Ancient ways

Roads Less Traveled: Panel Discusses West Tisbury Ancient Ways

On Saturday the West Tisbury byways committee will present a brief history of the old dirt paths and cart tracks that today are protected special ways within the town. The event begins at 2 p.m. in the town library.

Old Coach Road in West Tisbury Protected as Ancient Way

A historic mail route in West Tisbury has been set aside for special protection from future development. The Martha’s Vineyard Commission late last week agreed to add Old Coach Road to a growing group of historic Island footpaths protected under the special ways critical planning district.

Commission Takes Steps to Protect Historic West Tisbury Roads

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission has taken steps to preserve the historic character of several West Tisbury roadways. Commissioners voted to designate Pine Hill, Red Coat Hill, Mott’s Hill and Shubael Weeks roads as special ways, affording them protections against future development.

Protecting Ancient Ways

The recent decision by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals acknowledging the rights of the town of Edgartown and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to restrict development on their ancient roadways gives credence to the residents of the Island who believe in preservation.

Protecting these old roads does much to retain the character of the Island, just as preserving historic buildings, retaining engaging vistas or saving unique parcels of land from development.

Appeals Court Backs Town's Right to Protect Ancient Ways

The town of Edgartown and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission won a major land use victory this week when the Massachusetts Court of Appeals ruled that they have wide latitude to restrict development on ancient ways. The ruling overturns an earlier superior court decision in the Hall family case against the town.

Rogers Path To Stay Open

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has solidly backed the town of West Tisbury in its ongoing effort to keep Rogers Path, an ancient way that leads to a Civil War-era cemetery in the North Tisbury section of town, open for public use.


Ancient Ways Protection Plan Stalls

A longstanding effort by the town of Edgartown to protect five ancient byways suffered a setback last week when a superior court judge sent a district of critical planning concern (DCPC) designation back to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for another review.

The five paths are Middle Line Road, Ben Tom’s Road, Pennywise Path, Watcha Path and Tar Kiln Road. Their use as cart paths and byways dates to Colonial times, and in 2007 the commission approved a town-sponsored initiative to designate them as special ways under the Island Road District DCPC.

Rogers Path Residents Appeal Court Rule on Public Access

A group of neighbors is appealing a recent superior court decision that Rogers Path in West Tisbury — an ancient way once used by Wampanoags and as a cart path by English colonials — must remain open for public use.

Court Backs Public Right to Ancient Way

In a decision that helps cement the ongoing efforts of Island towns and conservation groups to protect the ancient ways that crisscross the Vineyard like so many strands of history, a superior court judge ruled yesterday that Rogers Path in West Tisbury is open for public use.

“The public has the right to use the entire length and width of the way,” wrote the Hon. C. Brian McDonald, an associate justice of the superior court.

Edgartown Will Protect Ancient Ways

Vigorous environmental protection, in the form of a revised bylaw, was approved for five ancient ways by a throng of voters in Edgartown’s Old Whaling Church last night.

The popular vote was not swayed by the impassioned and sustained pleas of several members of the Hall family, whose 74 acres of property is crossed by several of the paths. Voters approved the bylaw by a margin of 199 to 47.