From the May 9, 1947 edition of the Gazette:

William Claghorn of Vineyard Haven, who enjoys cataloging his reminiscences, has figured out that the town of Vineyard Haven has been picked up and literally shuffled, and then spread out again, all within his memory. To prove this statement, astonishing as it seems, he has listed the houses which have been moved from one location to another.

Why did people move houses in such a wholesale manner? is the question asked of Mr. Claghorn. He can only answer that, apparently, they were not satisfied with the former location of their homes. There is, however, one possibility. Glancing over the list, it would appear that numerous of these houses were moved from low points to higher ones, and it is recalled that within the memory of aged persons who have died within the past twenty years, a good portion of the town bordering the shores, was inundated by storm tides or a tidal wave. It might be that sundry of the inhabitants disliked the idea of undergoing a second experience of this kind. And there may have been many other reasons, but in any case, here is the list as prepared by Mr. Claghorn, and it is not entirely complete at that, he says.

The Granville Manter house, moved from Tea Lane, Chilmark, to West Chop. Also the Warren Cleveland house, (L.C. West estate) moved from Paul’s Point, West Tisbury. Twenty pairs of oxen were required to haul it.

Four houses, now on Mt. Aldworth, flaked and moved from Mokonikey. The home of Mrs. Orland S. Mayhew, flaked and moved from North Tisbury.

From Lambert’s Cove, the James Washburn house, the home of the late Seth Look, owned by George Walekr; and the Owen Tilton house, on Mill Hill.

The old mill, moved from Mill Hill to the General Carey estate. The Deacon Vincent house, now a part of the Gibson estate, moved from the South Road, Chilmark.

The W. R. Hancock house, moved from Tisbury Pond.

The Benjamin Reynolds house, moved from South Main to Pine Street; the Sylvester Bradley house, from Beach Street to South Main; the Abner Foster house, from the present telephone company lot, across Beach Street, now the office of Dr. Joseph Frisch.

The Fred Norton house, so-called, on Beach Street, was moved from Church Street; the Matthew Chadwick house, now owned by Wallace Lindsay, and located on Beach Street, was moved from West Chop to Church Street, and then to its present location.

The Charles F. Cleveland house, moved from Hillman’s Lane to West Chop. The Great house, so-called, from Hillman’s Lane to West Chop. Hillman’s Lane is no longer a through way, but formerly led from Main Street to the pier where packet sloops lay, in the vicinity of the S.B.S. grain storage sheds.

The home of Arthur B. Swift, on Daggett Avenue, moved from the corner of Main and Union Street, where it was used as a fish market.

The Luxmoor Leather factory, moved from the Main Street lot now occupied by the Martha’s Vineyard National Bank, to become the office of the Dukes County Garage on Water Street. The Sarah Gray house, also moved from the bank lot, to a site nearer the water. The store of Capt. St. Croix Oliver, on Water Street, moved south, and now used as the office of the Crowell Coal Company.

Tashmoo Inn, on North Main Street, moved from the corner of Main and Church Streets, the site of Cronig’s block.

The William Smith house, on Church Street, moved to Franklin Street, now the home of Chester Garde.

Jose Viara’s home on Franklin Street, moved from the Great Plain. The Colinsky house, so-called, on Franklin Street, moved from Oak Bluffs; and the home of Ed Cleveland, on North William Street, moved from Center Street to its present location.

The home of General William P. Ennis, on North William Street, was the former Ed Casey house, on Main street. The M. F. Cummings house, moved from North William Street and Tashmoo Avenue, to North William Street, no a part of the Silas Daggett estate.

The Cottle house, on Center Street, now occupied by Al Brickman, was moved from Franklin Street; the store of Ellis Manter, moved from Main to Church Street, and the Shorey house, flaked and moved from Oak Bluffs to Main Street.

The Kesiah Merry house, moved from Owen Park to Main Street, now owned by Mrs. F. H. Clark. The Johnson house, and the Gill house, also moved from Owen Park, and now consisting, in part, of Bayside Hotel.

Moved from the Bayside grounds to Owen Little Way, the Leander Winslow house, the Manley Smith house, and the house of H. W. McLellan.

The Henry M. Gould house, on Main Street and Daggett Avenue, moved from Hollyholm, on the North Road, Chilmark. The Littlefield house, moved to Daggett Avenue, from the present site of the gardens on the Ware estate. The Edward Robinson house, also moved, from the Ware estate to Main Street, now the Gaston property. Stevens Free Reading Room, (the early Seamen’s Bethel) moved from Hatch road to Bayside, and now owned by Mrs. J. A. Hofmann.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox