West Tisbury

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.

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.

Town Government

Fire – To report a fire dial 911
Edgartown Road Station: 508.693.2749
Public Safety Building: 508.693.9555

Police – To report an emergency dial 911

To report urgency, but no emergency dial 311
Alternate Emergency Number: 508.696.5776
Station: 508.696.0020

West Tisbury Town Hall

State Road, PO Box 278
West Tisbury 02575
Fax 508.696.0103
Town Hall Information (Recording): 508.696.0100
Office hours: 8:30 am-4:30 pm, M-F
If no direct number is listed please contact the town hall or website.

Town Officials

Selectmen - 508.696.0102

Executive Secretary

Town Clerk - 508.696.0148

Accountant - 508.696.0106

Animal Control Officer

Assistant Animal Control

Building Inspector - 508.696.0113

Cable TV Advisory Board

Cemetery Commissioners

Cemetery Superintendent

Assistant Cemetery Supt.


Dukes County Advisory Board

Dutch Elm Disease

Fire Chief - 508.693.9555 or 508.693.3287

Insect Pest Control

Land Bank Commissioner


Police Chief

School Department - 508.696.7738

Shellfish Constable - 508.696.0102

Sign Inspector

Superintendent of Streets

Tax Collector - 508.696.0104

own Clock

Town Counsel

Treasurer - 508.696.0108

Tree Warden

Transit Authority

Truant Officer

Veterans’ Graves Officer

Town Boards, Etc.

Board of Appeals - 508.696.0107

Board of Assessors - 508.696.0101

Board of Health - 508.696.0105

Conservation Commission - 508.696.6404

Council on Aging - 508.696.2896

Finance Committee

Historic District Commission

Land Bank Advisory Board

Library Trustees

Local Historical Commission

Martha’s Vineyard Commission

Parks & Recreation Committee - 508.696.0147

Personnel Board - 508.696.6404

lanning Board - 508.696.0149


Up-Island Regional School Committee