Vineyard Haven (Tisbury)
Excellent shops, fine restaurants, and a beautiful harbor are only a few of the attractions that make Vineyard Haven so special to tourists and residents alike.
The town that incorporates Vineyard Haven is called Tisbury, after a parish in England near the birthplace of the Island’s first governor, Thomas Mayhew. English settlement of the area dates from the mid-1600s, when Mayhew purchased the settlement rights from the Crown.
Owen Park, off Main Street (just beyond the shopping district), honors one of Vineyard Haven’s whaling captains. The town beach here is a fine place to watch the harbor. Ferries shuttle in and out, providing the Island’s year-round connection to the mainland.
On the opposite side of Main Street from Owen Park is the Old Schoolhouse Museum. Erected in 1828, this building has served many uses. It was once a carpentry shop, a school, and later served as the Congregational Church In front of the museum stands the tall white Liberty Pole, commemorating the daring of three young women who inserted gun powder in the base of the town’s liberty pole in 1778 and blew it up to keep it from being used as a spar by a British warship.
When the Congregationalists outgrew their little church in 1844, they built a neo-classic building on Spring Street that later became the Unitarian Church and eventually the town hall. Vineyard Haven’s municipal building is one of the Island’s most handsome architectural legacies of whaling days.
The Vineyard Playhouse building on Church Street was built in 1833 as a Methodist meeting house. Today it houses the Island’s only year-round professional theater company.
When ships were powered by wind and canvas, Vineyard Haven was one of New England’s busiest ports because of its strategic location on the sailing routes. Most of the coastwise shipping traveled through Vineyard Sound (13,814 vessels were counted in 1845). Holmes Hole, as this harbor community was called, provided a convenient anchorage. Here a ship and its crew could lay over comfortably to wait out bad weather, pick up provisions, or take on an experienced local pilot who could negotiate the rips
and shoals that were the special perils of this sea route.
In addition to Owen Park, the town maintains War Veterans’ Memorial Park off Causeway Road (located just behind the fire station). The park includes playground equipment for young children and playing fields used by local ball teams.
There are many scenic places around the town: in addition to Main Street and the harbor, the Tashmoo Lake overlook on State Road, the nearby Tisbury Water Works, West Chop Lighthouse, and the area around the drawbridge on Beach Road are favorite spots for photographers.
Fire – To report a fire: 911
Beach Street Station: 508.696.4246
Police – To report an emergency: 911
To report urgency, but no emergency: 311
Water Street Station: 508.696.4240
Tisbury Town Hall
51 SPRING STREET
PO BOX 1239, VINEYARD HAVEN 02568
Selectmen – Tristan Israel; Thomas Pachico; Geoghan E. Coogan; 508.696.4202
Town Administrator – John R. Bugbee; 508.696.4203
Accountant – Suzanne Kennedy; 508.696.4255
Ambulance Service (Business only) - 508.696.4214
Animal Control Officer – Laurie Clements; 508.696.4209
Animal Inspector – Maura Valley
Building & Zoning Inspector – Kenneth Barwick; 508.696.4280
Civil Defense Director – Richard Townes
Coastal & Marine Warden – John “Jay” Wilbur III.
Constables – Remo L. Fullin Jr; Mark Campos
Elections Warden – Barbara Silvia
Fence Viewer – Vacant
Fire Chief – John Schilling
Gas Inspector – Michael Ciancio
Harbormaster – John “Jay” Wilbur III; 508.696.4249.
Moderator – Deborah Medders
Municipal Census Supervisor – Marion Mudge
Plumbing Inspector – Michael Ciancio
Police Chief – Daniel Hanavan
Shellfish Constable – Danielle Ewart; Fred Benson, assistant
Town Clerk – Marion Mudge; 508.696.4215
Town Counsel – Kopelman and Paige, PC
Treasurer & Tax Collector – Tim McLean; 508.696.4250
Veterans’ Grave Officer – JoAnn Murphy
Wiring Inspector – Raymond Gosselin
TOWN BOARDS, ETC.
Assessors – Angela Cywinski; Roy Cutrer; David Dandridge; 508.696.4206
Board of Health – Michael Loberg; James Pringle; Bruce Stelle; 508.696.4290
Board of Registrars – Alden Besse; Elizabeth Call; Catherine Mayhew; Marion Mudge
Capital Program Committee – Donald Amaral; Shelley Carter; Hillary Conklin; Tim McLean; Jonathan Snyder; Denys Wortman
Conservation Commission – Kevin Begley; Suzan Belincampi; John Best; Anne Good; Thomas Robinson; Nancy Weaver; 508.696.4260
Council on Aging – Bruce E. Doten; Kenneth Gross; Anthony Guyther; Sandra Johnson-Pratt; Albert Koster; Donald Rose; Connie Teixeria; 508.696.4205
Finance & Advisory Committee – Don Amaral; Rob Doyle; Larry Gomez; Muriel Mill; Melinda F. Loberg; Jonathan V. Snyder: Antonio Teixeira; Peter Hefler; Jynelle Kristal; John R. Packer; Mary O. Deyette; Denys Wortman
Harbor Management Committee – Miles Carpenter; Jeremy Goodale; James Lobdell; Melinda Loberg; Jeff Robinson; Charles Felder
Land Bank Commission – Thomas Robinson
Library Trustees – Sandra Johnson-Pratt; Marilyn Wortman; Pamela Street; Jo Weinberg; Dorothy Campbell; Karen N. Kasper; James Norton; Heather Quinn; Arthur D. Smith
Martha’s Vineyard Commission – John Best; Nathaniel J. Orleans; Holly Stevenson
Personnel Board – William Brown; William Cini; William O'Connell Jr.;
Planning Board – Daniel J. Seidman; Anthony Peak; Henry Stephenson; Jeffry Thompson; Robert Aldrin; 508.696.4270
Public Works Commissioners – Leo DeSorcy; David Ferraguzzi; John Thayer; Frederick Thifault; 508.696.4220
Recreation Department – 508.696.4220
School Committee – Colleen McAndrews; Robert Tankard; Janet Packer
Water Commissioners – Roland Miller; David Schwab; Elmer Silva; 508.696.4230
William Street Historic District Commission/Tisbury Historic Commission – Bruce MacNelly; Judith Federowicz; Dana Hodsdon; Michael Levandowski; Margaret Sibert; Craig Whitaker; Linda Cohen; Anna Lowell Finnerty; Andrew Berry; Harold W. Chapdelaine
Zoning Board of Appeals – Michael Ciancio; Susan Fairbanks; Jeffrey Kristal; Anthony Holand; Neal Stiller; Frank Piccione, associate member; John Guadagno, associate member