From the Oct. 23, 1925 edition of the Gazette:

Who says that the Vineyard climate isn’t changing? Ask anyone who heard the mysterious noise on Monday night.

“An explosion!” said the Menemsha Creek people, as they looked seaward for a flash. “Earthquake!” exclaimed the Cape Higgon folks, when their chairs began to shake and tremble.

Vineyard Haven people took the sound for an auto smash, and over in Oak Bluffs, it sounded as though someone was getting in their winter’s coal, according to those who were attracted to the unusual sound.

Later reports on the mysterious sounds indicate that there were two or more aerial explosions, and that they occurred about 10:30, and was felt strongest near Cape Higgon, but was also heard in Tisbury and Oak Bluffs. But the crack which alarmed the people at Menemsha Creek came at 8:30 or thereabouts, and it was this one which was accompanied by a flash and a falling ball of fire, landing in the direction of Quick’s Hole.

This is the story told by fishermen who were catching hake near the jetties at the bight, and is supported by most of the people living there.

New Bedford papers reported a curious clap of thunder at about 10 p.m., so severe that it shook the entire city. The hour was the same as that of the disturbance here, but local inhabitants are loath to believe that thunder comes in single claps and out of a clear sky. More over, the Coast Guard at Gay Head heard nothing whatever; neither was there anything reported at Edgartown.

The island domains of Massachusetts, secluded amidst the waves, are in spirit as progressive as the cities of the mainland — more so in some things, they might claim.

Not so long ago Nantucket achieved distinction by electing a woman tax collector, who outdid all her men predecessors for generations in speed and thoroughness of collection. Now, Martha’s Vineyard has achieved the honor of having the first woman Register of Probate in the Commonwealth. She is Miss Mary W. Wimpenney, still a young woman, who has been appointed successor to the late beloved Judge Beriah T. Hillman upon the recommendation of all the county officers on the island. They, the town officers, the attorneys, and other citizens, and Judge Everett Allen Davis, Dukes County Probate Court, urged her appointment, and take a warm pride in Governor Fuller’s compliance with their request. Miss Wimpenney received her appointment only last Wednesday, following a meeting of the Governor’s council in Boston. It happened that a reporter of The Standard had the pleasure of being the first to convey the news to her. There was nothing fluky about Miss Wimpenney’s selection as Register. Although she was only 32 last July, she has served an 11 years’ apprenticeship in the registry office. She was clerk to the Register Hillman all those years, and upon his death in September was designated by Judge Davis to act as Register. Her present appointment is to continue until the next state election in November, 1926. Vineyarders predict that she will have no opposition when she comes up for election to further service. — From New Bedford Sunday Standard, 18th. A bulletin issued by the Bureau of Farm Census of the Department of Commerce shows that there are 35 fewer farms and 13,642 less acres in farm land at the first of this year, than at the beginning of 1920 in Dukes County. The total value of farms and buildings thereon had dropped more than $308,000. In Dukes County the number of farms dropped from 152 in 1920 to 117 this year, while the total acreage in farm land fell from 34,421 to 20,779. The value of all land and buildings of Dukes County farms fell from $1,139,447 in 1920, to $831,700 this year. Although most of the stock on the farms of this county decreased during the period in review, dairy cattle increased slightly. This year there were 13 mules reported, while in 1920 there were no mules on the farms of the county.

The electric-driven, steel freighter Fordonian, Capt. Charles Tomrop, largest craft to dock at Vineyard Haven, stopped for water last Sunday night.

Of 2,300 tons net burden, sailing in ballast, the Fordonian loomed high above the freight sheds, and many persons visited the dock to look at the big ship. Of Scottish building, the Fordonian has been employed as a cargo carrier on the lakes, hailing from Buffalo. Recently purchased by the shipping firm of McDonald and Truda of New York, she was on her way to that port from Montreal, when running low on water and provisions she was forced to put in here to replenish her supplies.

Although Capt. Tomrop had never been into the harbor before, he came up the channel and docked his ship without a pilot, and got away without assistance.

The Fordonian is not only the largest craft to dock at Vineyard Haven, so far as is known, but she is the first electrically-driven craft to touch here.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox