Our venerable Windermere nursing and rehabilitation center behind the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is what remains of another failed Cottage City subdivision. “Windermere, a paradise indeed — a very Eden” as it was heralded by its promoters in the late 1800’s, was located at the Northeast shore of the Lagoon between the old lobster hatchery and today’s hospital. Its boundaries were County Road, Eastville avenue and Beach Road. Laid out as 350 lots within 75 acres, each lot would have been 2,500 square feet (50 feet per side), not much larger than those of the Campgrounds.
The lots were offered for sale for $150 each by the Windermere Land Company. They referred to Lagoon Pond as a lake and promised to build a public park, which they proposed calling The Overlook. They devoted a great deal of attention to an electric trolley that traveled seven miles from Cottage City to Lagoon Heights, with the Windermere stop alongside Eastville avenue before arriving at Vineyard Haven. The round trip was said to have taken an hour with cars running every 30 minutes and taking 12 minutes to travel to Cottage City.
The developers also highlighted a steam yacht, the Columbia, chartered from the Pilgrim Steamboat Company that made trips to Gay head, Buzzards Bay, Woods Hole, Makonikey, West Chop and Edgartown with room for 50 passengers. Thanks to a sales brochure given to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, we are able to see how the division was promoted, including its hyperbole about boating, bathing, the natural beauty of endless views, favorable wind and weather and peculiarly, as it turns out, the advantage of being located between the two “chief towns” of Cottage City and Vineyard Haven. With the presumption that the economy of the time impeded the success of this housing division, it is unclear as to how many, if any, lots were sold and Windermere went the way of Ocean Heights, Oklahoma, Bellevue Heights, Lagoon Heights and other Cottage City copycats of lesser note.
Tomorrow evening from 5 to 6 p.m. the United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard hosts a community supper at Trinity Parish House across from the Tabernacle. Church leaders, noting an increased need from young families to seniors, plan to fill a void and serve free hot meals on Saturdays. The church will use its new commercial kitchen to host these suppers every Saturday from Jan. 12 through March 30 at the Trinity Parish House. There is no charge for the suppers, though donations are welcome. For more information, contact Rev. Richard M. Rego at 508-693-4424.
The Friends of the Oak Bluffs Library hold their first book drive of the year tomorrow from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. They are looking for used books in good condition including hardcover and paperback, fiction and nonfiction, DVDs, CDs and books on CD. They must be in good shape, with no missing pages, water damage or mold. They would love to have you stop by.
The West Tisbury Library remains under construction and the ever-popular Nelia and Amy continue to bring their Mother Goose on the Loose story time for children newborn to three years old to the Oak Bluffs library. The next events take place on Thursday, Jan. 17, and again on Jan. 31, both days beginning at 10:30 am.
What are the odds that the Oak Bluffs Arts District would lose in the same week the Dukes County avenue music hotspots, Parr Audio and The Pit Stop? Well, not completely. Jimmy Parr is setting up anew in Vineyard Haven and plans to maintain a foothold with a Studio B in Oak Bluffs. The Pit Stop is in a different situation, with founder/owner/devotee Don Muckerheide anxious to find ways to save the venue for local music and performances or be economically forced to re-purpose the location for affordable housing, both needed and noble concepts. Best of luck to both entrepreneurs and their ventures. Adding to
the trials and tribulations of the much beloved WMVY-FM, local music is really taking a hit in 2013 and that’s too bad for us all.
Keep your foot on a rock.