Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard

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Martha's Vineyard is an island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

  (including the smaller Chappaquiddick Island
Chappaquiddick Island
Chappaquiddick Island is a small island off the eastern end of the larger island of Martha's Vineyard and is part of the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts. The island's name became internationally recognized following the July 18, 1969 incident, for which U.S. Senator Edward M...

) located south of Cape Cod
Cape Cod
Cape Cod, often referred to locally as simply the Cape, is a cape in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States...

 in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, known for being an affluent summer colony.

Often called just "The Vineyard," the island has a land area of 87.48 square miles (226.6 km²) and is the 58th largest island in the United States, and the third largest on the East Coast of the United States
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

. It is also the largest island not connected to mainland by a bridge or tunnel on the East Coast of the United States.

It is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, as a part of Dukes County
Dukes County, Massachusetts
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 14,987 people, 6,421 households, and 3,788 families residing in the county. The population density was 144 people per square mile . There were 14,836 housing units at an average density of 143 per square mile...

, which also includes Cuttyhunk
Cuttyhunk
Cuttyhunk Island is the outermost of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. It was the first site of English settlement in New England. It is located between Buzzards Bay to the north and Vineyard Sound to the south...

 and the other Elizabeth Islands
Elizabeth Islands
The Elizabeth Islands are a chain of small islands extending southwest from the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the United States. They are located at the outer edge of Buzzards Bay, north of Martha's Vineyard from which they are separated by Vineyard Sound, and constitute the town of...

, as well as the island of Nomans Land
Nomans Land (Massachusetts)
Nomans Land is an uninhabited island 612 acres in size, located in the town of Chilmark, Dukes County, Massachusetts, USA...

, which is both a US Wildlife preserve, as well as a US Naval practice bombing range which continues to be controversial. The Vineyard was also home to one of the earliest known deaf communities in the United States; consequently, a special sign language
Sign language
A sign language is a language which, instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns, uses visually transmitted sign patterns to convey meaning—simultaneously combining hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to fluidly express a speaker's...

, Martha's Vineyard Sign Language
Martha's Vineyard Sign Language
Martha's Vineyard Sign Language is a sign language once widely used on the island of Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, U.S., from the early 18th century to the year 1952. It was remarkable for its use by both deaf and hearing people in the community; consequently, deafness did not...

 (MVSL), developed on the island.

The estimated year-round population is 15,000 residents; however, the summer population can swell to over 75,000 people. About 56% of the Vineyard’s 14,621 homes are seasonally occupied.

Martha's Vineyard is primarily known as a summer colony
Summer colony
The term summer colony is often used, particularly in the United States and Canada, to describe well-known resorts and upper-class enclaves, typically located near the ocean or mountains of New England or the Great Lakes...

, and is accessible only by boat and by air. However, its year-round population has grown considerably since the 1960s. A study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission found that the cost of living on the island is 60 percent higher than the national average and housing prices are 96 percent higher.

Exploration


Originally inhabited by the Wampanoag, Martha's Vineyard was known in their language
Massachusett language
The Massachusett language was a Native American language, a member of the Algonquian language family. It is also known as Wôpanâak , Natick, and Pokanoket....

 as Noepe, or "land amid the streams." In 1642 the Wampanoag numbered somewhere around 3,000 on the island. By 1764, that number had dropped to 313.

A smaller island to the south was named "Martha's Vineyard" by the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold
Bartholomew Gosnold
Bartholomew Gosnold was an English lawyer, explorer, and privateer, instrumental in founding the Virginia Company of London, and Jamestown, Virginia, United States...

, who sailed to the island in 1602. The name was later transferred to the main island. It is thus the eighth-oldest surviving English place-name in the United States. No one knows who the namesake of the island is, but some suppose that since Gosnold's mother-in-law and his second child, who died in infancy, were both named Martha
Martha
Martha of Bethany is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of Luke and John. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Mary, she is described as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem...

, Gosnold perhaps named Martha's Vineyard after his daughter, who was christened in St James' Church (now St Edmundsbury Cathedral), Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk
Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, England. Martha is buried in the Great Churchyard which lies in front of the Abbey ruins between St Mary's Church and the Cathedral.

The island was also known as Martin's Vineyard (perhaps after the captain of Gosnold's ship, John Martin); many islanders up to the 18th century called it by this name. The United States Board on Geographic Names
United States Board on Geographic Names
The United States Board on Geographic Names is a United States federal body whose purpose is to establish and maintain uniform usage of geographic names throughout the U.S. government.-Overview:...

 worked to standardize placename spellings in the late 19th century, including the dropping of apostrophes. Thus for a time Martha's Vineyard was officially named Marthas Vineyard, but the Board reversed its decision in the early 20th century, making Martha's Vineyard one of the five placenames in the United States today with a possessive apostrophe.

Colonial era


English settlement began with the purchase of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Elizabeth Islands by Thomas Mayhew of Watertown, Massachusetts
Watertown, Massachusetts
The Town of Watertown is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,915 at the 2010 census.- History :Archeological evidence suggests that Watertown was inhabited for thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from England...

 from two English "owners". During his lifetime, he had friendly relations with the Wampanoags on the island in part because he was careful to honor their land rights as well. His son, also Thomas Mayhew, began the first English settlement in 1642 at Great Harbor (later Edgartown, Massachusetts
Edgartown, Massachusetts
Edgartown is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,779 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Dukes County. Edgartown has the largest population and area in the entire Dukes County and Martha's Vineyard.- History :In 1642....

).

The younger Mayhew began a relationship with Hiacoomes, an Indian neighbor, which eventually led to Hiacoomes' family converting to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. Ultimately, many of the tribe became Christian, including the pow-wows (spiritual leaders) and sachems (political leaders). During King Phillip's War later in the century the Martha's Vineyard band did not join their tribal relatives in the uprising and remained armed, a testimony to the good relations cultivated by the Mayhews as the leaders of the English colony.

In 1665, Mayhew's lands were included in a grant to the Duke of York. In 1671, a settlement was arranged, allowing Mayhew to continue in his position while placing his territory under the jurisdiction of the Province of New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

. In 1683, Dukes County, New York
Dukes County, New York
Dukes County, New York was a county of the New York from 1683 to 1691. It was formed on November 1, 1683, at the same time as Kings County, Queens County, and Duchess County. It consisted of the Elizabeth Islands, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Island, all beyond the eastern end of Long Island...

 was incorporated, including Martha's Vineyard. In 1691, at the collapse of rule by Sir Edmund Andros
Edmund Andros
Sir Edmund Andros was an English colonial administrator in North America. Andros was known most notably for his governorship of the Dominion of New England during most of its three-year existence. He also governed at various times the provinces of New York, East and West Jersey, Virginia, and...

 and the reorganization of Massachusetts as a royal colony, Dukes County was transferred back to the Province of Massachusetts Bay
Province of Massachusetts Bay
The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a crown colony in North America. It was chartered on October 7, 1691 by William and Mary, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England and Scotland...

, and split into Dukes County, Massachusetts
Dukes County, Massachusetts
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 14,987 people, 6,421 households, and 3,788 families residing in the county. The population density was 144 people per square mile . There were 14,836 housing units at an average density of 143 per square mile...

 and Nantucket County, Massachusetts.

Indian literacy in the schools founded by Mayhew and taught by Peter Folger, the grandfather of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

, was such that the first Native American graduates of Harvard were from Martha's Vineyard, including the son of Hiacoomes, Joel Hiacoomes. "The ship Joel Hiacoomes was sailing on, as he was returning to Boston from a trip home shortly before the graduation ceremonies was found wrecked on the shores of Nantucket Island. Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, the son of a sachem of Homes Hole did graduate from Harvard in the class of 1665 (Moneghan, E.J., 2005, p. 59)." Cheeshahteaumauk's Latin address to the corporation (New England Corporation), which begins "Honoratissimi benefactores" (most honored benefactors), has been preserved. (Gookin, as quoted in Monaghan, 2005, p. 60.) In addition to speaking Wampanoag and English, they studied Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. All of the early Indian graduates died shortly after completing their course of study. However, there were many native preachers on the island who also preached in the English churches from time to time.
Mayhew's successor as leader of the community was the Hon. Leavitt Thaxter, who married Martha Mayhew, a descendant of Thomas Mayhew, and was an Edgartown educator described by Indian Commissioner John Milton Earle
John Milton Earle
John Milton Earle was an American businessman, abolitionist, and statesman who founded the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1829....

 as "a long and steadfast friend to the Indians." After living in Northampton
Northampton, Massachusetts
The city of Northampton is the county seat of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Northampton's central neighborhoods, was 28,549...

, Thaxter, a lawyer, returned home to Edgartown, where he took over the school founded by his father, Rev. Joseph Thaxter, and served in the State House
Massachusetts House of Representatives
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. Representatives serve two-year terms...

 and the Senate
Massachusetts Senate
The Massachusetts Senate is the upper house of the Massachusetts General Court, the bicameral state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Senate comprises 40 elected members from 40 single-member senatorial districts in the state...

, was a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council
Massachusetts Governor's Council
The Massachusetts Governor's Council is a governmental body that provides advice and consent in certain matters such as judicial nominations, pardons, and commutations to the Governor of Massachusetts...

 and later served as U. S. Customs Collector
United States Customs Service
Until March 2003, the United States Customs Service was an agency of the U.S. federal government that collected import tariffs and performed other selected border security duties.Before it was rolled into form part of the U.S...

 for Martha's Vineyard. Having rechristened his father's Edgartown school Thaxter Academy, Hon. Leavitt Thaxter was granted on Feb. 15, 1845, the sum of $50-per-year for "the support of William Johnson, an Indian of the Chappequiddic tribe." By this time, Leavitt Thaxter had taken on the role, described in an act passed by the General Court of Massachusetts, as "guardian of the Indians and people of color resident at Chappequiddic and Indiantown in the County of Dukes County." Thaxter Academy, founded by Leavitt Thaxter as first principal in 1825, became known for educating both white and Native American youth.

19th century


Like the nearby island of Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard was brought to prominence in the 19th century by the whaling
Whaling
Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting beached whales...

 industry, during which ships were sent around the world to hunt whales for their oil and blubber
Blubber
Blubber is a thick layer of vascularized adipose tissue found under the skin of all cetaceans, pinnipeds and sirenians.-Description:Lipid-rich, collagen fiber–laced blubber comprises the hypodermis and covers the whole body, except for parts of the appendages, strongly attached to the musculature...

. The discovery of petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 gave rise to a cheaper source of oil for lamps and led to an almost complete collapse of the industry by 1870. After the Old Colony railroad came to mainland Woods Hole in 1872, summer residences began to develop on the island, such as the community of Harthaven established by William H. Hart. Although the island struggled financially through the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, its reputation as a resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

 for tourists and the wealthy continued to grow. There is still a substantial Wampanoag population on the Vineyard, mainly located in the town of Aquinnah
Aquinnah, Massachusetts
Aquinnah is a town located on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Prior to 1998 the town was officially known as Gay Head, which it is still called by most Islanders from the neighboring towns, but this name does not reflect as well the year-round population of a large American Indian...

. Aquinnah was formerly known as Gay Head, but was recently renamed its original Indian name, which means "land under the hill" in the Wampanoag language.

The island was the last refuge of the Heath Hen
Heath Hen
The Heath Hen was a distinctive subspecies of the Greater Prairie Chicken, Tympanuchus cupido, a large North American bird in the grouse family, or possibly a distinct species....

, a once common game bird. Despite 19th Century efforts to protect the hen, by 1927, the population of birds had dropped to 13. The last known Heath Hen perished on Martha's Vinyard in 1932.

Modern era


The linguist William Labov
William Labov
William Labov born December 4, 1927) is an American linguist, widely regarded as the founder of the discipline of variationist sociolinguistics. He has been described as "an enormously original and influential figure who has created much of the methodology" of sociolinguistics...

 wrote his MA essay on changes in the Martha's Vineyard dialect of English. The 1963 study is widely recognized as a seminal work in the foundation of sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and the effects of language use on society...

.

The island received international notoriety after the July 18, 1969, Chappaquiddick incident, in which Mary Jo Kopechne
Mary Jo Kopechne
Mary Jo Kopechne was an American teacher, secretary, and political campaign specialist who died in a car accident in Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts on July 18, 1969, while a passenger in a car being driven by U.S. Senator Edward M...

 was killed in a car driven off the Dike Bridge by U.S. Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

. The bridge crossed Poucha Pond on Chappaquiddick Island
Chappaquiddick Island
Chappaquiddick Island is a small island off the eastern end of the larger island of Martha's Vineyard and is part of the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts. The island's name became internationally recognized following the July 18, 1969 incident, for which U.S. Senator Edward M...

 (a smaller island connected to the Vineyard and part of Edgartown). As a foot bridge, it was intended for people on foot and bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

s, as well as the occasional emergency vehicle when conditions warranted. Currently, 4x4 vehicles with passes are allowed to cross the reconstructed bridge.

On November 23, 1970, in the Atlantic Ocean just west of Aquinnah, Simas Kudirka, a Soviet seaman of Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

n nationality, attempted to defect to the United States by leaping onto a United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 cutter from a Soviet ship. The Coast Guard allowed a detachment of KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 agents to board the cutter, and subsequently arrest Kudirka, taking him back to the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

In 1974, Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

 filmed the movie Jaws
Jaws (film)
Jaws is a 1975 American horror-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. In the story, the police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach,...

on Martha's Vineyard. Spielberg selected island natives Christopher Rebello as Chief Brody's oldest son, Michael Brody; Jay Mello as the younger son, Sean Brody; and Lee Fierro as Mrs. Kintner. Scores of other island natives appeared in the film as extras. Later, scenes from Jaws 2
Jaws 2
Jaws 2 is a 1978 thriller film and the first sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws , which is based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name...

and Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws: The Revenge, Also known as, 'Jaws 4: The Revenge', is a 1987 thriller film directed by Joseph Sargent. It is the third sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws and the final installment of the series....

were filmed on the island as well. In June 2005 the island celebrated the 30th anniversary of Jaws with a weekend-long Jawsfest.

In 1977, distressed over losing their guaranteed seat in the Massachusetts General Court, inhabitants of Martha's Vineyard considered the possibility of secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, either to become part of another state (having received offers from both Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

 and Hawai'i), reincorporating as a separate U.S. territory, or as the nation's 51st state
51st state
The 51st state, in United States political discourse, is a phrase that refers to areas either seriously or derisively considered candidates for addition to the 50 states already part of the United States. Before 1959, when Alaska and Hawaii joined the U.S., the term "the 49th state" was used...

. The separatist flag, consisting of a white seagull over an orange disk on a sky-blue background, is still seen on the island today. Although the idea of separation from Massachusetts eventually proved impracticable, it did receive attention in the local, regional and even national media.

On March 5, 1982, John Belushi
John Belushi
John Adam Belushi was an American comedian, actor, and musician, best known as one of the original cast members of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, The Star of the Films National Lampoon's Animal House and the The Blues Brothers and for fronting the American blues and soul...

 died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles, California, and was buried four days later in Abel's Hill Cemetery in Chilmark. Belushi often visited the Vineyard and his family felt it fitting to bury him there. On his gravestone is the quote, "Though I may be gone, Rock 'N' Roll lives on." Because of the many visitors to his grave and the threat of vandalism, his body was moved somewhere nearby the gravesite. His grave remains a popular site for visitors to Chilmark and they often leave tokens in memory of the late comedian.
U.S. President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 spent vacation time on the island during and after his presidency, along with his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the...

, and their daughter, Chelsea
Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Victoria Clinton is a television journalist, currently serving as Special Correspondent for NBC News, and philanthropist, working through the Clinton Global Initiative. She is the only child of former U.S...

. Clinton was not the first president to visit the islands; Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 visited the vacation residence of his friend, Bishop Gilbert Haven
Gilbert Haven
Gilbert Haven was a Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1872. He was consecrated a bishop on May 24, 1872 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York...

 on August 24, 1874. As a coincidental footnote in history, Bishop Haven's gingerbread cottage
Carpenter Gothic
Carpenter Gothic, also sometimes called Carpenter's Gothic, and Rural Gothic, is a North American architectural style-designation for an application of Gothic Revival architectural detailing and picturesque massing applied to wooden structures built by house-carpenters...

 was located in Oak Bluffs at 10 Clinton Avenue. The avenue was named in 1851 and was designated as the main promenade of the Martha's Vineyard Campmeeting Association campgrounds
Wesleyan Grove
Wesleyan Grove is a National Historic Landmark District in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts on the island of Martha's Vineyard. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005...

. On August 23, 2009, President Barack Obama arrived in Chilmark with his family for a week's vacation at a rental property known as Blue Heron Farm.

On July 16, 1999, a small plane crashed off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, claiming the lives of pilot John F. Kennedy, Jr.
John F. Kennedy, Jr.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. , often referred to as John F. Kennedy, Jr., JFK Jr., John Jr. or John-John, was an American socialite, magazine publisher, lawyer, and pilot. The elder son of U.S. President John F...

, his wife Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren Bessette. Kennedy's mother, former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier "Jackie" Kennedy Onassis was the wife of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and served as First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Five years later she married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle...

, maintained a home in Aquinnah
Aquinnah, Massachusetts
Aquinnah is a town located on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Prior to 1998 the town was officially known as Gay Head, which it is still called by most Islanders from the neighboring towns, but this name does not reflect as well the year-round population of a large American Indian...

 (formerly Gay Head
Aquinnah, Massachusetts
Aquinnah is a town located on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Prior to 1998 the town was officially known as Gay Head, which it is still called by most Islanders from the neighboring towns, but this name does not reflect as well the year-round population of a large American Indian...

) until her death in 1994.

In the summer of 2000, an outbreak of tularemia
Tularemia
Tularemia is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. A Gram-negative, nonmotile coccobacillus, the bacterium has several subspecies with varying degrees of virulence. The most important of those is F...

, also known as rabbit fever, resulted in one death and piqued the interest of the CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services headquartered in Druid Hills, unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta...

, which wanted to test the island as a potential investigative ground for aerosolized Francisella tularensis
Francisella
Francisella is a genus of pathogenic, Gram-negative bacteria. They are small coccobacillary or rod-shaped, non-motile organisms, which are also facultative intracellular parasites of macrophages...

. Over the following summers, Martha's Vineyard was identified as the only place in the world where documented cases of tularemia resulted from lawn mowing. The research may prove valuable in preventing bioterrorism
Bioterrorism
Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. These agents are bacteria, viruses, or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form. For the use of this method in warfare, see biological warfare.-Definition:According to the...

.

Hereditary deafness and sign language


A high rate of hereditary deafness was documented in Martha's Vineyard for almost two centuries. The island's deaf heritage cannot be traced to one common ancestor and is thought to have originated in the Weald
Weald
The Weald is the name given to an area in South East England situated between the parallel chalk escarpments of the North and the South Downs. It should be regarded as three separate parts: the sandstone "High Weald" in the centre; the clay "Low Weald" periphery; and the Greensand Ridge which...

, a region in the English county of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, prior to immigration. Researcher Nora Groce estimates that by the late 19th century, 1 in 155 people on the Vineyard was born deaf (0.7 percent), almost 20 times the estimate for the nation at large (1 in 2,730, or 0.04 percent).

Mixed marriages between deaf and hearing spouses comprised 65% of all deaf marriages on the island in the late 19th century, (higher than the mainland average of 20%) and Martha's Vineyard Sign Language
Martha's Vineyard Sign Language
Martha's Vineyard Sign Language is a sign language once widely used on the island of Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, U.S., from the early 18th century to the year 1952. It was remarkable for its use by both deaf and hearing people in the community; consequently, deafness did not...

 (MVSL) was commonly used by hearing residents as well as deaf ones until the middle of the 20th century. This allowed deaf residents to smoothly integrate into society.

In the 20th century, tourism became a mainstay in the island economy. However, jobs in tourism were not as deaf-friendly as fishing and farming had been. Consequently, as intermarriage and further migration joined the people of Martha's Vineyard to the mainland, the island community more and more resembled the wider community there.

The last deaf person born into the island's sign language tradition, Katie West, died in 1952, but a few elderly residents were able to recall MVSL as recently as the 1980s when research into the language began.

Political representation


Martha's Vineyard is made up of six towns. Each town is governed by a board of selectmen
Board of selectmen
The board of selectmen is commonly the executive arm of the government of New England towns in the United States. The board typically consists of three or five members, with or without staggered terms.-History:...

 elected by town voters, along with annual and periodic town meeting
Town meeting
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government....

s. Each town is also a member of the Martha's Vineyard Commission, which regulates island-wide building, environmental, and aesthetic concerns.

Some government programs on the island have been regionalized, such as the public school system, emergency management and waste management. There is a growing push for further regionalization areas of law enforcement, water treatment, and possible government regionalization.

Each town also follows certain regulations from the County of Dukes County. The towns are:
  • Tisbury
    Tisbury, Massachusetts
    Tisbury is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,755 at the 2000 census.Vineyard Haven is the main village/town center of Tisbury. The two names are used interchangeably...

    , which includes the main village of Vineyard Haven
    Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
    Vineyard Haven is a community within the town of Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. It is listed as a census-designated place by the U.S...

    , and the West Chop
    West Chop
    West Chop is a residential area located in the town of Tisbury, Massachusetts on the north end of the island of Martha's Vineyard. It is a peninsula surrounded on the north and west by Vineyard Sound and on the east by Vineyard Haven Harbor. A lighthouse, West Chop Light, stands at the north end of...

     peninsula. It is the island's primary port of entry for people and cargo, supplemented by the seasonal port in Oak Bluffs.
  • Edgartown
    Edgartown, Massachusetts
    Edgartown is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,779 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Dukes County. Edgartown has the largest population and area in the entire Dukes County and Martha's Vineyard.- History :In 1642....

    , which includes Chappaquiddick island and Katama
    Katama
    Katama is a residential area in the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts, on the south shore of the island of Martha's Vineyard. It is bordered on the west by Edgartown Great Pond, on the east by Katama Bay and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean.The word "Katama" comes from a Wampanoag word meaning...

    . Edgartown is noted for its rich whaling tradition, and is the island's largest town by population and area. It is one of the island's "wet" towns.
  • Oak Bluffs
    Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
    Oak Bluffs is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,713 at the 2000 census and was estimated at 3,735 as of 2008...

     is most well known for its gingerbread cottages, open harbor, and its vibrant town along busy Circuit Avenue. Oak Bluffs enjoys a reputation as one of the more active night-life towns on the island for both residents and tourists, and is also a "wet" town. It was known as "Cottage City" from its separation from Edgartown in 1880 until its reincorporation as Oak Bluffs in 1907. Oak Bluffs includes several communities that have been popular destinations for affluent African Americans, like Barack Obama who has been there over 70 times in just three years, since the early 20th century. It also includes the East Chop
    East Chop
    MV East Chop is a ferry in Massachusetts that operates between Hyannis and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.She measures in length overall and in beam. She is powered by two diesel engines which drive two propellers....

     peninsula, Lagoon Heights and Harthaven.
  • West Tisbury
    West Tisbury, Massachusetts
    West Tisbury is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 2,467 at the 2000 census. Along with Chilmark and Aquinnah, West Tisbury forms "Up-Island" Martha's Vineyard.- History :...

     is the island's agricultural center, and hosts the beloved MV Agricultural Fair in late August each year.
  • Chilmark
    Chilmark, Massachusetts
    Chilmark is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 843 at the 2000 census. The fishing village of Menemsha is located on the northern end of town along its border with the neighboring town of Aquinnah...

    , including the fishing village of Menemsha.
    Menemsha, Massachusetts
    Menemsha is a small fishing village located in the town of Chilmark on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. It is located on the east coast of Menemsha Pond, adjacent to the opening into the Vineyard Sound on the pond's northern end...

     Chilmark is also rural and features the island's hilliest terrain.
  • Aquinnah
    Aquinnah, Massachusetts
    Aquinnah is a town located on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Prior to 1998 the town was officially known as Gay Head, which it is still called by most Islanders from the neighboring towns, but this name does not reflect as well the year-round population of a large American Indian...

    , formerly known as Gay Head. Aquinnah is home to the Wampanoag Indian tribe and the famous Gay Head cliffs.

Water


Martha's Vineyard is located approximately seven miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod
Cape Cod
Cape Cod, often referred to locally as simply the Cape, is a cape in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States...

. It is reached by a ferry that departs from Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Woods Hole is a census-designated place in the town of Falmouth in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. It lies at the extreme southwest corner of Cape Cod, near Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands...

, and by several other ferries departing from Falmouth
Falmouth, Massachusetts
Falmouth is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States; Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Cod. The population was 31,531 at the 2010 census....

, New Bedford
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States, located south of Boston, southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, and about east of Fall River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts...

, Hyannis
Hyannis, Massachusetts
Hyannis is the largest of seven villages in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Also it is the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod and was designated an urban area as a result of the 1990 census. Because of this, many refer to Hyannis as the "Capital of the Cape"...

, and Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The Steamship Authority
The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority
The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, referred to coloquially as The Steamship Authority or simply the SSA, is the statutory regulatory body for all ferry operations to and from the Islands from the Massachusetts mainland, as well as being an operator of ferry service...

 operates most of the shorter routes, while other, smaller ferry services run faster, longer distance ferries to Rhode Island and Hyannis. There are direct ferries to each place. SeaStreak
SeaStreak
SeaStreak is a private ferry system that provides high-speed commuter service between points in Manhattan and the Raritan Bayshore in Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as special event and sightseeing excursions in New York Harbor.-History:...

 also runs a ferry service on the weekends from New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 to Martha's Vineyard. One ferry departs New York City on Friday afternoon and returns on Sunday night. The trip through Long Island Sound and along the shoreline of Rhode Island and Massachusetts takes a little over five hours

Air


The commuter airline, Cape Air
Cape Air
Hyannis Air Service, Inc., operating as Cape Air, is an airline headquartered at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States. It operates scheduled passenger services in the Northeast, Florida, the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic States, Midwest, and Micronesia...

 offers frequent service to Martha's Vineyard via the Martha's Vineyard Airport
Martha's Vineyard Airport
Martha's Vineyard Airport is a public airport located in the middle of the island of Martha's Vineyard, three miles south of the central business district of Vineyard Haven, in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. This airport is owned by Dukes County and lies on the border between the...

 (MVY). Cape Air provides service year-round to islanders and visitors to Boston
Logan International Airport
General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport is located in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts . It covers , has six runways, and employs an estimated 16,000 people. It is the 19th busiest airport in the United States.Boston serves as a focus city for JetBlue Airways...

, Hyannis
Barnstable Municipal Airport
Barnstable Municipal Airport , also known as Boardman/Polando Field, is a public airport located on Cape Cod, one mile north of the central business district of Hyannis, in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. This airport is publicly owned by Town of Barnstable...

, New Bedford
New Bedford Regional Airport
New Bedford Regional Airport is a public airport located two miles northwest of the central business district of New Bedford, a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States...

, Providence
T. F. Green Airport
T. F. Green Airport , also known as Theodore Francis Green State Airport, is a public airport located in Warwick, six miles south of Providence, in Kent County, Rhode Island, USA. Dedicated in 1931, the airport was named for former Rhode Island governor and longtime senator Theodore F. Green...

, and Nantucket
Nantucket Memorial Airport
Nantucket Memorial Airport is a public airport on the south side of the island of Nantucket in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. The airport is owned by the Town of Nantucket and is located three miles southeast of the town...

. Cape Air also provides seasonal services to White Plains, New York. Additional air service is provided by Continental Express
Continental Express
Continental Express is the operating brand name used by a number of independently owned regional airlines providing regional jet feeder service under agreement with Continental Airlines...

, which provides a seasonal service to Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

, and US Airways Express
US Airways Express
US Airways Express is an airline brand name, rather than a fully certified airline, and as such, the US Airways Express name is used by several individually owned airlines or airline holding companies which provide regional airline and commuter service for US Airways.Operations are conducted from...

, which serves New York-LaGuardia
LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport is an airport located in the northern part of Queens County on Long Island in the City of New York. The airport is located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. The airport was originally...

 and Hyannis year-round, as well as Philadelphia and Washington-Reagan seasonally. JetBlue now services the island out of New York's Kennedy Airport. The airport also handles much general aviation
General aviation
General aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...

 traffic.

Mass transit


Bus service is provided on the island year-round by the Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority.

Education



Martha's Vineyard is served by Martha's Vineyard Public Schools:

Five of the six towns have their own elementary schools, while Aquinnah residents usually attend nearby Chilmark's elementary school. The Chilmark school serves only grades pre-K to 5, so students in grades 6 - 8 must attend another middle school—usually the West Tisbury school. Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
Martha's Vineyard Regional High School or MVRHS is a high school in Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, United States.-History:...

, which is located in Oak Bluffs
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
Oak Bluffs is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,713 at the 2000 census and was estimated at 3,735 as of 2008...

, serves the entire island.

Tourism and culture


The Vineyard grew as a tourist destination primarily because of its very pleasant summer weather (during summers, the temperature rarely breaks 32°C / 90°F) and many beautiful beaches. It is primarily a place where people go to relax. Most social life and activity takes place at people's houses, not in the very small towns.

During the whaling era, wealthy Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 sea captains and merchant traders often created estates on Martha's Vineyard with their trading profits. Today, the Vineyard has become one of the Northeast's most prominent summering havens, having attracted numerous celebrity regulars.

The island now boasts a year-round population of about 15,000 people in six towns; in summer, the population swells to 100,000 residents, with more than 25,000 additional short-term visitors coming and going on the ferries
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 during the summer season. The most crowded weekend is July 4, followed by the late-August weekend of the Agricultural Fair. In general, the summer season runs from June through Labor Day weekend, coinciding with the months most American children are not in school.

In 1985, the two islands of Martha's Vineyard and Chappaquiddick Island were included in a new American Viticultural Area
American Viticultural Area
An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau , United States Department of the Treasury....

 designation for wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 appellation
Appellation
An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown; other types of food often have appellations as well...

 of origin specification: Martha's Vineyard AVA
Martha's Vineyard AVA
The Martha's Vineyard AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Dukes County, Massachusetts, including all of the land on the islands named Martha's Vineyard and Chappaquiddick Island. These two island are located off the southern Massachusetts coast, surrounded by Vineyard Sound, Nantucket...

. Wines produced from grape
Grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

s grown on the two islands can be sold with labels that carry the Martha's Vineyard AVA designation. Martha's Vineyard was the home to the winemaker Chicama Vineyards in West Tisbury, though it closed after 37 years on August 10, 2008. http://www.mvtimes.com/2008/08/14/news/news-in-brief.php

Other popular attractions include the annual Grand Illumination (see also here
Grand Illumination
A Grand Illumination is an outdoor ceremony involving the simultaneous activation of lights. The most common form of the ceremony involves turning on Christmas lights....

) in Oak Bluffs; the Martha's Vineyard Film Society which screens independent and world cinema all year long; the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival which runs its Summer Film Series and Cinema Circus every Wednesday in July and August, the second week in August, The Run&Shoot Filmworks Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival (http://www.mvaaff.com) which showcases the works of independent and established African-American filmmakers and its winter festival in March; Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival in September, Katama Farm in Edgartown; and the Flying Horses Carousel
Flying Horses Carousel
The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark.-History:This carousel, one of two similar carousels built by the Charles W. Dare Company, was built in 1876. It was moved by New York attorney F. O. Gordon from Coney...

 in Oak Bluffs, the oldest carousel in the United States.

Island life and residents


Locals refer to Martha's Vineyard as "the Vineyard" and its residents as either "Vineyarders" or simply "Islanders."

People who move from the mainland ("off-Island") to the island ("on-Island") are sometimes called "wash-ashores".

Its relatively small year-round population has led to a very activist citizenry who are highly involved in the island's day-to-day activities. Tourism, overdevelopment, politics and many other subjects are of keen interest to the community. Keeping the balance between the much needed tourist economy and the ecology
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

 and wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 of the island is of paramount importance to residents. In contrast to the seasonal influx of wealthy visitors, Dukes County remains one of the poorest in the state. Residents have established resources to balance the contradictions and stresses that can arise in these circumstances, notably the Martha's Vineyard Commission and Martha's Vineyard Community Services, founded by the late Dr. Milton Mazer, author of People and Predicaments: Of Life and Distress on Martha's Vineyard.

The majority of the Vineyard's residents during the summer are well-established seasonal residents from up and down the Northeast coast of the United States. While many of these summer residents come from all over the United States and abroad, the island tends to be a destination for those within close proximity. Many communities around the island tend to have deep family roots in the island that have matured over the years to create hamlets of good friends and neighbors. Nevertheless, many visitors are summer renters and weekenders, for whom the island is simply a "home away from home."

Because of its many high-profile residents, movie stars, politicians, writers, and artists also band together with residents in fundraisers and benefits to raise awareness for the fragile ecosystem of the Vineyard and to support community organizations and services. The largest of these is the annual Possible Dreams Auction.

Martha's Vineyard has also been or is home to a number of artists and musicians, including Evan Dando
Evan Dando
Evan Griffith Dando is an American musician, most famous for fronting the alternative rock band The Lemonheads. He is the only original member left in the current Lemonheads line-up, having served as lead singer since the band's original formation in 1986...

, Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, James Taylor
James Taylor
James Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000....

, Carly Simon
Carly Simon
Carly Elisabeth Simon is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. She rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records, and has since been the recipient of two Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for her work...

, Livingston Taylor
Livingston Taylor
Livingston Taylor is an American singer-songwriter, born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He attended the Westtown School in Pennsylvania...

, Ben Taylor, Huey Taylor (musician/hotelier), Kate Taylor
Kate Taylor
Kate Taylor is an American folk singer, originally from Boston, Massachusetts.-Biography:Kate was born in Boston and grew up with her four brothers in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where her father was Dean of the medical school at the University of North Carolina...

, Alex Taylor
Alex Taylor (musician)
Alex Taylor was an American singer. Alexander Taylor was the eldest child of Dr. Isaac Taylor and Gertrude Taylor. He was a member of a family which produced a number of musicians, the most famous of whom is James Taylor, but also includes Livingston, Hugh and Kate Taylor.Alex Taylor had two sons,...

, Tom Rush
Tom Rush
Tom Rush is an American folk and blues singer, songwriter, musician and recording artist.- Life and career :Rush was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. His father was a teacher at St. Paul's School, in Concord, New Hampshire. Tom began performing in 1961 while studying at Harvard University after...

, Geoff Muldaur
Geoff Muldaur
Geoff Muldaur is an American founding member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band of Cambridge, Massachusetts; a member of Paul Butterfield's Better Days; and an accomplished solo guitarist, singer, and songwriter....

, Maria Muldaur
Maria Muldaur
Maria Muldaur is a folk-blues singer who was part of the American folk music revival in the early 1960s...

, Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, Willy Mason
Willy Mason
Willy Mason is an American singer-songwriter.- Early life :He was born in New York, the son of Jemima James and Michael Mason, both folk singers. When Mason was five, he and his family moved from New York to West Tisbury, Massachusetts on the island of Martha's Vineyard...

, Unbusted
Unbusted
Unbusted is a three-piece rock band from Martha's Vineyard. The band released their debut album You Are Young in the fall of 2007.Unbusted has three songs on the soundtrack to the Farrelly Brothers’ film Stuck on You....

, Mike Nichols
Mike Nichols
Mike Nichols is a German-born American television, stage and film director, writer, producer and comedian. He began his career in the 1950s as one half of the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with Elaine May. In 1968 he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate...

, Gordon Healy, Kahoots, Slim-Bob Berosh and Timo Elliott. Historian and author David McCullough
David McCullough
David Gaub McCullough is an American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award....

 is also an island resident, as are the young-adult books authors: Judy Blume
Judy Blume
Judy Blume is an American author. She has written many novels for children and young adults which have exceeded sales of 80 million and been translated into 31 languages...

 and Norman Bridwell
Norman Bridwell
Norman Bridwell is an American author and cartoonist, best-known for the Clifford the Big Red Dog series of children's books. Bridwell attended John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana and Cooper Union in New York City. He currently resides on Martha's Vineyard, MA, where he continues to...

. Late authors Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein
Sheldon Allan "Shel" Silverstein , was an American poet, singer-songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter and author of children's books. He styled himself as Uncle Shelby in his children's books...

 and William Styron
William Styron
William Clark Styron, Jr. was an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work.For much of his career, Styron was best known for his novels, which included...

 also lived on the Vineyard, as did writer, journalist and teacher John Hersey
John Hersey
John Richard Hersey was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer and journalist considered one of the earliest practitioners of the so-called New Journalism, in which storytelling devices of the novel are fused with non-fiction reportage...

, poet and novelist Dorothy West
Dorothy West
Dorothy West was a novelist and short story writer who was part of the Harlem Renaissance. She is best known for her novel The Living Is Easy, about the life of an upper-class black family.-Early years:...

 and artist Thomas Hart Benton. Various writers have been inspired by the island—including the mystery writer Philip Craig
Philip Craig
Philip R. Craig was a writer known for his Martha's Vineyard mysteries.-Biography:He was born in Santa Monica and raised on a cattle ranch near Durango, Colorado. In 1951 he attended Boston University intending to become a minister, and got a degree in 1957...

 who set several novels on the island. The Academy Award winning Patricia Neal
Patricia Neal
Patricia Neal was an American actress of stage and screen. She was best known for her film roles as World War II widow Helen Benson in The Day the Earth Stood Still , wealthy matron Emily Eustace Failenson in Breakfast at Tiffany's , middle-aged housekeeper Alma Brown in Hud , for which she won...

 owned a home on South Water St in Edgartown, and James Cagney
James Cagney
James Francis Cagney, Jr. was an American actor, first on stage, then in film, where he had his greatest impact. Although he won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of performances, he is best remembered for playing "tough guys." In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him eighth...

, Lillian Hellman
Lillian Hellman
Lillian Florence "Lily" Hellman was an American playwright, linked throughout her life with many left-wing causes...

 (who is buried in Able's Hill Cemetery near the site of Belushi's grave), and Katherine Cornell all found the Vineyard an exciting, rewarding place to live. In addition the famous Life Magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt
Alfred Eisenstaedt
Alfred Eisenstaedt was a German-American photographer and photojournalist. He is renowned for his candid photographs, frequently made using various models of a 35mm Leica rangefinder camera...

 was a fifty-year summer resident of the Vineyard until his death in 1995. His most famous photograph is the kissing sailor in Times Square on V-J Day. Since 2006 the Australian born author Geraldine Brooks, writer of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel March, has lived there with her husband and two sons. Brooks' 2011 novel Caleb's Crossing is based on the life of Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk.

Other well-known celebrities who live on or have regularly visited the island: Famoulsy renowned Harlem Renaissance artist Lois Mailou Jones
Lois Mailou Jones
Lois Mailou Jones was a artist who lived into her nineties and who painted and influenced others during the Harlem Renaissance and beyond during her long teaching career. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts and is buried on her beloved Martha's Vineyard in the Oak Bluffs Cemetery.-Life:Dr...

, U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

; former president Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 and his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; comedian and talk show host David Letterman
David Letterman
David Michael Letterman is an American television host and comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show, Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC...

; Bill Murray
Bill Murray
William James "Bill" Murray is an American actor and comedian. He first gained national exposure on Saturday Night Live in which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in a number of critically and commercially successful comedic films, including Caddyshack , Ghostbusters , and...

; Tony Shalhoub
Tony Shalhoub
Anthony Marcus "Tony" Shalhoub is an American actor of Lebanese descent. His television work includes the roles of Antonio Scarpacci on Wings and sleuth Adrian Monk on the TV series Monk. He has won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his work in Monk...

; Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr. is an American record producer and musician. A conductor, musical arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. His career spans five decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend...

; Ted Danson
Ted Danson
Edward Bridge “Ted” Danson III is an American actor best known for his role as central character Sam Malone in the sitcom Cheers, and his role as Dr. John Becker on the series Becker. He also plays a recurring role on Larry David's HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm and starred alongside Glenn Close...

 and wife Mary Steenburgen
Mary Steenburgen
Mary Nell Steenburgen is an American actress. She is best known for playing the role of Lynda Dummar in Jonathan Demme's Melvin and Howard, which earned her an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.-Early life:...

; Larry David
Larry David
Lawrence Gene "Larry" David is an American actor, writer, comedian and producer. He is best known as the co-creator , head writer, and executive producer of the television series Seinfeld from 1989 to 1996, and for creating the 1999 HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, a partially improvised sitcom in...

; the Farrelly brothers
Farrelly brothers
Peter John Farrelly and Robert Leo "Bobby" Farrelly, Jr. , professionally known as the Farrelly Brothers are screenwriters and directors of ten comedy films, including There's Something About Mary; Dumb and Dumber; Kingpin; Hall Pass; Me, Myself & Irene; Shallow Hal; Stuck on You; Osmosis Jones;...

; Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan
Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra , professionally known as Meg Ryan, is an American actress and producer. Raised in Bethel, Connecticut, Ryan began her acting career in 1981 in minor roles, before joining the cast of the CBS soap opera As the World Turns in 1982...

; Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Joy Handler is an American stand-up comedian, humorist, television host, actress, model and best-selling author. She currently hosts a late-night talk show titled, Chelsea Lately on the E! Cable Television Network. In 2009 she won a Bravo A-List Award...

; screenwriter Will Widger. Also, Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace (journalist)
Myron Leon "Mike" Wallace is an American journalist, former game show host, actor and media personality. During his 60+ year career, he has interviewed a wide range of prominent newsmakers....

 of 60 Minutes is a summer resident of Martha's Vineyard. Late anchorman Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years . During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll...

 was a prominent summer resident as well. Other regularly appearing celebrities include film writer/director Spike Lee
Spike Lee
Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983....

, attorney Alan Dershowitz
Alan Dershowitz
Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He has spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history...

, comedians Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd
Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM is a Canadian comedian, actor, screenwriter, musician, winemaker and ufologist. He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.-Early...

 and James Belushi
James Belushi
James Adam "Jim" Belushi is an American actor, comedian, and musician. He is the younger brother of comic actor John Belushi.-Early life:Belushi was born in Chicago...

, politico Vernon Jordan, and television news reporters Diane Sawyer
Diane Sawyer
Lila Diane Sawyer is the current anchor of ABC News' flagship program, ABC World News. Previously, Sawyer had been co-anchor of ABC Newss morning news program, Good Morning America ....

, former Ambassador and President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

, William H. Luers
William H. Luers
William Henry Luers was a diplomat and former United States Ambassador to Venezuela and Czechoslovakia...

 and Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Charlayne Hunter-Gault is an American journalist and former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, and the Public Broadcasting Service....

. Despite popular perceptions of the Vineyard as "Hollywood East", the island is very low-key and quiet; celebrities go to the Vineyard to enjoy the atmosphere, and not to be seen. Locals tend to be protective of celebrity privacy, though recent coverage of celebrity sightings (most notably in the two local newspapers on the Island) has begun to erode that respect for privacy through more frequent reporting on celebrity sightings and famous visitors. Vineyard social life often occurs in private, down country roads, and not in the small towns, only two of which even sell alcohol (Oak Bluffs and Edgartown).

Many of the country's most affluent black families have enjoyed a century-old tradition of summering on the island. Concentrated primarily in and around the town of Oak Bluffs, and the East Chop area, these families have historically represented the black elite from Boston; Washington, D.C.; and New York City. Today, affluent black families from around the country have taken to the Vineyard, and the community is known as a popular summer destination for judges, physicians, business executives, surgeons, attorneys, writers, politicians, and professors. The historic presence of black residents on the island resulted in the nickname of one of Oak Bluff's most popular beaches. Dubbed "The Inkwell," this small beach is central to Oak Bluffs and within short walking distance to many of the homes of the more notable black families. The Inkwell
The Inkwell
The Inkwell is a 1994 romantic comedy/drama film, directed by Matty Rich. This movie stars Larenz Tate, Joe Morton, Suzzanne Douglass, Glynn Turman, and Vanessa Bell Calloway...

(1994), directed by Matty Rich
Matty Rich
Matty Rich, born Matthew Statisfield Richardson , is a film director and screenwriter who broke into the film world with the 1991 film Straight Out of Brooklyn which was financed by credit cards and donations. Rich also plays a major character in the film...

, dealt with this close-knit Vineyard community.

The Run&shoot Filmworks Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival (mvaaff.com) held every second week in August, highlights the works of independent and established African-American filmmakers from across the globe. This annual event draws attendees from all across the world.

Since the 19th century, the island has had a sizable community of Portuguese-Americans, concentrated primarily in the three down-Island towns of Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and Edgartown; they traditionally worked alongside other island residents in whaling and fishing. It also has a large community of Brazilian
Brazilian diaspora
The Brazilian diaspora refers to the migration of Brazilians to other countries, a fairly recent phenomenon that has been driven mainly by economic problems that have afflicted Brazil since the ending of the military dictatorship in the 1980s.-Demographics:...

 immigrants
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 who work mainly in the maintenance of the island’s vacation facilities.

The island's permanent residents were profiled in a London Telegraph article showing "the dark side of Martha's Vineyard".

The year-round working population of Martha's Vineyard earns thirty percent less on average than other residents of the state while keeping up with a cost of living that is sixty percent higher than average. Many people are moving to more affordable areas. Schools have seen a successive drop in enrollment over the past few years. Typically home to artists, musicians and other creative types, the Island has many residents who manage by working several jobs in the summer and taking some time off in the winter. The lack of affordable housing on the island has forced many families to move off-island.

Vineyard Haven (Tisbury
Tisbury, Massachusetts
Tisbury is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,755 at the 2000 census.Vineyard Haven is the main village/town center of Tisbury. The two names are used interchangeably...

)

  • Steamship Authority wharf (year-round transportation to Woods Hole, MA and New Bedford, MA)
  • Owen Park and Legion Field
  • Lake Tashmoo, including Tashmoo Overlook and Tashmoo Opening
  • Vineyard Haven Harbor, including the Marine Railway
  • The Lagoon
  • The Black Dog
    The Black Dog
    The Black Dog is a restaurant and tavern in Vineyard Haven on the island of Martha's Vineyard. The restaurant was founded in 1971, and became well known for its souvenir T-shirts, featuring its logo of the eponymous black dog...

  • The Capawock Theatre
  • West Chop
    West Chop
    West Chop is a residential area located in the town of Tisbury, Massachusetts on the north end of the island of Martha's Vineyard. It is a peninsula surrounded on the north and west by Vineyard Sound and on the east by Vineyard Haven Harbor. A lighthouse, West Chop Light, stands at the north end of...

    , including the West Chop Lighthouse and West Chop Woods
  • Martha's Vineyard Shipyard (150 years of history)
  • The Katharine Cornell
    Katharine Cornell
    Katharine Cornell was an American stage actress, writer, theater owner and producer. She was born to American parents and raised in Buffalo, New York.Cornell is known as the greatest American stage actress of the 20th century...

     Theatre (formerly Association Hall)http://www.kctconcerts.com/

Oak Bluffs


  • Steamship Authority wharf (seasonal transportation to Woods Hole
    Woods Hole, Massachusetts
    Woods Hole is a census-designated place in the town of Falmouth in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. It lies at the extreme southwest corner of Cape Cod, near Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands...

     and New Bedford, Massachusetts
    New Bedford, Massachusetts
    New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States, located south of Boston, southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, and about east of Fall River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts...

    )
  • Oak Bluffs Harbor (year-round transportation to Falmouth, Massachusetts
    Falmouth, Massachusetts
    Falmouth is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States; Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Cod. The population was 31,531 at the 2010 census....

     and seasonal transportation to Hyannis
    Hyannis, Massachusetts
    Hyannis is the largest of seven villages in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Also it is the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod and was designated an urban area as a result of the 1990 census. Because of this, many refer to Hyannis as the "Capital of the Cape"...

     and Nantucket, Massachusetts
    Nantucket, Massachusetts
    Nantucket is an island south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the United States. Together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget, it constitutes the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and the coterminous Nantucket County, which are consolidated. Part of the town is designated the Nantucket...

    , Quonset Point, Rhode Island)
  • The Flying Horses Carousel
    Flying Horses Carousel
    The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark.-History:This carousel, one of two similar carousels built by the Charles W. Dare Company, was built in 1876. It was moved by New York attorney F. O. Gordon from Coney...

     (the oldest operating carousel
    Carousel
    A carousel , or merry-go-round, is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders...

     in the United States.)
  • Circuit Avenue, and the Island and Strand Theatres
  • The Wesleyan Grove
    Wesleyan Grove
    Wesleyan Grove is a National Historic Landmark District in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts on the island of Martha's Vineyard. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005...

    , also known as the Martha's Vineyard Campgmeeting Association (MVCMA) or "The Campgrounds," including an elaborate collection of over 350 gingerbread cottages
    Carpenter Gothic
    Carpenter Gothic, also sometimes called Carpenter's Gothic, and Rural Gothic, is a North American architectural style-designation for an application of Gothic Revival architectural detailing and picturesque massing applied to wooden structures built by house-carpenters...

     which encircle the Methodist Tabernacle that serves as the center point of the community
  • Ocean Park, Hiawatha Park, and Viera Park
  • Farm Neck Golf Club
    Farm Neck Golf Club
    Farm Neck Golf Club is a semi-private golf club located in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Designed in 1979 by Geoffrey Cornish, Bill Robinson, and Patrick Mulligan, the course started out as only 9 holes....

  • State Beach and the Inkwell beach (setting for the movie The Inkwell
    The Inkwell
    The Inkwell is a 1994 romantic comedy/drama film, directed by Matty Rich. This movie stars Larenz Tate, Joe Morton, Suzzanne Douglass, Glynn Turman, and Vanessa Bell Calloway...

    )
  • Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
    Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
    Manuel F. Correllus State Forest is a Massachusetts state forest located on Martha's Vineyard. The forest borders Martha's Vineyard Airport on three sides and is chiefly in the towns of West Tisbury and Edgartown...

  • East Chop
    East Chop
    MV East Chop is a ferry in Massachusetts that operates between Hyannis and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.She measures in length overall and in beam. She is powered by two diesel engines which drive two propellers....

    , including the East Chop Lighthouse
  • Eastville
  • Harthaven
    Harthaven, Massachusetts
    Harthaven is a community in the town of Oak Bluffs located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States.-History:Harthaven was first settled by William H. Hart who purchased five lots from the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company in 1871. Two years later he added an additional...

  • Martha's Vineyard Sharks
    Martha's Vineyard Sharks
    The Martha's Vineyard Sharks are a collegiate summer baseball team based on Martha's Vineyard, that is set to play in 2011 in the announced Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England...

    . MV Sharks are Martha's Vineyards newest summer collegiate baseball team. Playing at Vineyard Baseball Park, located at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in Oak Bluffs, Mass.

Edgartown


Edgartown is an old whaling town that re-emerged in the 20th century as a summer sailing and beach town. It is characterized by 18th and 19th century homes, including well-preserved whaling captains' homes and historic churches. It was the place where the movie Jaws
Jaws (film)
Jaws is a 1975 American horror-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. In the story, the police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach,...

was filmed and doubled as the fictional town of "Amity" from the Peter Benchley novel.


  • Edgartown Harbor and Edgartown Lighthouse
  • The Whaling Church run by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust* Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary run by the Massachusetts Audubon Society
  • Katama
    Katama
    Katama is a residential area in the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts, on the south shore of the island of Martha's Vineyard. It is bordered on the west by Edgartown Great Pond, on the east by Katama Bay and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean.The word "Katama" comes from a Wampanoag word meaning...

    , including South Beach and Katama Airfield
    Katama Airpark
    Katama Airpark, in the Katama section of Edgartown, Massachusetts, is a public airport owned by the Town of Edgartown. It has three runways, averages 22 flights per day, and has approximately four aircraft based on its field....

  • Chappaquiddick - including the ferry, Mytoi
    Mytoi
    Mytoi is a small Japanese garden set within an open pine forest on Chappaquiddick Island, in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The Trustees of Reservations owns and maintains the property....

    , the Dyke Bridge, Wasque, and Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge
    Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge
    Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife refuge on Chappaquiddick Island owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations. The refuge consists of and includes the 1893 Cape Poge Lighthouse.-Description:...

     and Lighthouse
    Cape Poge Light
    Cape Poge Light, sometimes called Cape Pogue Light, is at the northeast tip of Chappaquiddick, an island that is part of Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts....


West Tisbury
West Tisbury
West Tisbury is the name of two places:*West Tisbury, Wiltshire, England*West Tisbury, Massachusetts, USA...

  • The Martha's Vineyard Airport
    Martha's Vineyard Airport
    Martha's Vineyard Airport is a public airport located in the middle of the island of Martha's Vineyard, three miles south of the central business district of Vineyard Haven, in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. This airport is owned by Dukes County and lies on the border between the...

  • Christiantown, including Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary and the Mayhew Chapel
  • The Grange Hall
  • Alley's General Store
  • North Tisbury, Lambert's Cove
    Lambert's Cove
    Lambert's Cove is a region in Tisbury and West Tisbury, Massachusetts, on the island of Martha's Vineyard. It extends from Upper Lambert's Cove in Tisbury to Lower Lambert's Cove in West Tisbury. Lambert's Cove Road accesses several roads of note, including Makonikey and Longview...

     (including Lambert's Cove Beach
    Lambert's Cove Beach
    Lambert's Cove Beach is a well known beach in the town of West Tisbury on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, United States. The beach is located off Lambert's Cove Road, and is situated in a cove off of Vineyard Sound facing west towards the Elizabeth Islands...

     and Seth's Pond) and Makonikey
    Makonikey
    Makonikey is a rural neighborhood on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, that lies on the border of Tisbury and West Tisbury. The Tisbury section is called Lower Makonikey, and the West Tisbury section is called Upper Makonikey. The neighborhood lies between Lambert's Cove Road and the Vineyard...


Chilmark
Chilmark, Massachusetts
Chilmark is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 843 at the 2000 census. The fishing village of Menemsha is located on the northern end of town along its border with the neighboring town of Aquinnah...

  • Menemsha
    Menemsha, Massachusetts
    Menemsha is a small fishing village located in the town of Chilmark on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. It is located on the east coast of Menemsha Pond, adjacent to the opening into the Vineyard Sound on the pond's northern end...

    , including Menemsha Harbor (popular sunset-watching location), Menemsha Pond (popular for sailing or kayaking) and "Squid Row."
  • Lucy Vincent Beach
  • Tiasquam River
    Tiasquam River
    The Tiasquam River is a stream on the southwest of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.The creek arises in the eastern section of Chilmark, and flows generally east, then south, into West Tisbury, Massachusetts to feed the Tisbury Great Pond, which in turn empties into the Atlantic Ocean from the...

  • Menemsha Hills
    Menemsha Hills
    Menemsha Hills is a nature reserve located on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts in the town of Chilmark. The property is owned by The Trustees of Reservations.- External links :*...

     Reservation
  • The Chilmark Community Center
  • Beetlebung Corner
  • Great Rock Bight Preserve
  • Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank, property. Has a handicapped-accessible, shady, wide, level waking trail with benches, you can stop and admire the views of Vineyard Sound and the Elizabeth Islands. A more challenging and steeper trail leads to a sheltered bay where the, so called Great Rock stands in front of a sandy beach.

Aquinnah (Formerly "Gay Head")

  • Gay Head cliffs
  • Gay Head Lighthouse
  • Lobsterville

Well-known beaches

  • Cape Pogue
  • The Inkwell
  • Lambert's Cove Beach
    Lambert's Cove Beach
    Lambert's Cove Beach is a well known beach in the town of West Tisbury on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, United States. The beach is located off Lambert's Cove Road, and is situated in a cove off of Vineyard Sound facing west towards the Elizabeth Islands...

  • Lobsterville Town Beach
  • Lucy Vincent Beach
  • South Beach at Katama
    Katama
    Katama is a residential area in the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts, on the south shore of the island of Martha's Vineyard. It is bordered on the west by Edgartown Great Pond, on the east by Katama Bay and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean.The word "Katama" comes from a Wampanoag word meaning...

  • State Beach
  • Harthaven beach
  • Menemsha beach

Chilmark


Edgartown

  • 4th of July
    Independence Day (United States)
    Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain...

     parade and fireworks
  • 12 Meter Boat Race at the Edgartown Yacht Club (Featuring many winning America's Cup
    America's Cup
    The America’s Cup is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America's Cup match races between two yachts. One yacht, known as the defender, represents the yacht club that currently holds the America's Cup and the second yacht, known as the challenger, represents the yacht club that is challenging...

     boats)
  • Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby (Early Fall)

Oak Bluffs

  • The Grand Illumination (see also here
    Grand Illumination
    A Grand Illumination is an outdoor ceremony involving the simultaneous activation of lights. The most common form of the ceremony involves turning on Christmas lights....

    )
  • Oak Bluffs Harbor Festival
  • Annual Oak Bluffs Fireworks, presented by the O.B. Fire Department
  • Juneteenth Celebration
  • Portuguese Feast (mid-July)
  • Tivoli Day (September)
  • Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament (covered on ESPN)
  • Tabernacle Film Series on Tuesdays in July and August Martha's Vineyard Film Society
  • Chili Festival
  • The Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby (in September)
  • Annual Dick's Bait and Tackle Memorial day weekend tournament
  • Flying Horses: oldest carousel in the nation
  • Martha's Vineyard Sharks
    Martha's Vineyard Sharks
    The Martha's Vineyard Sharks are a collegiate summer baseball team based on Martha's Vineyard, that is set to play in 2011 in the announced Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England...

     summer collegiate baseball. The Sharks playing in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League
    Futures Collegiate Baseball League
    The Futures Collegiate Baseball League is a 6 team collegiate summer baseball league. The Futures League was co-developed by the New York-Penn League's Lowell Spinners owner Drew Weber, Weber formally developed and owned the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Double A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays...

    . From June through early August, some of America's finest baseball prospect will descend upon the island. All home games are played at Vineyard Baseball Park in Oak Bluffs, Mass.
  • Run&Shoot Filmworks Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival held every second week in August. http://www.mvaaff.com

Tisbury

  • Last Day/First Night. Many events and fireworks.
  • Tisbury Street Fair
  • The Run&Shoot Filmworks Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival. Second weekend in August. http://www.mvaaff.com
  • Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival in September
  • Santa arrives on the ferry every December.

West Tisbury

  • Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Fair
  • Farmer's Market
  • Chilmark Flea Market
  • Vasalini's Chicken Cam: http://flyingskunk.com/live.php

Local television and radio

  • Plum TV
    Plum TV
    Plum TV is a lifestyle television channel launched in 2002 by Nantucket Nectars founder Tom Scott, along with producer Cary Woods and television executive Chris Glowacki. Most recently Tom Scott has become CEO again. So far his performance has been lackluster. of The programming is locally...

    , Ch. 76 and available on Comcast Video-on-Demand throughout New England
  • MVTV, Martha's Vineyard public-access television
    Public-access television
    Public-access television is a form of non-commercial mass media where ordinary people can create content television programming which is cablecast through cable TV specialty channels...

     cable TV Community Television, Chs. 13,14,15
  • WCAI 90.1 91.1 94.3 FM Cape and Islands NPR station
  • WMVY
    WMVY
    WMVY is a community-oriented adult album alternative radio station based in the town of Tisbury, Massachusetts, on the island of Martha's Vineyard...

     92.7 FM
  • WVVY-LP
    WVVY-LP
    WVVY-LP is a radio station licensed to Tisbury, Massachusetts, USA, and serving part of Martha's Vineyard. The station is currently owned by Martha's Vineyard Community Radio, Inc. It is a community radio station with a freeform format. WVVY now operates at 100 watts and has a range of only...

    , 93.7 FM, MV Community Radio, Inc.


Most Vineyard residents have access to TV and radio broadcasting from the Greater Boston Area.

See also


  • Dukes County, Massachusetts
    Dukes County, Massachusetts
    -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 14,987 people, 6,421 households, and 3,788 families residing in the county. The population density was 144 people per square mile . There were 14,836 housing units at an average density of 143 per square mile...

     (for town
    Town
    A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

    s and villages of Martha's Vineyard)
    • Elizabeth Islands
      Elizabeth Islands
      The Elizabeth Islands are a chain of small islands extending southwest from the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the United States. They are located at the outer edge of Buzzards Bay, north of Martha's Vineyard from which they are separated by Vineyard Sound, and constitute the town of...

      • Cuttyhunk
        Cuttyhunk
        Cuttyhunk Island is the outermost of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. It was the first site of English settlement in New England. It is located between Buzzards Bay to the north and Vineyard Sound to the south...

      • Naushon Island
        Naushon Island
        Naushon Island, part of the Elizabeth Islands, is seven miles long, just off Cape Cod, and four statute miles NW of Martha's Vineyard. The island is owned by the Forbes family and is included in the town of Gosnold, Massachusetts...

    • Nomans Land (Massachusetts)
      Nomans Land (Massachusetts)
      Nomans Land is an uninhabited island 612 acres in size, located in the town of Chilmark, Dukes County, Massachusetts, USA...

  • Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
    Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
    Martha's Vineyard Regional High School or MVRHS is a high school in Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, United States.-History:...

  • Martha's Vineyard Sign Language
    Martha's Vineyard Sign Language
    Martha's Vineyard Sign Language is a sign language once widely used on the island of Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, U.S., from the early 18th century to the year 1952. It was remarkable for its use by both deaf and hearing people in the community; consequently, deafness did not...

  • Nantucket Island
  • Plum TV
    Plum TV
    Plum TV is a lifestyle television channel launched in 2002 by Nantucket Nectars founder Tom Scott, along with producer Cary Woods and television executive Chris Glowacki. Most recently Tom Scott has become CEO again. So far his performance has been lackluster. of The programming is locally...

  • The Steamship Authority
  • Martha's Vineyard Magazine
    Martha's Vineyard Magazine
    Martha's Vineyard Magazine is a regional magazine covering Martha’s Vineyard island and has been in publication since 1985.-About the magazine:...


External links