From the Nov. 15, 1946 edition of the Gazette:

Events of Nov. 11, and the appearance of the Vineyard, attest to the mildness of the climate, even if palm trees do not flourish here.

Dr. and Mrs. E. L. Merritt of Fall River and East Chop, went bathing at the Oak Bluffs bathing beach and pronounced the water fine.

Arthur Swift of Vineyard Haven reported tomato plants in bloom in his garden; Joseph Campbell of the same town, observed a sunflower in bloom; Percy Burt of Seven Gates Farm picked apple blossoms; and Harold Cleveland of Vineyard Haven, picked dangle-berries, a variety of blueberry, at West Chop; while Ralph M. Packer Jr. enjoyed a feast of freshly-picked strawberries.

Tony’s Market, Oak Bluffs, featured fresh green peas on Wednesday. Tony Viera, the proprietor, picked a peck in his garden at the rear of the store, on that day, and reported many partly filled pods and blossoms on the vines. He picked a peck last week also.

Mrs. Armindo Pinto of Vineyard Haven reported an Easter lily with two blooms in her garden on Tuesday.

Robert Norton of Buttonwood Farm, Lambert’s Cove, picked apple blossoms last week and also a red blackberry that ripened in water in the house.

An Armistice Day announcement by the Federal Works Agency was that it had advanced money for preparation and plans for a number of projects in the New England states. Included in them was the proposed addition to the Dukes County courthouse in Edgartown, the estimated cost of which will be $110,000. The federal advance in preparation for that notable project is $4,100. The plan, announced several years ago, calls for two wings to the courthouse, each two stories in height.

Returning summer visitors will find something new and strange in the skyline of Edgartown’s North Water street. Since the street was first settled and even when it became the home of whaling captains and magnates, it has had only one full three-story residence, a type of architecture unusual on the Vineyard.

Now that first house, the Captain’s Cabin, as the fine old home of Elmer J. Bliss was called, has a rival in height in the former home of William J. Mendence, adjoining the Kelley House. Now the property of Capt. Samuel B. Norton, and used by him as a rooming house, it has been the subject of complete alterations and additions this fall and instead of its peaked attic floor has a full many-windowed, third story with a hipped roof, which will add a number of good sized rooms to the house. It is the most ambitious building project Edgartown has seen for many a long month.

The woodland has been changing rapidly. Day by day the leaves have fallen, and most of them are underfoot now, lying loosely and crisply on the paths and roads, or in shifting windrows ready for later packing under ice and snow. There are still plenty of ragged banners clinging to the oaks, brown and deep red, but for the most part the woods lie open to the sky. A blue sky most of the time lately.

The whole atmosphere of the wooded places has changed since the 1944 hurricane, but the canted and fallen trees no longer seem fresh ruins. They are coming to be landmarks, mossed, lichened, and some of them partly covered by the new autumn leaf crop. The sky plays a greater part than ever before in this generation, however. There never were such open woods. Vistas are opened, sunlight shines in, whenever you look you can see the sky as a back drop or cover or as an ending for the long lanes and aisles.

All this sunlight has made grass grow where before the shadow was too black all summer long. The grass remains green and, where it is not covered by the drifting leaves, offers a fresh and delightful contrast of color for fall. Red mottled leaves, brown leaves, yellow leaves (there are few spectacular ones left) in company with growing, hearty grass.

You still find spiders and other insects, and the birds have not gone, although chickadees, as all year residents and amazingly active ones just now, are in the ascendancy. The brooks barely trickle, most of them, after all the dry weather. The mossy boulders and walls, built here when the present woodland was open grazing land, stand out like monuments.

Fall is pleasant in the woods, and the change is pleasant, the sense of transition from day to day. Growth might be more cheerful but, failing that, the subsiding of nature is also cheerful in a nostalgic way. It has an eternal rightness which we not only accept but are excited, autumnally, to see, to feel, to incorporate in our own minds. Spring may be sweet, but fall is sweet too in a sunny, aromatic way.

At last the blow fell, and the temperature went below freezing Wednesday night, a still, moonlight night which did not feel as cold as the breezy hours of the night before. Thus on Nov. 13, 1946, the unprecedented summer interlude came to an end, though not, one is led to hope, forever.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox