Sheriff's Meadow Highlights Historic House

The historic Mayhew-Hancock-Mitchell House at Quansoo Farm is the topic of a presentation by Adam Moore of the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation at an August 14 talk beginning at 5 p.m. at the Chilmark Public Library. The historic house, dating back to the 17th century, is one of a handful of homes in the U.S. that contain original wattle and daub construction.

The foundation is currently raising funds to preserve the house.

Old Home Foe; Not the Heat but the Humidity

Unlike most houses that undergo basement reconstruction, the house on 8 Planting Field Way in Edgartown has a foundation that has kept the building upright for 163 years.

“With a lot of old homes the foundation collapses entirely,” said Scott Decker, the general supervisor. “We end up having to literally raise up the house, rip out the old foundation and put in new footings.

Captain Warren's House By Any Other Name

Is it really the Warren House? I see in the Gazette that the Warren House is back in the news. I have to smile. The house had a sign on it, “The Captain Warren House” for as many years as I have been coming to the Vineyard.

Can This Old House Be Saved? Maybe

None of the houses on North Water street in Edgartown are small. But tucked among the old whaling captains’ homes, with their broad lawns stretching down to private docks on the outer harbor is a comparatively diminutive Greek revival building known as the library. The fate of this home has hung in the balance since September, when plans for its demolition were first presented to the Edgartown historic district commission in the wake of strong neighborhood opposition to the project.

A leading opponent is neighbor John Connors.

Preservation Trust Buys Historic Boathouse

The Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust announced this week that it will buy and preserve the Norton property on the Edgartown harbor that includes the Osborn building, the oldest structure on the Edgartown waterfront.

The trust will buy the Dock street property owned by the Norton family which includes two buildings and a dock adjacent to Memorial Wharf. The boathouse was built after the 1944 hurricane. The Osborn building is much older and dates to the 1830s.

The House the Houghs Built

The House the Houghs Built

Has the importance of history and the preservation of old architecture in the Island community fallen down a rabbit hole?

It would certainly seem so, and the scant public outrage over the proposed demolition of the Hough house on Pierce Lane in Edgartown is just the latest example.

Inside the Oldest House on the Vineyard

Up in the attic of the old house at Quansoo, you can read its somewhat haphazard growth over 300 odd years. You see where the several additions were made to the original structure. You see ancient roof timbers, reinforced with temporary framing and juxtaposed with a concrete block chimney.

Downstairs, too, there is something of an historical jumble. In the cracked wall evidence of wattle and daub construction but on the floor, linoleum. And outside, a new temporary roof over the old one to protect the building from further deterioration.

Plans for Quansoo House Boosted by National Trust

Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation has been awarded a $3,000 matching grant from the National Trust to create a site plan for the Mayhew-Hancock-Mitchell House at Quansoo Farm in Chilmark.

This grant will enable Sheriff’s Meadow to create a plan for the house, its surroundings and the nearby structures that is coordinated, attractive and appropriate. The site plan will also enable Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation to create a document to be used in filings with the Chilmark Historical Commission and other town boards, as needed.

Parsonage History Outweighs Hardship

The West Tisbury historic district commission agreed this week that it will not allow the demolition of the Old Parsonage house in West Tisbury.

Owners Tara and Daniel Whiting have made a preliminary request to tear down the house which dates to the 1600s and overlooks Parsonage Pond on State Road.

In a meeting on Monday members of the commission urged Ms. Whiting to withdraw her application for a certificate of hardship, intended to buttress the need to raze the house.

Saving Parsonage House

Saving Parsonage House

The old house is one of those places you drive by — nearly every day if you live up-Island and frequently if you live anywhere else on the Vineyard and come through West Tisbury on State Road. Probably you take it for granted, and that’s the way it is with the old houses and barns of the Vineyard that are so much a part of its architectural and living character and history.

We take them for granted until they are gone.

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