Edgartown History

Edgartown Harbor Named as Historical Underground Railroad Site

Edgartown Harbor was recently named a site on the Underground Railroad as part of 12 new listings made this year.

Following the Path of History at the Thomas Cooke House

For three years now, the museum has been hard at work restoring the historic Thomas Cooke house property, the site of its original campus, as a public green-space and satellite campus.

Federated Church Is 375 Years Young

A tale that reaches from settlement to commerce, from orthodoxy to schism, from one church to many, from faith to tourism, from industry to resorthood.

Archival Film Digs into History of Norton Point Breach

This historic footage of a home movie shot in 1932 shows villagers attempting to dig a canal by hand to open Norton Point Beach to the sea, part of a town effort to invigorate the shellfish beds at Katama Bay.

memorial wharf

The Chappy Ferry: A 527-Foot Trip With Miles of History

Excerpted from The Chappy Ferry Book: Back and Forth Between Two Worlds, 527 Feet Apart, by Tom Dunlop, with photographs by Alison Shaw and a short film on DVD by John Wilson (Vineyard Stories, 2012).

This excerpt is taken from chapter five which tells the story of James H. Yates of Edgartown, who owned the ferry from 1920 to 1929. He was the last man to run the Chappy ferry as a rowboat.

Folks on both sides of the harbor love Jimmy Yates. But folks on the Chappaquiddick side loathe the ferry Jimmy Yates runs.


Sneak Peek Walking Tour of Edgartown

The second annual Cooke and South Water streets house tour will be tomorrow, Wednesday. August 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. The tour will include five historic homes in Edgartown, all within walking distance of each other, followed by tea and refreshments. At each home, guests will be greeted by a docent who will share information about the history of the home and answer questions.

Dukes County Historical Society Has Big Plans for Addition in Edgartown

The Dukes County Historical Society has solved the space problem it has been struggling with for most of its 66 years with the purchase of the John Vinson House on School street.
Saturday the society will open the property to the public as part of the Christmas in Edgartown celebration with a smattering of exhibits showing the Vineyard’s long and interesting history, as well as the history of the historical society.

The Architectural Treasures of Edgartown Are Recognized by Historic District Listing

Approximately 500 buildings in downtown Edgartown, most of them wood frame houses of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are now part of a nationally recognized historic district.

Island History Reveals Itself At Edgartown’s Vincent House

The 300-year-old Vincent House, perhaps the oldest home on the Island, is open once again to the public in Edgartown for the summer.
The remarkable aspect of this house is it’s architecture. There are only limited furnishings inside, and the restorers - John Warren Norton, Anne Baker and C. Stuart Avery of the Martha’s Vineyard Historic Preservation Society - have fashioned the house in the most interesting way possible.


The R. W. Watsons have closed their summer home at Edgartown and are at the Wolcott, New York city, for several weeks before re-opening their town house.

At the Methodist Episcopal Church next Sunday morning the Rev. E. E. Craig will preach. There will be a Union Temperance Meeting in the Congregational church in the evening.

Mrs. Edward Burchell and Mrs. Samuel Burchell of Nantucket have been visiting Mrs. William H. Luce the past week.