From the April 24, 1959 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

For the second consecutive season the anglers were blessed with favorable weather on the opening day of the trout season, which was Saturday. Island anglers were abroad in force, complaining only that the weather was a trifle on the raw side, what with a southeast wind breezing, but otherwise perfect. A temperature not too low, and moderately overcast skies, are appreciated by early trout fishermen.

The concentration of anglers was at Upper Chilmark Pond where a goodly number of trout were taken, some blue-gills and some fresh-water bass. Four members of the Ben David family, Big Gus, Little Gus, Arthur and Donald, came home with twelve good fish for the group. M. C. Hoyle, who is one of the veterans, probably took the best string out of Chilmark, with one 2-pound 2-ounce fish, two 1-pounders, and five smaller fish. But Mrs. Dorothy Christopher of Oak Bluffs was reported with eleven fish.

The best string for the day was taken by Harold Benway of Vineyard Haven, the weight not given, but Clayt Hoyle, who saw the fish, expressed doubt if anything as good was taken.

Some of the best trout taken came from West Tisbury Mill Pond, and there were still others from brooks and privately owned pools.

The whole performance, over the past year, including the opening days of both last year and this, supports the claim of the oldest Island trout fishermen that Island brooks and ponds can and do still breed good fish, as they did years ago.

Another triumph for the Vineyard’s inter-town fire-fighting system was chalked up on Wednesday when one of the worst outdoor fires in recent years started in the thick growth of trees and brush between the Old Court House Road and the State Highway in West Tisbury.

Fanned by the fresh northeast wind, the fire traveled rapidly and fanned out as it went. Fire Chief Arnold M. Fischer, realizing that two houses were menaced, those of Harold Lewis and Donald Fisher, and that the whole of North Tisbury lay directly in its path, called for assistance. Gay Head, Chilmark, Vineyard Haven and Edgartown, responded to as many calls, together with the truck from the state forest and another from the Vineyard airport. At Oak Bluffs, Chief Joseph A. Farland summoned a crew and warmed up his brush-breaking apparatus, and stood by, waiting to roll if he should be called, but it was unnecessary.

At the end of a hectic hour and a half fight, the fire was out, and although it had burned over an estimated twenty-five acres, no actual damage except to the trees, brush and wild life had taken place. But the fighting was a severe ordeal for apparatus and men. The trees are large and stand thickly, and the undergrowth is high and thickly tangled.

The plowed field of Fred Fisher helped to stop the blaze, and also served to protect the home of his brother Donald. A patrol of the area was maintained for many hours after the blaze was quenched.

The firemen of West Tisbury were loud in their praise of the Island system of fire-fighting, which saved the day. “What could we have done with a single truck?” they asked, as they surveyed the burned area, “it would have gone clear to North Tisbury.”

As a matter of fact, West Tisbury was directly involved in the actual beginning of this Island cooperative system and which had its start many years ago. Oak Bluffs, whose fire department was headed by Antone H. Alley, possessed the most fire-fighting equipment of any town on the Island at the time. It was Chief Alley’s dream to institute an Island-wide fire-fighting system such as exists today, although his wildest dreams could not have visualized the equipment of today nor the radio communication between units.

Papers were passed this week in one of the most important land sales in Chilmark in many a year, wherein two brothers, Benjamin C. Sr. and Ernest Mayhew, conveyed to Weston Howland, Weston Howland Jr. and John S. Howland 2nd, land lying on the eastern side of Quitsa and Menemsha Ponds. The tract contains in the neighborhood of 150 acres, and the unconfirmed report of the price was in excess of $100,000.

The tract lies along the highway, east of Stonewall Bridge, and extends northerly along the pond shores to touch such landmarks as Muddy Cove and Abel’s Neck. It includes middens and burial grounds, long believed to be extremely ancient and of archaeological significance.

Specifically, the land conveyed is that part of the Mayhew property known as Lot 1 on the surveyor’s plans and comprises 153.7 acres on the northeasterly side of the state highway, with a highway frontage of slightly less than 1,900 feet. The tract is bounded by and owned by Leona Vincent, Faye G. Neumann, Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Frisch, Carol Lazar and Delia T. Hughes. Other bounds are formed by Hariph’s Creek, by the portion of Nashaquitsa Pond known as Muddy Cove, by Chocker’s Creek and by Menemsha Pond.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox