<< Island Towns


"Nunnepog" was what the Native Americans called it, and it meant Freshwater Place. In 1642, Thomas Mayhew and other settlers alighted on the shores of what they called the "Great Harbour," the first Vineyard settlement. The year 1671 brought its final name, Edgar Towne, named after Edgar, son of the Duke of York.

The 19th century was a time of prosperity for the Island, and whaling captains built majestic mansions that faced the harbor, which are immaculately kept today. A walk through the neighborhoods, in particular North and South Water Streets, puts these grand structures on display Take note of the historical buildings on Main Street: The Dr. Daniel Fisher House, maintained by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust, The Old Whaling Church and the oldest house on the Island, the Vincent House Museum (built in 1672), which is behind the Daniel Fisher House.

Edgartown was practically built at the foot of the sea, and has been one of the world's yachting capitals for more than a century. It has the characteristics of a New England coastal town. The architecture, charming alleyways, subdued color (houses and buildings can only be painted white, per town ordinance), flowering rose bushes, and tiny, one-of-a-kind specialty shops and boutiques, make Edgartown a sophisticated village.