Edith Blake, who cut a colorful figure in Edgartown society for decades and famously documented the filming of the movie Jaws on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 1974, died Saturday at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was 97.

Photographer, writer, tennis player, sailor and devoted animal lover, Ms. Blake was the second wife of famed Vineyard Gazette publisher and editor Henry Beetle Hough. She came of age in an era on the Vineyard that is now largely consigned to the history books. Her family roots on the Island ran deep and dated back for well over a century, beginning with her great-grandparents who had owned a summer home near the Harbor View Hotel.

She made her first trip to Edgartown in 1936. “We were coming that summer because everyone was scared of polio,” she recalled in a 2017 interview with the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s oral historian Linsey Lee. She arrived in Oak Bluffs on a steamboat.

“I remember so distinctly that first time we came here,” she told Ms. Lee. “ . . . coming along the Beach Road, I was ecstatic. All this flat water that I could swim in. Immediately, I knew that I would love this place.”

And she did, eventually making the Island her permanent home after decades of summering there.

“The Vineyard meant freedom,” she recalled. “I was given a bike, a ticket for the ferry over to the beach [on Chappaquiddick], and a watch and told to be on time for meals. It was wonderful.”

In those summers there was a drug store with a soda fountain on Main street, and the boatbuilder Manuel Swartz was still building catboats in his shop, today the site of the Old Sculpin Gallery on Dock street.

Ms. Blake recalled sitting on the counters in the boat shed, fascinated by the long shaving of wood that covered the floors.

“I’d sit and talk to him. He was a great man. He helped many of us children around Edgartown, she told Ms. Lee.

She became a full-time Island resident in the mid-1960s after Mr. Hough hired her full time to write and take pictures for the newspaper. She married him in 1979; he died in 1985.

In 1974 when Jaws came to town, she was invited to a meeting with the filmmakers.

Almost immediately, she had some peppery advice for the Hollywood production crew that was born of local knowledge.

“You’re not going to bring all those hundreds of people back and forth from Chappaquiddick. It’s not going to work,” she told the filmmakers.

From that day on, she was granted insider access to the filming, taking thousands of exclusive pictures to go with her stories in the Gazette. She also worked in the casting department and acted as a stand-in for Lorraine Gary, who played the Amity police chief’s wife.

The following year, the same year Jaws was released, she published a book about her experience titled On Location.

The book stands today as both a record and impressive chronicle of the filming of the blockbuster movie.

And as with most things, Ms. Blake had blunt opinions about the impact of Jaws on the Vineyard.

“I don’t think it changed the Island,” she told the Martha’s Vineyard Magazine in a 2015 interview on the 30th anniversary of Jaws. Instead, she said:

“It changed the people who lived on the Island. People who didn’t have money suddenly did. People married people that they hadn’t met before. People became actors and went off to Hollywood. I think it did a great deal of interesting, good stuff for the Island. But I don’t know about changing it. I mean, everything is still blessedly the same. . . . With Jaws, it wasn’t people coming and finding us; it was people here going out to Hollywood.”

On Location ends with the following: “Not a sign was left (except perhaps in bank accounts) that an effort similar to a small war had been waged on Martha’s Vineyard.”

Ms. Blake is survived by numerous family members, friends and her parrot Gonzo, a blue-fronted Amazon. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. A full obituary will appear in a future edition of the Gazette.