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Founded in 1642 as Great Harbor, Edgartown is the oldest of Martha's Vineyard's six townships. It has been a shire town and a center of learning, a whaling port and a fishing village, a manufacturing center and a mecca for sportsmen. Its gleaming captain's houses and majestic public buildings are a testament to the wealth that whaling brought to the island in the mid-1800s, but the end of New England whaling was far from the end of its story. Faced with the loss of the industry that had sustained it, Edgartown reinvented itself as a summer-centered community of resort hotels, bathing beaches, and genteel vacation homes. It welcomed the world to its shores and became an unlikely cultural icon—a backdrop to a best-selling memoir, a political scandal, and a blockbuster film—famous for being its inimitable self.
ISBN: 9781467128636
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Massachusetts
Series: Images of America
Images: 203
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
A summer resident of Martha's Vineyard since infancy and a year-round resident since 2011, A. Bowdoin Van Riper is research librarian at the Martha's Vineyard Museum. This volume uses photographs from the museum's collection to tell Edgartown's story from the beginning of the golden age of whaling in 1820 to the premiere of Jaws in 1975. It is the story of a town continually trimming its sails and adjusting its course to match the winds of change.
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