A new short film for the Gazette collection Historic Movies of Martha's Vineyard shows rare scenes of Capt. Zeb Tilton cavorting with a crowd of well-dressed Vineyard swells.

The silent color film clips show Captain Zeb in top hat and tails aboard his beloved cargo schooner Alice S. Wentworth.

Capt. Zebulon Tilton, born in Chilmark in 1867, was known as the last of the coastal schooner men, sailing from Maine to New Jersey hauling freight, long after most of the world switched to mechanized power.

Several people who knew the garrulous Vineyard sea captain serve as narrators for the film. Among them was a crewman named Snookie Baptiste, who remembered Captain Zeb’s legendary strength and perseverance.

“He was quite the character,” said Mr. Baptiste in the film. “He was a tough old bird. He’d sail that two-masted schooner all by himself down to Rhode Island and back with freight. He was strong, very strong.”

Captain Zeb’s daughter Rosalie Tilton Spence recounts in the film how her father became famous far beyond the bounds of Chilmark for his wide voyaging work and sailing skills.

“His whole life and his love was the sea,” she said. “If he had a fair wind, he wouldn’t stop. Most of the time we sailed nights and days, too.”

The scenes demonstrate Captain Zeb’s well known wit, as he talks to the people gathered aboard the vessel for some sort of formal occasion. One young woman is seen throwing her head back and laughing with unabashed glee.

Among the final scenes in the film is the painter Thomas Hart Benton carefully brushing the finishing strokes on a portrait of Captain Zeb.

The film is produced by John Wilson and Tom Dunlop for the Gazette, using film from the private collection of Ruth and Ed Farrow.