Martha’s Vineyard Information
The island of Martha’s Vineyard sits just eight miles off the coast of Cape Code Mass. It was originally settled by the Wampanoag indians and discovered by the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold who sailed to the island in 1602.
Martha’s Vineyard was originally part of New York. It’s first Governor was Thomas Mayhew and so declared by the governor of New York as “Governor for Life and Lord of Tisbury Manor.” There is an excellent article here.
Martha’s Vineyard has been a summer hideaway of the rich and famous for more than a century and visited by president and politicians. Frequent visitors like Barack Obama, Mike Wallace, Jim Belushi, Reese Witherspoon, Keith Richards, David Letterman and Bill Murray, among many others. The most famous people to ever stay at the Captain Morse House? I cannot say.
Martha’s Vineyard weather is famous for changing. You may hit a rough patch during your holiday but that is when you simply need to go where others are not. Cold windy weather is not uncommon during the spring and fall but that means uncrowded streets and empty vistas on the beaches. When the weather clears you will have the place to yourself. That is just the way I like Martha’s Vineyard. Below is a graph showing the average weather.
Average weather for Edgartown. See more here
July through September is awesome for swimming at State Beach (warmer by a few degrees from ocean and Woods Hole) and South Beach. For average water temps please see here
History of Martha’s Vineyard
I won’t reinvent the wheel but there is a lot to the history of the island. So many interesting people over such a long period of time. I encourage you to search further.
HISTORY OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD
Courtesy of the website of the Wampanoag, the tribal name of the Indigenous People of Martha’s Vineyard.
“The last great North American glacier began its retreat some 10,000 years ago, leaving behind the accumulation of boulders, sand, and clay that is now known as Martha’s Vineyard. There, it is said, a benevolent being named Moshup roamed the land. One day, Moshup was making his way across the mainland to the headlands of the Aquinnah Cliffs. Weary from his journey, Moshup dragged his foot heavily, leaving a deep track in the mud. At first, only a silver thread of water trickled in the track. But gradually, the ocean’s force of wind and tides broadened and deepened the opening, creating an island named Noepe. The Wampanoag were the first people of Noepe.”
“The ancestors of Wampanoag people have lived for at least 10,000 years at Aquinnah (Gay Head) and throughout the island of Noepe (Martha’s Vineyard), pursuing a traditional economy based on fishing and agriculture. The Aquinnah Wampanoag share the belief that the giant Moshup created Noepe and the neighboring islands, taught our people how to fish and to catch whales, and still presides over our destinies. Our beliefs and a hundred million years of history are imprinted in the colorful clay cliffs of Aquinnah.”
– Wampanoag Tribe Website