Old Home Foe; Not the Heat but the Humidity
Xenia Rakovshik
Unlike most houses that undergo basement reconstruction, the house on 8 Planting Field Way in Edgartown has a foundation that has kept the building upright for 163 years.

“With a lot of old homes the foundation collapses entirely,” said Scott Decker, the general supervisor. “We end up having to literally raise up the house, rip out the old foundation and put in new footings.

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Feeling Blue Over Deterioration of Yellow Houses
Mary Jane Carpenter

I have a fondness for yellow houses. They are not very common in Edgartown right now. Years ago they were more prevalent. If you can imagine it, the Doctor Daniel Fisher house was once painted yellow! Hard to believe its wedding cake splendor was covered in yellow icing.

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Captain Warren's House By Any Other Name
Mary Jane Carpenter

Is it really the Warren House? I see in the Gazette that the Warren House is back in the news. I have to smile. The house had a sign on it, “The Captain Warren House” for as many years as I have been coming to the Vineyard.

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Fire Destroys a Community Treasure; Corbin-Norton House will be Rebuilt
Mark Alan Lovewell

One of the Island's most historic mansions, the Corbin-Norton house on Ocean Park burned to the ground in the midst of a heavy gale Monday night.

By the time firemen arrived, the house was fully involved, fanned by northeast winds as high as 40 miles per hour. Oak Bluffs fire chief Dennis P. Alley said it took firemen from three towns more than four hours to gain control of the fire and prevent it from spreading into the neighborhood. Mr. Alley said he determined the cause of the fire to be electrical wiring in an outlet behind the wall in the first-floor living room.

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Can This Old House Be Saved? Maybe
Sam Bungey

None of the houses on North Water street in Edgartown are small. But tucked among the old whaling captains’ homes, with their broad lawns stretching down to private docks on the outer harbor is a comparatively diminutive Greek revival building known as the library. The fate of this home has hung in the balance since September, when plans for its demolition were first presented to the Edgartown historic district commission in the wake of strong neighborhood opposition to the project.

A leading opponent is neighbor John Connors.

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Touring Oak Bluffs, Paranormal Boom Town Ablaze With Spirits
Sam Bungey

More and more ghosts are being drawn to Oak Bluffs’ attractive summer housing. “Some spirits have a sliver of their psyche attached to some place where they were happy,” explains Holly Nadler, Haunted Island author, bookstore owner and part-time ghost-hunter. As these properties change owners more frequently, some are becoming crowded. “This place is gooey with ghosts,” said Ms. Nadler, conducting a tour of the Camp Ground last weekend.

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Preservation Trust Buys Historic Boathouse
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust announced this week that it will buy and preserve the Norton property on the Edgartown harbor that includes the Osborn building, the oldest structure on the Edgartown waterfront.

The trust will buy the Dock street property owned by the Norton family which includes two buildings and a dock adjacent to Memorial Wharf. The boathouse was built after the 1944 hurricane. The Osborn building is much older and dates to the 1830s.

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Feel the Spirits of the Vineyard
Mark Alan Lovewell

Aquinnah charter captain William (Buddy) Vanderhoop Jr. has heard plenty of Vineyard ghost stories. Most he doesn’t believe — but he is not without a belief in the supernatural. “There are spirits less harmful,” he said, “that are not spooky as most people would like.”

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The House the Houghs Built

The House the Houghs Built

Has the importance of history and the preservation of old architecture in the Island community fallen down a rabbit hole?

It would certainly seem so, and the scant public outrage over the proposed demolition of the Hough house on Pierce Lane in Edgartown is just the latest example.

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Tear-Down Plan for 18th Century House Provokes Heritage Debate in Chilmark
Sam Bungey

A stay of execution was granted on one of Chilmark’s few remaining pre-Revolutionary houses at a well attended meeting of the historical commission Wednesday.

The so-called Tilton-Weckman house, set off from North Road, is a shingled, gable-roofed building flanked by a high curving stone wall on a two-acre lot, part of property owned by Diana and Roy Vagelos.

The principle structure dates back to the mid-18th century and was owned by the Tiltons, a family whose Vineyard history is long and storied.

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