It was the mill site that originally attracted settlers, because there was no stream in Edgartown strong enough to dam for a water wheel. The grist mill gave way in 1847 to the manufacture of satinet, a heavy fabric for whalemen’s jackets made from Island wool.
The Congregational Church on State Road is always open to visitors. Solid and settled as it now looks, even this structure did not escape the Islanders’ penchant for moving buildings around. The original churchyard, where the first settlers of the town are buried, is about a quarter of a mile down the road. Near the church is the West Tisbury Town Hall.
Several old houses here started out as inns, back when a trip from the down-Island ports to Aquinnah or Chilmark was a long haul over sandy roads. Daniel Webster stayed at the house next to the store building. Across the little pond from the old inn is the site of a house built by Miles Standish’s son in 1668.
The largest houses in town were owned by captains, and some of the finest are still occupied by their descendants. Several captains’ houses can be found on Music Street, given its name after a number of its families purchased pianos with new whaling money.
The Lambert’s Cove settlement has its share of fine homes and a charming white church. The Cove was once a place of anchorage for the town of West Tisbury. The area housed clay works, salt works, and extensive trap fishing operations. All this has vanished. Even the road to the harbor is gone. A woodland path leads to the beach, which is now set aside for year-round and summer residents of West Tisbury.
Other points of interest are Cedar Tree Neck Nature Preserve, the Polly Hill Arboretum, and the Christiantown Memorial.
Cedar Tree Neck offers unspoiled woods, with a freshwater pond and brooks, bounded by North Shore Beach. Picnics, fishing, and bathing are not permitted, but there are marked trails for those who enjoy the opportunity to watch birds and walking.
The Arboretum contains more than 200 species of trees, a picnic area, and Visitors’ Center. A complete description appears in the Conservation and Recreation section of this Almanac.
The Christiantown Memorial is located off Christiantown Road. Here one may see a tiny chapel, a pulpit rock where services were held for the Wampanoag in the 17th century, the rough small burial stones of these first converts, and a nearby wildflower garden.
Fire – To report a fire: 911
Edgartown Road Station: 508.693.2749
Public Safety Building: 508.693.9555
Police – To report an emergency: 911
To report urgency, but no emergency: 311
Alternate Emergency Number: 508.696.5776
West Tisbury Town Hall
State Road, PO Box 278
West Tisbury 02575
Town Hall Information (Recording): 508.696.0100
Office hours: 8:30 am-4:30 pm, M-F.
Selectmen – Glenn R. Hearn, chair; J. Skipper Manter; Dianne Powers. 508.696.0102
Executive Secretary – Jennifer Rand
Town Clerk – Prudence M. Whiting; 508.696.0148.
Accountant – Bruce Stone; 508.696.0106
Animal Control Officer – Joan Jenkinson
Assistant Animal Control – Allen Healy
Building Inspector – Ernest Mendenhall; 508.696.0113
Cable TV Advisory Board – John Scanlon
Cemetery Commissioners – Glenn R. Hearn; J. Skipper Manter; Dianne Powers
Cemetery Superintendent – John S. Alley
Assistant Cemetery Supt. – Howard Wall
Constables – Timothy Maley; Timothy Barnett
Dukes County Advisory Board –
Dutch Elm Disease – Jeremiah Brown
Fire Chief & Forest Warden – Manuel Estrella III
Insect Pest Control – Jeremiah Brown
Land Bank Commissioner – Glenn R. Hearn
Moderator – F. Patrick Gregory
Police Chief – Beth Toomey. 508.693.0020
School Department – 508.696.7738
Shellfish Constable – Tom Osmers
Deputy - Kenneth Jones
Sign Inspector – Ernest Mendenhall
Superintendent of Streets – Richard Olsen
Tax Collector – Brent Taylor, 508.696.0104
Town Clock, care of – Malcolm Young
Town Counsel – Ronald Rappaport
Treasurer – Kathy Logue; 508.696.0108
Tree Warden – Jeremiah Brown
Transit Authority – John Alley
Truant Officer – Beth Toomey
Veterans’ Graves Officer – Brian Athearn
TOWN BOARDS, ETC.
Board of Appeals – Anthony Higgins, Jr.; Roger Hubbell, Jr.; Lawrence Schubert; Robert Schwier; Eric Whitman. alternates: Antonio Cohen; Nancy Cole; 508.696.0107
Board of Assessors – Michael Colaneri; Cynthia Mitchell; Stanton Richards; 508.696.0101
Board of Health – Timothy Barnett; Eric Lowe; David Merry; 508.696.0105
Bicycle Path Committee – John Early; Peter Rodegast; Linda Sibley; Juleann VanBelle; Kate Warner; David Whitmon
Conservation Commission – Prudence Burt; Judith Crawford; Peter Rodegast; Tara Whiting; Debra Swanson, Pat Durfee, assoc members; 508.696.0107
Council on Aging – Joyce Bowker, director; Kathleen Brady, asst. director; Nancy P. Cabot; J. Skipper Manter; Ann Nelson; 508.693.2896
Finance Committee – Brian Athearn; Al De Vito; Sharon Estrella; Richard Knabel; Ann Nelson
Historic District Commission – Sean Conley; Nancy Dole; Anne Fisher; Allen McDowell; Mark Mazer
Land Bank Advisory Council – Richard Cohen; Michael Colaneri; William Haynes; George Hough; Bruce Keep; Susan Silva
Library Trustees – Leslie Baker; Linda Hearn; Hermine Hull; Virginia Jones; Dan Waters. 508.693.3366. Library director:
Local Historical Commission – Susan Arnold; Jill Bouck; Anne Fisher; Cynthia Riggs: Ellen Weiss
Martha’s Vineyard Commission – James Powell
Parks & Recreation Committee – Douglas Bardwell; Robert Holt; D. Bruce Keep; Cheryl Lowe; Richard Reinhardsen; 508.696.0147
Personnel Board – Nancy Alyce Abbott; Daniel Cabot; Ann Miller; Norman Perry; Ernie Mendenhall, employee representative
Planning Board – David Douglas; Eileen Maley; Susan Silva; Mark Yale; Leah Smith; Eric Hammerlund (alt.) 508.696.0149
Registrars – Bernice Kirby; Rufus Peebles; Antone H. Rezendes, Jr
Up-Island Regional School Committee – Dan Cabot; Jeffrey Manter; Marshall Segall; Roxanne Ackerman