Ship to Shore

From Gazette editions of January, 1934:

Many who did not expect to be awake to see the New Year ushered in, were aroused from their slumber at a little before 12, midnight, with the blowing of whistles by steamers and tugs in Vineyard Haven harbor. A general “hustle out” of the old year 1907 and a “welcome in” to the newborn year 1908 took place.

Col. Goethals, the army engineer in charge of building the Panama Canal, is credited with making changes in the construction plans which will at once add to its efficiency and save the country $8,000,000 in construction expense. Combining this genius for economy and practicability with the hustle which is moving dirt at a rapid rate gives promise of the enterprise turning out a complete success. Col. Goethals is making a name for himself in time of peace that he might never have even had a chance to make in time of war.

David N. Bosworth has picked up a bundle of rubber upon the shores of Cuttyhunk. It is supposed to have come from the steamer Trojan, which was sunk off the lightship nearly two years ago. Almost two weeks ago the life savers found a barrel of whiskey which is thought to have come from the same vessel. It is probable that the heavy swells of late are breaking her to pieces.

Statistics furnished by the manufacturers of shirts and collars indicate that the average New York man has a smaller neck than his out of town brother. Comparisons of orders show that out of a given volume of business booked, Boston and Chicago led in the matter of big sizes. Inquiry at several haberdashery shops in Manhattan resulted in the information that any number larger than sixteen and a half would have to be especially called for from the factory or had through the selling agent. In other cities it is an everyday experience to sell as high as size eighteen over the retail counter. Of course the element of snug fit is a factor, but as a regular proposition eastern and western men are more “bull necked” than is the case with their small necked New York brethren.

During the past week the several boats engaged from Edgartown in haddock fishing have had a number of days of good fishing, the number of fish taken by each boat having been reported as follows: Louise, 2,250; Mildred, 2,060; Myrtle, 530; Hester, 2,370; Priscilla, 1,290; Olive May, 1,500; about 50,000 pounds in all.

The barmaid has frequently been the subject of adverse criticism, but has been sturdily defended by those who resent interference with anything established. The reformers who are seeking to prevent the employment of women in barrooms are quoting advertisements which clearly show that girls are employed because they attract men to saloons, and it is argued when men go to saloons they drink. The crusade in favor of the elimination of the barmaid is headed by some eminent persons — physicians, scholars and politicians — in such a fashion that the subject is likely to become a burning one in the near future.

A petition has been circulated remonstrating against the placing of telephone poles on William street, north, in Vineyard Haven as asked for by the N.E. Tel. Co., signed by every resident property owner on the route indicated, on account of the unsightliness, disfigurement and damage to trees,, etc., etc. A hearing was held on Monday evening at which several of the remonstrants appeared, but we have not heard the decision of the selectmen yet. Doubtless the strong feelings against it will prevail.

One of the first houses in what is now Oak Bluffs was built in Farm Neck about 1670. A description of this building would apply to a number of houses built at this time. Of one story, large in the base and low in the post, they were always located near springs of fresh water, or where water could be had by digging shallow wells. Another interesting fact is that near the site of these ancient homes can be seen old pear and cherry trees which tradition says were planted soon after these houses were built.

The frames of these houses were of oak and pine which grew near. There was a saw pit in Farm Neck to which the great native pine, some of which were three feet in diameter, were hauled by oxen, and sawed into convenient dimensions by hand, one man in the pit and the other above. The chimneys were very large, some eight feet square at the base and made of rude brick burnt in the neighborhood. The lime used to make the mortar was of the very best quality, made by burning oyster, clam and other shells. The boards that were used to cover the frames the old folks called “bay boards” because they came from saw mills along Buzzards Bay.

Compiled by Cynthia Meisner