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 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: 911
Pease’s Point Way Station: 508.627.5167
Police – To report an emergency: 911
To report urgency, but no emergency: 311
Alternate Emergency Number: 508.696.5776
Pease’s Point Way Station: 508.627.4343
70 MAIN STREET, PO BOX 5158
508.627.6100 (May 15-Oct. 15)
Office hours: 8 am-4 pm, M-F
ELECTED TOWN OFFICERS & APPOINTED STAFF
Board of Selectmen – Michael Donaroma; Margaret Serpa; Arthur Smadbeck, chair; 508.627.6180
Board of Assessors – Edward Belisle. chair; Laurence Mercier; Alan C. Gowell; admin. assistant: Cynthia Bonnell. 508.627.6140
Board of Health – Kathleen N. Chase; 508.627.6120
Constables - Jonathan Searle; Scott Ellis
Financial Advisory Committee – Donna Lowell-Bettencourt; Fred Condon; Thomas Durawa; Morton Fearey Jr.; Steven C. Jordan, chair; Barbara Schriber, Leslie Baynes
Health Agent – Matthew Poole
Library Trustees – David Blackburn; Diane T. Bongiorno; Herbert Foster; Elizabeth M. Cosgrove; Deanna Laird; Robert Avakian; Julie Lively; 508.627.4221
Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission - Edward Vincent, Jr
Moderator – Philip Norton, Jr
Park Commissioners – Glen Searle; Christopher Dolby; Jane Varkonda. Marilyn Wortman, administrator; 508.627.6145
Planning Board – Alan Wilson; Fred Mascolo; Robert Cavallo; Robert Sparks; Mike McCourt; James Cisek, alternate. Georgianna Greenough, assistant. 508.627.6170
School Committee – Leslie Baynes; Susan Mercier; David Rossi
Town Administrator – Pamela M. Dolby; 508.627.6180
Town Clerk – Wanda Williams; 508.627.6110; asst. town clerk, Karen R. Medeiros
Town Collector – Melissa Kuehne; Debroah Willoughby, asst. coll.; Kristy Rose, clerk; 508.627.6135
Wastewater Treatment Commission – Timothy Connelly; Cliff Karako; Floyd Norton; Joseph Alosso, facilities manager; 508.627.5482
Water Commissioners – Robert Burnham; William Erickson; John Lovewell; Fred Domont, supt; 508.627.4717
OFFICERS ELECTED AT TOWN MEETINGS
Measurers of Wood and Bark & Weighers of Coal – Russell Grant; James Joyce; Martha Look; Laurence Mercier
Surveyors of Lumber – Robert Avakian. George Magnuson, Jr.; Patrick Mercier; Fred B. Morgan, Jr
BOARD OF SELECTMEN APPOINTMENTS
Accountant – Kimberly Kane; Laurie Mathers, asst.; 508.627.6125
Affordable Housing Committee – Janet Hathaway; Christina Brown; Melissa Vincent; Sharon Purdy; Robert Clay; Tinothy Rush; Mark Hess; Sibel Suman, administrator; 508.627.6178
Affordable Housing Trust – Melissa Vincent; Robert Clay; Margaret Serpa; Janet Hathaway; Sharon Purdy; Priscilla Sinatra; Mark Hess
Airfield Commission – Jamie Craig; James Harrison; Fred B. Morgan, Jr.; Robert Stone; Michael Nagle
Americans With Disabilities Act Coordinator – Leonard Jason, Jr
Animal Control – Barbara Prada; 508.627.9611.
Beautification Advisory Committee – Anne Vose; Cammie Leighton; Christina Miller; Roberta Hutchinson; Carol Fligor; Gerret Conover
Board of Fire Engineers – Peter Shemeth chief; Richard Kelly; Alex Schaeffer: Scott Ellis; Geoffret Freeman; Charlie Smith; Michael Smith; Laurence Thomas, deputy chief
Board of Registrars – Phyllis Brown; Irene Resendes; Jo-Ann Resendes
Building Inspector – Leonard Jason Jr.; Gene Massaferro; Ursula Prada, asst.; 508.627.6115
By-Ways Committee – William Bassett; Robert Green; Dudley Levick
Cable Advisory Committee Representative – Pamela Dolby
Capital Programs Committee – Nancy Shemeth; Jane Barbini; Jon Laird; Glen Searle; Barbara Schriber; Robert Cavallo
Cemetery Commissioners – Susan Brown; Alan Gowell; William Lewis. Michael Smith, supt. 508.627.3134
Census Director – Wanda Williams
Christmas Decorations Committee – Jean Hathaway; Priscilla S. Bettencourt; Gail Avakian
Conservation Commission – Robert Avakian; Christina Brown; Jeff Carlson; Stuart Lollis; Lisa Morrison Carberry, assistant; Edith Potter; Lil Province; Jane Varkonda, agent; Edward Vincent, Jr., chair. 508.627.6165
Council on Aging – Nancy Shemeth; Olga Church; Judy Hathaway, Janice Hathaway, Christine White; Janice Hathaway; Paul Mohair, director; 508.627.4368
Emergency Management/Civil Defense –
Fence Viewer – Robert Ward
Fire Chief – Peter Shemeth
Fire Department Ambulance Service – Alex Schaeffer, Coordinator; Chester Cummens; Hadley Antik; Jake Sylvia; Michael Klimmick; Jen O'Hanlon
Fire Inspectors – Scott Ellis; Alex Schaeffer; Peter Shemeth
Gas Inspector – George Apostolides; Francis Kuszewski
Harbormaster – Charles J. Blair Jr. 508.627.4746
Highway Superintendent – Stuart Fuller. 508.627.4004
Historic District Commission – Beverly Fearey; Carol Berger; Catherine Finch, James Cisek, chair; Mary Sullivan; Pamela Scott; Roberta Hutchinson; Norman Vunk; William Bishop III. 508.627.6155
Housing Authority Representative – Melissa Norton Vincent
Independence Day Committee – Fred Morgan, Jr, chair; Alfred Noyes; James Craig; Richard Krauss
Inspector of Animals – Barbara Prada; 508.627.9611.
Land Bank Advisory Board – Michael Donaroma; William Erickson; Steven Ewing; Karen Kukolich; Christina Miller; Edith Potter; Andrew Kelly
Marine Advisory Committee – Charles J. Blair, Jr.; Bruce MacIntosh; Gary Look; Mark Mattison
Martha’s Vineyard Commission – James Joyce; Christina Brown
Martha’s Vineyard Commission Joint Transportation Committee Representative – Stuart Fuller
Martha’s Vineyard Regional Transit Authority – Angela Grant; Lois Crane
Oil Spill First Response Team – Charles J. Blair Jr.; Antone Bettencourt
Oyster Pond Access Committee – Paul Bagnall; Dudley Levick; Mary Miller; Jane Varkonda
Parking Ticket Clerk – Carol M. Grant
Personnel Board – Maureen Hall; Carolyn Flynn; Paul D. Moreau; Matthew Poole, employee rep; Marilyn Wortman, asst.; 508.627.6150
Plumbing Inspectors – George Apostolides; Francis Kuszewski
Police Chief – Antone Betencourt
Ponds Advisory Committee – Dudley Levick; John MacKenty; Janet Bagley; Floyd Norton; Timothy Connelly; David Luening; Thomas Wallace; Paul Bagnall; Richard Johnson; Alison Cannon
Shellfish Committee – Donald Benefit; Raymond Long; Jack Blake; Ryan Smith; Cooper Gilkes
Shellfish Constable/Marine Biologist - Paul Bagnall. 508.627.6175
Sign Advisory Committee – Gerret Conover; Harriet Hoar; Stephen Warriner; Martin Tomassian; Courtney Brady
Town Counsel – Ronald Rappaport
Town Hall Receptionist – Louise Bernard
Town Treasurer – Sharon Willoughby; treas.’s asst: Pamela Amaral; 508.627.6130
Tree Warden and Superintendent of Moth Extermination – Stuart Fuller
Veterans’ Agent – JoAnn Murphy
Water Resource Management Officer – Fred Domont.
Wire Inspectors – Robert A. Young, Jr; Michael Dolby; David Schwab
Zoning Board of Appeals – Carol Grant; Martin Tomassian, Jr, chair; Richard Knight; John Magnuson; Nancy Whipple. 508.627.6160