One of New England’s most elegant communities, Edgartown was the Island’s first colonial settlement and it has been the county seat since 1642.
The stately white Greek Revival houses built by the whaling captains have been carefully maintained. They make the town a museum-piece community, a seaport village preserved from the early 19th century.
Main Street is a picture-book setting with its harbor and waterfront. The tall square-rigged ships that sailed all the world’s oceans have passed from the Edgartown scene, but the heritage of those vessels and their captains has continued. For the past hundred years Edgartown has been one of the world’s great yachting centers.
To view and appreciate this town fully, you must walk its streets. North Water Street has a row of captains’ houses not equaled anywhere. Study the fanlights and widows walks by day and stroll down the streets after the lamps are lit.
South Water Street is dominated by a huge pagoda tree brought from China as a seedling by Captain Thomas Milton in the early days of the last century. The house beyond it was that of Captain Valentine Pease, on whose ship Herman Melville made his only whaling voyage.
Many houses in Edgartown predate the whaling era. Most are private residences, but three notable ones are serving other needs. The Vincent House (built in 1672, the oldest known house on the Island) and the Thomas Cooke House are museums. At 34 South Summer Street, you’ll find the home built by Benjamin Smith in 1760. It is now the office of the Vineyard Gazette.
Across from the Gazette is the Federated Church, built in 1828. It still has the old box pews, which are entered through little doors and have narrow seats around three sides.
The famous Old Whaling Church with its six massive columns commands Main Street. Built in 1843 at the height of the whaling industry, the Church was given to the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust in 1980. It has been transformed into a performing arts center. Next door is the Dr. Daniel Fisher House, built three years before the Old Whaling Church.
There are excellent public beaches in the township of Edgartown. Norton’s Point, known as Katama, is a barrier beach providing surf bathing and the opportunity to explore Katama Bay on the other side of the dunes. Wasque and Cape Poge on Chappaquiddick are both unspoiled areas owned and maintained by The Trustees of Reservations. They are favorite spots for bluefish and bass fishermen. Lighthouse Beach, located off North Water Street near the town center, offers calm water and views of harbor activities. Bend-in-the-Road Beach, part of Joseph Sylvia Beach, has ample parking and is accessible by bicycle trail.
Felix Neck is about three miles outside the center of town on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. The 200 acres, owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, provide marked trails and a program of wildlife management and conservation education throughout the year.
Fire – To report a fire dial 911
Pease’s Point Way Station: 508.627.5167
Police – To report an emergency dial 911
To report urgency, but no emergency dial 311
Alternate Emergency Number: 508.696.5776
Pease’s Point Way Station: 508.627.4343
70 Main Street, PO BOX 5158
Edgartown, MA 02539-5158
508.627.6100 (May 15-Oct. 15)
Office hours: 8:00 am-4:00 pm, M-F
If no direct number is listed please contact the town hall or website.
Elected Town Officers & Appointed Staff
Board of Selectmen - 508.627.6180
Board of Assessors - 508.627.6140
Board of Health - 508.627.6120
Financial Advisory Committee
Library Trustee - 508.627.4221
Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission
Park Commissioners - 508.627.6145
Planning Board - 508.627.6170
Town Administrator - 508.627.6180
Town Clerk - 508.627.6110
Asst. Town Clerk
Town Collector - 508.627.6135
Wastewater Treatment Commission - 508.627.5482
Water Commissioners - 508.627.4717
Officers Elected at Town Meetings
Measurers of Wood and Bark & Weighers of Coal
Surveyors of Lumber
Board of Selectmen Appointments
Accountant - 508.627.6125
Affordable Housing Committee - 508.627.6178
Affordable Housing Trust
Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator
Animal Control - 508.627.9611
Beautification Advisory Committee
Board of Fire Engineer
Board of Registrars
Building Inspector - 508.627.6115
Cable Advisory Committee Representative
Capital Programs Committee
Cemetery Commissioners -508.627.3134
Conservation Commission -508.627.6165
Council on Aging -508.627.4368
Emergency Management/Civil Defense
Fire Department Ambulance Service
Harbormaster - 508.627.4746
Highway Superintendent - 508.627.4004
Historic District Commission - 508.627.6155
Housing Authority Representative
Independence Day Committee
Inspector of Animals - 508.627.9611
Land Bank Advisory Board
Marine Advisory Committee
Martha’s Vineyard Commission Joint Transportation Committee Representative
Martha’s Vineyard Regional Transit Authority
Oil Spill First Response Team
Oyster Pond Access Committee
Parking Ticket Clerk
Personnel Board 508.627.6150
Ponds Advisory Committee
Resident Homesite Committee
Shellfish Constable/Marine Biologist - 508.627.6175
Sign Advisory Committee
Town Hall Receptionist
Town Treasurer - 508.627.6130
Tree Warden and Superintendent of Moth Extermination
Water Resource Management Officer
Zoning Board of Appeals - 508.627.6160
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