Oak Bluffs Through the Years

Take a step into the past with this historic video courtesy of the Vineyard Gazette’s TimeMachine project, a digital archive of multi-media from the archives of the island’s oldest broadsheet.

Oak Bluffs has long been the beating heart of summertime on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s here in the mid 19th century that the island’s first summer tourism activity took hold of the popular American imagination.

Today, Oak Bluffs maintains the same reputation for summer fun that the town’s popularity was built on more than 150 years ago. The country’s oldest carousel, the Flying Horses, is still in operation (as are many of the arcades and historic hotels), the Methodist Campground’s tabernacle is still a popular gathering place for music, lectures, and Sunday worship, and swimming in the beaches along the Vineyard Sound are still the best way to keep cool each summer in old Oak Bluffs.

For a more in-depth understanding of the development of Oak Bluffs, check out our post  written by our owner, Mark Snider, for a presentation he made on the Vineyard in the summer of 2023, check out our post “Oak Bluffs: From Sheep Pasture to Summer Colony”.


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