MV Museum History

Martha's Vineyard Museum Unveils Plans, Launches Capital Campaign

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has entered the home stretch of a major capital campaign to relocate to the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven.

Saving Logbooks from a Watery Grave

How do you go about fixing a whaling logbook damaged centuries ago by water? It sounds odd, but among the first things an expert might do is soak the afflicted pages in yet more water.

Giving the Gift of Education; Museum Receives Large Grant to Expand Programs

The Martha's Vineyard Museum has received a $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant. “Sometimes you ask for the moon, and you get it,” said museum executive director David Nathans.

Museum Receives Record Grant to Bring Archives Online

Martha’s Vineyard Museum has received a $293,900 grant to make detailed descriptions of its collections searchable online, museum officials announced this week. The grant is the largest in the museum’s 90 year history, and builds on preservation work that has been supported by Community Preservation grants from five Island towns.
old hospital

Museum Set to Buy Marine Hospital

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum expects to sign within days a purchase and sales agreement to buy the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven for an undisclosed price.

The purchase of the historic property, perched on a hill above the harbor, would mark a major step in the museum’s long quest to find a new home for its historical collections outside of Edgartown.

Museum executive director David Nathans said yesterday morning he hoped to have a deal completed by week’s end.

Marine Hospital

Museum Explores a Possible Move to Site of Former Marine Hospital

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has taken an option on the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven, giving the museum’s board until the end of January to decide whether the historic property perched on a hilltop above the harbor could serve as the new home for the Island’s historical collections.

The marine hospital went on the market in April with an asking price of $3.19 million.

Treasure Buried Under Decades of Dust; Denniston Treasures Go to Museum

Linsey Lee emerged from what was once the Vineyard’s first African American church last week peeling a respirator from her face. By her count, she had spent more than 150 hours in the Bradley Memorial Church in Oak Bluffs, and the mask stood as a shield between her and decades of dust.

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.
 

Acquires Autograph Letter of John Hancock

An autograph letter from John Hancock to James Athearn, a prominent citizen of Tisbury in the period just preceding the American Revolution, has been acquired by the Dukes County Historical Society. Not only does the letter bear Hancock’s signature in the same clear style as that which adorns the Declaration of Independence, but it gives a picture of a business transaction in that early era.
 

Famous Whaleboat is Presented to the Historical Society

The whaleboat in which Vineyarders out-pulled all others who met them here and elsewhere, has been presented to the Dukes County Historical Society by Captain Isaac Norton of Vineyard Haven, commander of the craft, George Smith of Oak Bluffs, the only surviving member of the crew, and Captain Norton’s nephews, Benjamin, Frank, Orrin and James Norton. The historic craft has been stored in the barn of Cyrus Norton, brother of Captain Isaac, for more than thirty years. It was last used in an historical pageant at Lake Tashmoo.

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