From the March 3, 1967 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

It’s now March, but that is hardly anything to brag about. This is the month in which people who are sick of winter are going to get more of it. Song sparrows and cardinals are singing on the Vineyard, buds are swelling, daffodils are peaking above the ground, but real spring must still be earned through a March ordeal of high wind and high deceit.

Of course there are redeeming elements. Mornings are brighter, April is nearer, February has gone astern, the sun is warmer. Old time Vineyarders recall that their grandfathers planted potatoes in March, though how they did it is a mystery. People talk of spring and, in spite of the bitter experience of other years, seem to expect spring.

March is the high month for respiratory diseases, it is a month in which talk runs to optimism and emotions to pessimism. It is a month that dramatizes the human dilemma and is more successful than any modern novelist in concealing what the human dilemma is.

But March is a part of the year and cannot be disowned. With luck, we may have a warm day or two; with a lot of luck we may have days as warm as some of those in January. And the earth is really revolving around the sun; it hasn’t stopped dead in its tracks as one would assume.

Hail to March! It’s a rugged month, but let’s hail to it anyway.

The Hine’s Point footbridge, existing for the past half-century or more merely as a ledge of stones extending across the western cove of Lagoon Pond, is vanishing under the operation of a traveling crane.

This ledge of rocks, through which only a very narrow passage allowed boats to travel to and from the head of the cove, has disturbed boatmen and shellfishermen for years, and a year ago it was voted in the Tisbury town meeting to have it removed. Subsequently, the contract for the removal was awarded to the Goodale Construction Company of Vineyard Haven.

It is believed that a better circulation of water over shellfish beds will result, and it will also allow silt to spread farther and more evenly when washed into the cove from Bass Creek. Furthermore, boats will be able to operate in the cove with much greater freedom.

However, the removal of this final portion of the bridge winds up a chapter of Vineyard Haven history which provided its own brilliance during the era of the gay nineties, and probably the eighties as well.

The Hine family, wealthy seasonal residents, friendly with the year-round inhabitants whom they met on a common ground as people who loved boats and water, owned the greater part of Hine’s Point where the family had several houses and maintained a fleet of boats of various types and sizes. One sloop of considerable size, at least one catboat and a proa, patterned after those of the South Pacific, was included in this fleet.

The bridge, narrow and perched upon spiles, was several hundred yards in length as it crossed the entire cove from a point near the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard to the neck directly opposite. The rocks piled around the spiles served to protect them from ice, and the whole was constructed under a state permit issued to the Hine family.

The purpose was to shorten the walking distance from the Hines colony to Vineyard Haven, and it remained in use for many years.

Somewhere there are records showing exactly when it was built, and it is possible that someone knows who the builders were. But seventy years it was intact and in regular use, and some of the Hine boats might be seen moored to the bridge spiles at times, for they could not pass the bridge, nor could anything else save small rowboats.

Now the crane, having arrived at the opening, which is two-thirds of the way across the Vineyard Haven side, is picking up the rocks, and will continue until it has backed to the point of starting. The tide, checked by the ledge for nearly a century, will flow freely once more. The memory of the Hine family and their bridge will fade and be forgotten, and a landmark, loved by no one, will settle in the wake of time.

It is certainly an unusual occurrence, if not unprecedented, to find a cooking recipe among papers contained in a probate court file. Yet a few days ago this happened in our registry of probate. Mrs. Thomas A. Teller, clerk in the office, announced to the register, Miss Mary W. Wimpenney, that she had found a recipe for molasses cake in one of the files.

“Copy it,” said Miss Wimpenney.

The recipe was found among papers in the estate of the late David S. Beetle, grandfather of Mrs. Isabelle Wilson. It was written upon the back of a bill of “Louis H. Pease, Globe Fish Market, Near North Wharf, North Wharf Street, Edgartown,” dated Oct. 3d, 1894, and was for three lots of fish, two of Blue and one of Sword, totaling $1.41 for the three items.

The recipe for molasses cake has since been tried and pronounced good.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox