The trustees of the two-year-old Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Society have begun a campaign - low-key, by mail - for funds and something besides.
“At the moment we are preparing a federal tax exemption application requesting tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service,” says a letter signed by trustees Paul R. Anderson and C. Stuart Avery. “In making this request we are anxious to show the Internal Revenue Service that what started out as an interest of a group of people does have public support and is likely to continue to do  so.”
The society was organized by a relatively small group of Edgartonians - the trustees number eight in all - as a means of acquiring, restoring, and preserving the Dr. Daniel Fisher House on Main street. Of that dazzling example of rehabilitation for use the letter says:
“The continuing flow of comments praising this development is undoubtedly shared by you and is adequate testimony to the valuable contribution this is to the community.”
Among Edgartown properties potentially preservable for public use, “one such project is foremost in our thinking at the moment,” the letter says. It did not supply specifics, but towns people observed that in September the trustees of the estate of the late Samuel B. Norton signed an agreement under whose terms title to five great houses on the Edgartown harbor front would pass to Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Mr. Dickinson is a member of the Preservation Society’s corporation’s board of trustees.
The immediate appeal is for a showing of broad public interest and support.
Says the letter:
“Although we cannot give you any assurance that the Society will be granted tax except status, we are hopeful the Society will receive a favorable ruling, in which case contributions to it will be tax deductible.”
Three categories of contributors have been established: sponsors, giving $1,000 or more; patrons, giving $100 or more; and supporters, giving anything less than $100.
The Society’s interest is Island-wide.
The letter says:
“Since we believe that this instrumentality has the potential for long-term preservation of architecturally and historically important buildings in Edgartown and possibly elsewhere on the Island as time goes on, we are hoping that you will be kind enough to indicate your support.
“Broader public appeal will have to await a favorable ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, but we want at this point evidence that we are on the right track and that we will in fact represent the public interest.
“This particular appeal is therefore a selective one, designed to show that we do have sufficient public appeal for tax exemption. Your gift will be used for the further enhancement of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House.”
Other members of the board of trustees are Mrs. Robert E. Cullen, Alfred Hall, Philip J. Norton Jr., Winthrop B. Norton, and William C. Parks.