From the June 23, 1921, edition of the Gazette:

What is age? You who dread to grow old, who shudder at the thought of years to come, who wish to stop the onward march of time, come to Martha’s Vineyard and look in some bright morning on Mrs. Sarah D. Pease. You will find her busily employed while the sun streams in the windows and brightens the home-like room.

If you really are a stranger you will be surprised to learn that Mrs. Pease is ninety-three years, and a little more. Her birthday came on the 13th of April.

This ninety-three year old lady sits before you all alone, for she is active and well able to look after herself. She will tell you that her son’s house is only next door and if she should want to, she could easily reach him. And so she sits in the pleasant room, or busies herself about the house, and you wonder how it feels to have lived almost a century.

When Isaiah D. Pease brought home a wife from Falmouth, his brothers and sisters looked at the slender woman and said that Isaiah had a wife who was not very strong. There were nine in the wife’s family, and nine or ten in Isaiah’s. And the slender little wife has outlived them all.

It was in 1849 that Mr. and Mrs. Isaiah D. Pease were married. That same year the husband left for California on a quest for gold with the famous expedition of the Walter Scott on which many Vineyarders went out. He was gone twenty months.

In 1888 Isaiah Pease died, leaving his wife and children. One son, Edward H., died on his twenty-first birthday, and his going was a blow to his mother. The other children are Louis H. Pease, Mrs. Adeline R. Stearns, and Miss Leila Pease and their ninety-year old mother has had a wonderful life with them.

In all the years since she was married, Mrs. Sarah Pease has been to Oak Bluffs every summer out three. As a girl she first went to the camp meeting in the Falmouth tent, and a little later she and her husband had the first family tent on the campmeeting grounds. On the same avenue near the present tabernacle, there were five family tents, all of them occupied by Peases — and naturally enough the place is Pease Avenue.

The greatest changes Mrs. Pease has seen have been in Oak Bluffs. As a girl she saw the early camp meeting days; she saw the first tents increase and the colony grow. From the time when a tall fence shut off the campmeeting ground from what is now the Circuit Ave. district and the gate was closed nightly at ten o’clock after a crier had cried curfew, - from this forgotten period up through the intervening ages of Cottage City and Oak Bluffs, Mrs. Pease has seen the summers ebb and flow and ebb again.

She has never had an illness in her life, with the single exception of typhoid from which she suffered one summer. Dr. Lane says she is the most wonderful patient he ever had.

The year that Mrs. Pease was ninety, she made a trip to her girlhood home in Falmouth. That was the last time she has left the island, although she could have gone often since. The trip to Falmouth must gave been disappointing for she found that the years had changed things all about. Trees had grown up where none stood before, and fences had altered and new things had taken the place of old.

Now Mrs. Pease is the oldest member of the Methodist Church at Edgartown — the oldest in years and the oldest in point of membership in the church. One of the great changes she feels deeply has been in the life of the church. She came to Edgartown when the port was still a busy mart, and the new church was crowded at every service. And now it is the old church, and the old members have been gathered to their fathers and few new ones have come to fill their places.

From one year to another the world seems to move slowly and change takes place little by little; but in the span of ninety years, everything is altered and only the sun and stars seem eternal and unchangeable.

So Mrs. Pease has found the years full of change, and of later years full of changes more saddening as the associates of her youth have gone away. When she goes abroad small wonder that Mrs. Pease feels the effect of loneliness, for her world has moved on and she is in a new world with her children.

“I don’t want to go away and leave my children,” Mrs. Pease says, and her sense of goodness of life and of the love of children must point a moral to the thoughtless of fewer years. The wisdom and philosophy of ninety years is the fullness of knowledge.

But Mrs. Pease does not feel old. She says, “I never felt old at all until I was ninety, and I don’t feel old now until I try to do things — then sometimes I think I must be getting old.”

At ninety-three she is active around the house and takes as much interest in things as anyone many years her junior. She is most particular how she dresses and summer will find her in white from head to foot. No black for her! No black and no gloom, for that “looks too much like an old lady.”

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox