Gone Whaling: A Child’s Eye View of Life on a Whale Ship
Megan Dooley

“It is Sunday, and a very pleasant day. I have read two story books. This is my journal. Goodbye for today.”

So opened six-year-old Laura Jernegan’s journal, in an entry dated Dec. 1, 1868, as she set sail on a three-year sea expedition with her family aboard the whaling vessel Roman.

Read More

Scrap Metal, Spies and Soldiers: A Girl Recalls Island in Wartime
Jim Hickey

The Vineyard was a frightening place for a young girl to be during World War II, but exciting too. Servicemen were walking the streets before their deployment to Europe. Navy and Army pilots conducting training exercises overhead occasionally came crashing into the ocean. And there were the constant rumors of enemy spies and submarines along the Island’s shores.

Read More

Museum Open House Unveils New Location’s Ample Charms
Holly Nadler

It’s the most famous Island landmark hardly anyone has ever seen. Built in 1895 as a marine hospital, the old plantation-style manor, with gray shingles, white trim and a sweeping balcony, on its 4.4.-acre hilltop, once commanded a view of Vineyard Haven harbor. At some point over the years the building acquired a white clapboard façade, enhancing its resemblance to Tara in Gone with the Wind. Across the broad lawn, a ring of pine and oak trees grew tall, obscuring the water vistas, and, at the same time, the long deserted building too.

Read More

Shipwrecks Below Island Waters Are Museums Unto Themselves
Peter Brannen

A mile and a half off East Chop, 50 feet down, is a 380-foot World War I British freighter laden with motorcycles, steel billets, railroad car wheels, candles and clothes, still waiting patiently for delivery to the front lines in France. It is the Port Hunter and for photographer and anthropologist Sam Low it was a teenage playground.

Read More

Agricultural Society, Polly Hill Join Forces to Buy Vineyard Museum Land
Lauren Martin

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is close to selling the West Tisbury land once envisioned as its future home to the neighbors, the Polly Hill Arboretum and the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society.

The sale is likely to be completed by the end of the week, arboretum executive director Tim Boland said. Surveying work was underway and everything was going very positively, he said.

“We both could see real utilitarian needs [for the land] ... and we feel strongly about keeping it in the agrarian spirit,” Mr. Boland said of the unified purchase with the agricultural society.

Read More

World War II Veterans Exhibit Breaks Free to the Internet

In celebration of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum has launched a new online exhibit sharing the stories of Vineyard World War II veterans.

Those Who Serve: Martha’s Vineyard and World War II, began as an exhibition in the Museum during 2009 and 2010. The exhibit’s popularity resulted in an oral history book curated by Linsey Lee. Short audio excerpts of those interviews have now been put together with archival photos in an online exhibit allowing people all over the world to hear the stories.

Read More

Museum Set to Buy Marine Hospital
Mike Seccombe

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum expects to sign within days a purchase and sales agreement to buy the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven for an undisclosed price.

The purchase of the historic property, perched on a hill above the harbor, would mark a major step in the museum’s long quest to find a new home for its historical collections outside of Edgartown.

Museum executive director David Nathans said yesterday morning he hoped to have a deal completed by week’s end.

Read More

Museum Unveils Designs for New Site
Peter Brannen

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum would restore the former Marine Hospital’s view to Vineyard Haven harbor in its ambitious plan to relocate there, renovating the hospital building to house museum staff and collections, razing a 1938 brick addition, building a new barn-like structure running for exhibition and storage space, paving a 50-car parking lot and clear-cutting the property’s front lawns overlooking the Lagoon Pond, which have become overgrown in recent decades.

Read More

Museum Bullish on Vineyard Haven Move
Peter Brannen

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has extended its option to buy the former Marine Hospital property in Vineyard Haven for four months while it evaluates fund-raising sources for what could be a $20 million relocation and renovation effort.

Museum director David Nathans said this week that building on the enthusiasm of abutters, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and of the community at large, the board of directors voted last Friday to extend an option that expired on Jan. 31 until May. He said the move signals the museum’s commitment to the site.

Read More

Former Hospital Site Will Open New Vistas For Museum
Olivia Hull

A new building has been added to the Vineyard Haven skyline. Well, actually it isn’t new—it’s been there since 1895, but a recent clearing of trees has exposed the 10,000 square-foot former marine hospital to the Lagoon Pond, to cars entering Vineyard Haven via Beach Road and to boats leaving the harbor.

Read More