<< Island Towns

West Tisbury

Originally called Takemmy, which means "Where anybody goes to grind corn," West Tisbury is the agricultural - and actual - center of the Island. West Tisbury and Tisbury (called Vineyard Haven) were once one, until West Tisbury decided to secede because of what they viewed as the conflicting livelihoods of each town, and theincreasing "citification" of Tisbury.

The land is lush and open, punctuated only by lofty trees, horse and vegetable farms, and still, fresh water ponds. The beaches are within biking distance from the small but impressive town center, held supremely in place by a tall, town hall with a mansard roof and an finely crafted Congregational church. Both are located on Music Street, named because at one time, every family on the street was rumored to have a piano. Tiger Lilies and beach roses line the roads in summer and continue onto the sandy roads to cabins in the woods.

Alley's General Store is a favorite landmark, as well as the Field Gallery across the street, which has seasonal shows and year-round exhibits. West Tisbury attracts many poets, writers and artists perhaps because it is both inspiring and secluded. Winding down the street back toward Edgartown is the placid Old Mill Pond, the home of ducks and swans.

The spectacular West Tisbury Agricultural Fair, with its famous horse-drawing contest, is over a century old. Originally held in the fall when all the crops had been harvested, the date was changed to August as the Island's popularity as a summer resort grew.

West Tisbury is known as the most politically active of the towns, and just recently appointed the third woman Chief of Police in Massachusetts.

Year-round population: 704
Summer population: 7450 Size: 25 square miles