Wealth of Treasures Convey Sense of Island’s Rich Past at the Historical Society’s Museum
Phyllis Meras
Hens’ gravestones, a scrimshaw toothpick, a spittoon of General Grant’s, a plank from the Constitution and a spanker for naughty boys are among the many curiosities on display at the Duke’s County Historical Society museum on School street in Edgartown.
 
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Historical Society Held Annual Meeting Aug. 19
Vineyard Gazette
At the 60th annual meeting of the Dukes County Historical Society on Aug. 19, the members enjoyed an instruc­tive talk by Jonathan Scott on Chilmark’s Pre-Revolutionary War Houses, of which there are more than 75. By present­ing slides of structural details, Mr. Scott described the various unusual aspects of Vineyard colonial architecture. He also demonstrated the techniques for dating old houses. Mr. Scott is the author of The House that Gave Tea Lane Its Name in the August Dukes County Intelligencer.
 
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Society Wages Campaign for Lighthouses
Ethan Kelley
Lighthouses define the character of Martha’s Vineyard. They guide people from land and sea to the same shorelines, sheltering them under beacons of home.
 
Today, the Island’s lighthouses are deteriorating. Bricks are crumbling in the breeze, and iron is flaking away in the salt air. Before long, these landmarks could be reduced to brittle, rotting shells.
 
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Historical Society Studies Genealogy of the Portuguese
Vineyard Gazette
More than 2,000 Portuguese family histories are included in a manuscript being prepared by the Dukes County Historical Society.
 
The document chronicles the arrival of Portuguese immigrants to the Vineyard, particularly the whaling crews recruited in the Azores and Cape Verde in the 19th century. It includes mention of approximately 7,000 individuals and 2,350 families, whose descendents today make up a significant portion of the Island’s year-round population.
 
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Our Living History
Sidney Noyes Riggs
 
The Dukes County Intelligencer is well on its way, according to Gale Huntington, its editor. The quality of the publication may possibly be judged by a sample of some of its surplus. These items were rejected by Eleanor Mayhew when she wrote her account of Christiantown:
 
May 6, 1743
 
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Island History Comes Alive in Vineyard Voices
Tom Dunlop
Vineyard Voices: Words, Faces and Voices of Island People. Excerpts from Interviews by Linsey Lee. Photographs by Linsey Lee and Mark Lennihan. Martha’s Vineyard: the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, 1998. 296 pages. $29.95, soft cover.
 
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Historical Society Makes Headway in Plan to Restore Oscar Pease’s Catboat, Vanity
Mark Alan Lovewell
The Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society doesn’t have a whaling ship for its museum, nor a schooner. Although there is plenty of maritime history connected to the Vineyard, such great vessels would be too much of a burden to maintain. But the historical society does have an attractive old catboat and soon it will sail again.
 
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Relics on Exhibition
Vineyard Gazette
Some of the relics from the Port Hunter that were salvaged this summer by a group of young and enterprising Vineyard skindivers from that “ghost ship” sunk on Hedge Fence Shoal in November, 1918, have been presented to the Dukes County Historical Society. They are now on display in the Squire Cooke House, and serve as real life illustrations of the two informative articles written by Sammy Hart Low which appeared in the Gazette recently, illustrated by pictures he had taken.
 
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D.C.H.S. To Build Fireproof Museum
Vineyard Gazette
A new fireproof building to house the priceless records and collections of the Dukes County Historical Society is to be built on the land on School street, Edgartown, adjoining the grounds of the society’s Squire Cooke house. The new structure, although placed near School street on this lot, will face toward Cooke street, making an angle with the Gay Head lens tower and the Cooke house.
 
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D.C.H.S. Acquires Lot to Erect Fireproof Building
Vineyard Gazette
The Dukes County Historical Society has purchased from Edward B. Meyer the lot of land on School street, Edgartown, adjoining the society’s present property. The acquisition will make possible the eventual construction of a fireproof building for the society without marring or destroying the appearance of the present premises which preserve an important bit of the historic town.
 
The Meyer lot, used as a garden in recent years, was formerly owned by Capt. Manuel V. DeLoura.
 
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