21 Facts About Martha's Vineyard


Martha's Vineyard, often simply called the Vineyard, is an island in the Northeastern United States, located south of Cape Cod in Dukes County, Massachusetts, known for being a popular, affluent summer colony.

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Martha's Vineyard includes the smaller adjacent Chappaquiddick Island, which is usually connected to the Vineyard.

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The population of the Martha's Vineyard was 14, 901 in the 2000 Census and was estimated at 15, 582 in 2004.

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Study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission found that the cost of living on the island is 60 percent higher than the national average, and housing prices are 96 percent higher.

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Thus for a time Martha's Vineyard was officially named Marthas Vineyard, but the Board reversed its decision in the early 20th century, making Martha's Vineyard one of the five placenames in the United States that take a possessive apostrophe.

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Island was originally inhabited by Wampanoag people, when Martha's Vineyard was known in the Massachusett language as Noepe, or "land amid the streams".

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Martha's Vineyard had friendly relations with the Wampanoags on the island, in part because he was careful to honor their land rights.

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Martha's Vineyard was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Dukes county in 1697, and remained on the bench until 1700.

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Martha's Vineyard was used by the Army, Navy and Air Force from 1941 through 1945 with training missions that ranged from landings on beaches to climbing cliffs and bombing practice.

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In 1977, distressed over losing their guaranteed seat in the Massachusetts General Court, inhabitants of Martha's Vineyard considered the possibility of secession from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, either to become part of another state, reincorporating as a separate U S territory, or as the nation's 51st state.

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Martha's Vineyard's grave remains a popular site for visitors to Chilmark and they often leave tokens in memory of the late comedian.

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In 1700, Reverend Samuel Sewall, a seasonal resident of Martha's Vineyard, was one of the first to publicly oppose slavery in the New England Colonies.

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Martha's Vineyard was known as an "everyone signed" community for several hundred years, and many deaf people view Martha's Vineyard as a utopia.

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Martha's Vineyard's climate is highly influenced by the surrounding Atlantic Ocean, which moderates temperatures throughout the year, although this moderation ishere as strong as on opposite sides of the Atlantic or the Pacific coast of the United States (Crescent City) at similar latitudes.

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Martha's Vineyard is located approximately seven miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod.

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Today, the Martha's Vineyard has become one of the Northeastern United States' most prominent summering havens, having attracted numerous celebrity regulars.

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Martha's Vineyard was the home to the winemaker Chicama Vineyards in West Tisbury, though it closed after 37 years on August 10, 2008.

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Across the Edgartown Vineyard Haven Road from the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in the town of Oak Bluffs, the Martha's Vineyard Skatepark is a concrete skatepark open to the public, offering a range of ramps and obstacles.

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Martha's Vineyard has been or is home to a number of artists and musicians, including Albert Alcalay, Evan Dando, Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Livingston Taylor, Kate Taylor, Alex Taylor, Tom Rush, Rick Marotta, Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur, Willy Mason, Unbusted and Mike Nichols.

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Late authors Shel Silverstein and William Styron lived on the Martha's Vineyard, as did writer, journalist and teacher John Hersey, poet and novelist Dorothy West and artist Thomas Hart Benton.

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Year-round working population of Martha's Vineyard earns 30 percent less on average than other residents of the state while keeping up with a cost of living that is 60 percent higher than average.

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