From the July 28, 1961 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

Oh, yes, the weather!

There was a tremendous and unpopular amount of it on Tuesday. The middle hours of the day, including the period of home-going for working people, vacationers and all others, and the period of their planned going-out again, were occupied by a downpour of tropical nature. The total rainfall by the government gauge at Edgartown measured 1.12 inches.

All the while, thunder pealed and roared and lightning flashed. At times the storm brought visibility to almost nothingness, and everything soluble went into solution.

There was, however, nothing epochal in the way of heat, the oppressiveness of the day being due to the humidity. The high mark, again by the government thermometer at Edgartown, was 77 — not much to pit against the near-hundred of the seaboard cities.

On Sunday, a beautiful day beloved by all, the top temperature was 82; on Monday, muggy again, it was 80. Wednesday hit the high for the summer so far, with the mark of 86, and some of the worst humidity. At about 3 a.m. yesterday a thunder storm and deluge at last cleared the air, the wind came into the northeast, and yesterday was clear, dry and wonderful. So, it appeared early this morning, would be today.

As to minimums, between Sunday and Monday the air cooled to 65; between Monday and Tuesday to 69; and between Tuesday and Wednesday to 69. The low last night was a relaxed 62.

Anyone who continued to sleep under blankets, which is a proverbial Island boast, must have been slightly cracked.

A program to be sought for Martha’s Vineyard under the Area Redevelopment Act will embrace long range development of the shellfish industry of the Vineyard.

This was confirmed by S. C. Luce Jr., chairman of the county commissioners, who said yesterday that he had talked with Columbus O. Iselin of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and would reach George C. Matthiessen, state biologist of marine fisheries, both of whom have been keenly interested in the potentialities of shellfish production in Island waters.

It is emphasized that the plan, which will be discussed first with Irving Franklin, northeastern representative of the office of Rural Areas Development, when he visits the Island on Aug. 4, will include waters of all the towns — Menemsha, Tashmoo, the Lagoon, Sengekontacket, Katama Bay, and the great ponds, and all types of shellfish — quahaugs, scallops, soft shell clams, and oysters.

The fact that shallow salt water is capable of food production far greater than a similar area of land, has been well established. Mr. Iselin has commented upon the efforts made to bring western lands into cultivation, and the neglect of coastal waters with far greater potential yield.

So far the occupation of the shellfisherman has been pretty much that of a hunter, and there has been no comparison of his methods with those of the farmer. Yet ponds and other shallow salt water areas are capable of fertilization, of planting, and of varying degrees of management.

It is believed that an Area Redevelopment program will make possible a project on a sufficiently broad scale, and over a sufficient period, to increase the Island’s shellfish production and to establish principles assuring annual yields far greater than are now realized.

Such a program is exactly in line with the aim of the Area Redevelopment Act which seeks ways and means of improving the overall economy of a region, and of stimulating the permanent employment.

John T. Hughes, supervisor of the state lobster hatchery, gave a talk to Island selectmen last winter in which he said that his department is turning more and more research in the field of shellfish. He stressed the importance of learning more about the reproduction and growth processes of the various shellfish.

“It’s about time we decided to farm the ocean instead of mining it,” Mr. Hughes said, pointing out that a program to bring about this change would require large expenditures.

Four skindivers, probing the depths of Tarpaulin Cove, Naushon Island, discovered an old anchor embedded in the sand. Arnold Carr, Dick and Willy Jones, and Sandy Low discovered the anchor on Sunday when they by chance anchored their boat directly over the spot where, many years ago, a large vessel may have been swept aground.

The skindivers also heard a report that a trawler had brought up a brass scatter-gun and some shot when her net struck an obstruction just outside of Tarpaulin Cove.

The divers speculate that the six foot anchor, one of whose flukes is buried in the sand, was cut loose by a coaster when imperiled by a heavy southeast wind.

It is possible that an attempt will be made to recover the anchor as a memento of the sailing history that has made the Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands so famous in seafaring annals.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox