Nantucket History & People

Steve “Tuna” Tornovish
Nantucket History & People

The First Rule of “Fish Club”

The cross-examination was withering: question after question, each one seemingly a tripwire cleverly placed to snare my plodding steps. The law yer pressed me relentlessly, stepping up his attack by the slightest degree, sensing that I was a moment away from falling apart. And he was right—my confidence was waning, and I was f loundering. I couldn’t play his game any longer. I reverted to what I did best, what had gotten me this far, what has always been the key to my survival I counterpunched.

Dr. Faith Frable
Nantucket History & People

Honoring Life Savers

Nantucket’s history is filled with stories of heroic lifesaving efforts made by ordinary citizens and those who went above and beyond the call of duty. Honoring that tradition, Egan Maritime Institute and Nantucket Cottage Hospital recognize the following modern-day lifesavers at an annual Lifesavers Recognition Day on Monday, September 11 […]

Rainbow Parade
Nantucket Arts, Nantucket Events, Nantucket History & People

This Sunday Is for Rainbows

This Sunday morning, August 20, hundreds will trek to the beach at Brant Point to watch a beautiful and joyful spectacle that has been a part of summer on Nantucket for half a century: the Rainbow Parade.
Artist G.S. Hill is usually among them. “I do a lot of on-location sketches during Opera Cup,” he explained. “The first year we were here, 1979, was the first year that I painted the Rainbow Fleet…it’s one of my favorite subjects. They’re so colorful!”

50 Main
Exploring Nantucket, Nantucket History & People, Nantucket Style

Still Surfing after All These Years

When you step through the door at 50 Main Street, you step into a combination of past and present.

An impressive array of rare and vintage timepieces dominates the front of The Trinity Collection. These exquisite, sophisticated watches were curated by owner E. Townsend Wright III, who delights in helping his patrons find the perfect timepiece to match their personality and their style. Many of his clients know him from visiting his shop in Palm Beach during the winter and are delighted to find him on Nantucket’s Main Street from June through September.

When Jane Austin Came to Town
Nantucket Essays, Nantucket History & People

When Jane Austin Came to Town

According to off-island enthusiasts, visiting Nantucket was something like a trip to a living history museum. As with Rome, the ancient glory of Nantucket had faded, but its heritage remained. An article in Harper’s Magazine from that time drew a connection between Nantucket’s main product— whale oil for lighting—and the experience of the “good old days” that Nantucket now represented. Between the ages of “lusty barbarism” (lighted by tallow) on the one side and “overstrained and diseased civilization” (lighted by kerosene) on the other, stood Nantucket and the “golden age of reason”— lighted by whale oil. Nantucket’s predominantly Federalist-style homes embodied “all the Renaissance classicism of Andrea Palladio as reinterpreted by Inigo Jones, Christopher Wren, and Robert Adam, and then stripped down to its bare essentials for trans-Atlantic shipment, whence it found its way to the houses of American rum merchants and whaling captains. It was the École des Beaux Arts simplified—the grand formal orders of antiquity that America had long consigned to a cobwebby corner of the national attic and forgotten. Above all, it was restrained and dignified, calming, orderly, and elegant, an architecture worthy of the forward-looking, rationalistic culture of the America of the late nineteenth century.”

Maria Mitchell
Nantucket Events, Nantucket History & People

Happy Birthday, Maria

Join the Maria Mitchell Association as it hosts a celebration of Maria Mitchell’s 205th birthday this Tuesday afternoon, August 1 on Vestal Street. From 1 pm to 4 pm, this free event willl offer astronomy and natural science activities, live animal displays, research demonstrations, face painting, live music by Susan […]

Nantucket History & People

First Island Tourists Came for the Sheep

The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first use of the word tourist only as far back as 1800, but as the dictionary’s definition implies, the new word describes an old habit—travelling for pleasure was not new when the word first appeared in print. By the beginning of the 19th century, the elites of English and European society had been touring for two centuries, travelling to the great cities and watering places, and taking the “Grand Tour” of the Continent. Nantucket was an early tourism destination, but not for its sea breezes or cultural offerings: they came for the sheep, or rather, the sheep shearing festival.

August Blues
Nantucket Events, Nantucket History & People

Countdown Is On Til August Blues

Blues music is about the realities of life. It expresses the ebb and flow of our human emotions, focusing mostly on the melancholy. When we’re sad, we have the blues. When we want to move away from that sadness, we can chase the blues away with music. Musically, it’s the famous 1-3-5 chord progression and a call and response lyric. But here on Nantucket, we’re often chasing the blues and trying our best to catch them. Never more so than this August, as the inaugural August Blues fishing tournament is ready to hit the Nantucket inshore fishing community.