Here's New England!: A Guide to Vacationland

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B U Z Z A R D S B A Y A N D THE
I S L A N D S
Whalers to Motor-Cruisers

US 6; New Bedford, 32 m. from Newport.

ACROSS Vineyard Sound two ancient salty rivals face each other: New Bedford and Nantucket, once the leading whaling ports of the world. 'Thar she blows!' That was the cry that spelled wealth and fame for both of them, when for a century and a half Buzzards Bay was the world center of a golden industry.

The Bay itself is only half tamed. Dark islands rise up from its depths, the last strongholds of a primitive wilderness. Flung across it, the ELIZABETH ISLANDS form a slender archipelago. East of them jut the bold headlands of Martha's Vineyard, 'a land of old towns, new cottages, high cliffs, white sails, green fairways, salt water, wild fowl, and the steady pull of an ocean breeze.' And out beyond the Vineyard lies the Island of Nantucket, with its 'little gray town in the sea.'

NEW BEDFORD is now a textile city. But the Museum of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society and the Bourne Whaling Museum on Johnny Cake Hill perpetuate the nautical tradition in a display of large and small ships' models, harpoons, whaling guns, knives, mammoth kettles, and 'scrimshaw' knicknacks carved from whale's teeth and bone, the work of whalemen in their leisure moments.

The steamer from New Bedford crosses the Bay, making its first call at WOODS HOLE. Then it slides through the Channel across Vineyard Sound and calls at OAK BLUFFS, Martha's Vineyard, a crowded summer restort. Gingerbread 'Swiss' cottages are snuggled together under the shadow of the Methodist Tabernacle; the town has been the scene of summer camp-meetings since 1835 and is still going strong.

EDGARTOWN, to the south, once a most prosperous home-port for the Vineyard whalers, is an up-and-coming summer colony. The Thomas Cooke House ( 1766) is the headquarters of the Dukes County Historical Society. The Public Library on Water St. displays a collection of paintings and etchings by well-known Martha's Vineyard artists, and some noteworthy bronze statuary.

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