Edgartown in Massachusetts

Saturday, 15 October 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Edgartown Harbor © Don Ramey Logan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Edgartown Harbor © Don Ramey Logan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Edgartown is a tourist destination on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States, for which it is the county seat. It was once a major whaling port, with historic houses that have been carefully preserved. Today it hosts yachting events around its large harbour. It includes the smaller island of Chappaquiddick. Edgartown is a part of Massachusetts’s 9th congressional district, represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a portion of the Cape and Islands district. The town’s population was 5,168 at the 2020 census.

Edgartown was an old whaling port and is now a summer and tourist destination with a multitude of houses built by whaling captains and other prominent people of prior centuries. The growth of the population over the past 25 years has led to a period of intense renewal of these old houses. Water Street along the harbor is the location of many of these “Captain’s Homes” which line both sides of the street. The town has also encouraged renovation of historical structures. As part of this effort, the Whaling Church, a large 18th-century church, has been converted to a performing arts center and the adjacent Daniel Fisher House is now used for a variety of social functions. In addition to the architecture of the town, Edgartown is easily traversed on foot or bicycle, making it attractive to tourists. Edgartown was used as the main shooting location for the town of Amity in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster Jaws. Many landmarks and buildings in Edgartown that were filmed in the movie can still be seen today.

Town Hall © John Phelan/cc-by-3.0 Whale Tale Sculpture © Mr Senseless Edgartown Harbor © Don Ramey Logan/cc-by-sa-4.0 Edgartown Lighthouse © Rfgagel Main Street © John Phelan/cc-by-sa-3.0 On Time III and II ferries crossing between Edgartown and Chappaquiddick Island © Dolly442(cc-by-sa-3.0
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On Time III and II ferries crossing between Edgartown and Chappaquiddick Island © Dolly442(cc-by-sa-3.0
The Edgartown Harbor Light at the end of north Water Street defines the entrance to the Harbor. The harbor is large and entered through a modest sized channel on the North side of Edgartown. It opens into Katama Bay, created by a barrier beach that sometimes connects the south end of Chappaquiddick to the remainder of Edgartown, The barrier beach opened during a spring storm in 2007. This has led to a 3 knot current through Katama Bay and Edgartown Harbor. This protected body of water provides ample mooring for small and large boats. The opening of the harbor will accommodate large sailing and motorized boats, but will not accommodate large ships or yachts which may anchor outside the harbor. Another feature is South Beach, a small part of the ocean beach that runs the entire southern length of the island from Edgartown to Aquinnah. It can be reached by driving or riding the bus south from Edgartown center for approximately 2.5 miles. South Beach is a crashing ocean beach. It is a major destination for tourists. Much of the beach in Edgartown is open to the public with ample parking available. The section of the beach near Katama is often crowded, while the sections further to the west (near Edgartown Great Pond and Oyster Pond) are often less so.

Auto transportation to Chappaquiddick is provided by two ferries, the “On Time II” and “On Time III”. A common myth is that the original ferry “On Time” was given its name because the ferry has never had scheduled runs and thus is never late. In fact, the ferry was given this name because a new owner, Foster B. Silva of Chappaquiddick, had less than two weeks to build it before taking over the service on August 1, 1948. The work crew—led by Captain Samuel B. Norton and master boatbuilder Manuel Swartz Roberts, both of Edgartown—built and launched the new ferry “on time.” This original “On Time” was converted to a barge dispensing fresh water to visiting yachtsmen after its service as a ferry ended in 1975. The barge was sold and lost track of in the late 1990s. The “On Time II,” built in 1969, and the “On Time III,” built in 1975 and now owned by Peter. S. Wells and his wife Sally T. Snipes of Chappaquiddick, are still in service. In addition to the On Time Ferry, Edgartown is home to another ferry, the Pied Piper, which runs seasonally between the town and Falmouth, on Cape Cod. There are two airports in the town. Katama Airpark is a grass field and located between Katama Bay and Edgartown Great Pond in the southern part of town; it serves smaller private aircraft. Along the border of the state forest lies Martha’s Vineyard Airport, which Edgartown shares with West Tisbury. This airport is used for commercial commuter flights from nearby sites on the mainland and Nantucket.

Read more on VisitEdgartown.org, Wikivoyage Edgartown, Wikivoyage Martha’s Vineyard and Wikipedia Edgartown (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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