such captains as Alfred Vanderhoop and Walter Manning of the Papoose and the Bozo was incurred. Trucking firms took losses and cooperated. Freight came through. It came through in quantity and in good time.

The Martha’s Vineyard Transportation Committee was formed, and ultimately the steel barge Spirit of Martha’s Vineyard, with Capt. Charles W. Vanderhoop Jr. on deck, went into service to carry cars.

The loyal summer public of the Vineyard supported the Island, and the streets became well filled with vacationers who would have come, so it was said, if they had had to swim.

But there were losses and heavy losses to the Island because of the strike, though most businessmen and workmen did not complain. It will probably never be known what the cost of the strike came to for the Vineyard and Nantucket. But it was great for the strikers.

And now the great strike is over and the business of the summer begins.

Although the steamboat strike has ended by today, the preparations for handling the Fourth of July crowd included the stepping up of the emergency services in moving cars across the Sound.

Capt. Charles W. Vanderhoop Jr., manager of the Island Transportation Committee, announced on Saturday that the steel barge and tug, operating for the committee under his direction, was starting a twenty-four-hour operation. With two crews alternating, the barge was to shuttle around the clock, and Captain Vanderhoop said that a hundred cars a day could be handled.

Up to Saturday afternoon, this barge had handled five hundred cars, he said, including trailer-trucks with cargoes weighing up to twenty tons, yet not one claim for damage had been made.

Much attention has been attracted by the large sign carried by the barge: Spirit of the Vineyard. Yellow stickers have been given to car-owners also, and many of them have been carried. They read: Brought to the Island by the Spirit of Martha’s Vineyard.

Captain Vanderhoop told the Gazette that insofar as vehicles are concerned, the strike could have no effect whatever from this point on. “We will have the backlog of cars entirely eliminated within a few days, and we can easily keep up with the normal flow of automobile traffic,” he said.

One wonders what the summer of 1960 will be like on the Vineyard. It is late in starting, not entirely because of the boat strike; even the weather and nature have seemed somewhat laggard. But now the season is underway, and what will it be like?

One suspects that, in essence, it will be like the summer seasons stretching far, far back into the past, and therein is the special attraction of Martha’s Vineyard for those who bear this Island loyalty and firm regard. Even with the fullest use of automobiles and other devices and conveniences of modern times, the real rewards here are unchanged, and modernity takes second place, in a sense, and serves only to facilitate the enjoyment of old occupations.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox