Category Archives: West Tisbury

Why Is the Grange Hall in West Tisbury So Special?

Grange Hall in West TisburyLike beautiful, historic buildings? Then the Grange Hall in West Tisbury is a must-see. This historic post-and-beam building, constructed in 1859 by the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society, housed the Agricultural Fair until 1994. In 1997, the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust purchased the property and restored it to its present (beautiful!) condition.

These days, the Grange Hall hosts a variety of events, and is even a popular spot for wedding receptions. It recently hosted an antique show, an all-Martha’s Vineyard artisan fair, and the West Tisbury farmers’ market. In summer, the farmers’ market is open every Wednesday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The winter market operates on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can view a complete schedule here, along with a listing of the dozens of vendors providing their delicious goods. Be sure to stop by and sample freshly-made chocolates, tea, and perhaps even stock up on some locally made jam.

After the Grange Hall in West Tisbury…

After you’ve explored the Grange Hall, why not explore some other historic West Tisbury sites? Stop by the Old Sculpin Gallery and view artwork crafted by some of the Vineyard’s finest artists. If you time it just right, the gallery hosts an All-Vineyard Art Show, featuring prizes for oils, pastels, watercolors, collages, and photography. They also offer workshops for parents and children in drawing, etching, and various forms of painting. You can learn more about the Old Sculpin Gallery by visiting their website.

How magical is Martha’s Vineyard? It has Flying Horses! Flying Horses is an authentic 19th century carousel located in Oak Bluffs. It is, in fact, America’s oldest platform carousel, and is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Rides cost a mere $2.50, but all jockeys have the chance to win a free ride if they can catch the brass ring. Stop by and enjoy a whirl on this beautiful (and unique) piece of American history!

We urge all visitors to check out the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust website. The Preservation Trust currently owns and maintains twenty properties on Martha’s Vineyard, ranging from art galleries, to old general stores, to farms, libraries, churches, and more. One of their properties, the Village Green in Edgartown, has served as a common green space for 350 years. Today, it is a small park, and connects four commercial streets. Give the Preservation Trust website a look and plan a few daytrips around this beautiful island.

In short, the Grange Hall in West Tisbury is just one of many beautiful buildings to see.  If you’re coming, be sure to reserve your accommodations through Sandpiper Rentals. Our Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals are ideal for relaxing and unwinding in between all of the great activities you can participate in during your time on the island. Our rental properties are located all over Martha’s Vineyard, so you can choose to stay on your favorite part of the island. Whether you want to be right in town or more isolated, we have the perfect rental for you. Our homes are all unique, yet they all offer comfortable accommodations and luxurious amenities. Visit our website to check availability and learn about all of our services!

Are You Ready for the West Tisbury Agricultural Fair?

West Tisbury Agricultural FairHere at Sandpiper Rentals, we know that summertime on Martha’s Vineyard is a truly special time of year. The weather is perfect for going to the beach and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the area’s fresh seafood. If you’re going to be on The Vineyard during the summer, make sure you make time to go to the West Tisbury Agricultural Fair. This annual fair is the perfect place to indulge in some old-fashioned fun with rides, live entertainment, agricultural contests, great food and more. The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society is responsible for the fair each year, and it’s a good time for everyone involved. So, be sure to plan a trip to Martha’s Vineyard for the West Tisbury Agricultural fair in August.

About the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society

Founded in 1859, the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society has the mission of promoting “the pursuit of agriculture, horticulture, land conservation, youth activities, mechanic and domestic arts and encourages the raising and improving of plant and animal stock and the sale of island-grown produce and flowers at local farmer’s markets.” There are more than 1000 seasonal and year-round members in the society who participate in carrying out that mission. The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society is best known for the annual agricultural fair. The society is located in the town of West Tisbury on a 21-acre site at the Panhandle.

2015 West Tisbury Agricultural Fair

This year’s West Tisbury Agricultural Fair will be the 154th fair and will take place on August 20th through August 23rd at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society on Panhandle Road in West Tisbury. The fair will be open on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd from 10 am until 11 pm and on the 23rd from 10 am until 7 pm. Thousands of native islanders and visitors will come to the fair to take in the events and have a good time. The fair has many judged events that showcase individual talents and agricultural products. Events at the fair include horse pulls, shucking contests, fiddle contests, skillet toss, woodsmen competition, dog and livestock shows, and more. There will also be a fiber arts tent where you can explore locally made fibers and textiles as well finished goods. There will be a midway with rides provided by Cushing Amusements, a company with a reputation for safety. You won’t want to miss out on this summer tradition when you visit The Vineyard. It is an encapsulation of what summer should be and is a seriously fun event.

Staying on Martha’s Vineyard

When you’re making plans to visit the West Tisbury Agricultural Fair, make your accommodation arrangements with Sandpiper Rentals. Our luxurious yet affordable rentals are the perfect place to call your home-away-from-home while you’re on Martha’s Vineyard. With rental properties all around the island, you can choose which town you’d like to stay in and what attractions you’d like to be near. Our Martha’s Vineyard rental properties feature amenities like luxurious bathrooms and kitchens as well as waterfront views. When you’re visiting the island, there’s no better way to stay.

Polly Hill Arboretum is Beautiful

Jami Dwyer / Japanese Stewartia / Flickr
Jami Dwyer / Japanese Stewartia / Flickr

Martha’s Vineyard offers many great ways to connect with nature and the history of the island. Polly Hill Arboretum is a 70-acre public garden started by legendary botanist Polly Hill in 1958. The grounds are open every day from sunrise to sunset and there is self-guided tour information available and tours with appointments. There are many great reasons to visit but the main reason is Polly Hill Arboretum is beautiful!

This is a great stop for you and the family on your Martha’s Vineyard stay. Whether you have a strong interest in plants or if you just want to take some time in nature, this is well worth your time to check out.

The visitor center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Columbus Day with tours at 10:00 a.m. There is a $5 suggested donation while members and children under 12 are free.

There is plenty of room to explore on the Arboretum. You can explore on your own or go on a self-guided tour. Seats and benches are provided so you can stop and rest or you can sit and enjoy the surroundings. Make sure to check out the points of interest along the way.

Polly’s Play Pen is a 286-foot long garden on the south side of the property that contains North Tisbury azaleas along with rare plants like lilac daphne and Oconee bells. The Dogwood Allée extends 286-feet and contains a dogwood species native to eastern Asia that blooms from the middle of June to July. This is one stop that you should definitely make while at Polly Hill Arboretum!

Along the homestead, stop at the border garden which holds vibrant plants along with shrubs and bushes. One of the highlights of Polly Hill Arboretum is the Stewartias grove which has 17 different types of Stewartia trees. The arboretum is home to the national collection of Stewartia trees and is always a stop for anyone visiting Polly Hill.

One point of interest is the Julian Hill Magnolia tree which is a big-leaf magnolia tree which is native to the southeast region of the United States but came from a magnolia seed that Polly Hill planted and then has produced ever since. The flower from the magnolia tree is 18-inches in diameter.

Polly Hill also offers many different education programs to learn more about nature, plants and the arboretum. There are many experts willing to give their advice and encourage visitors, students, gardeners and anyone else interested in learning!

There are lectures, workshops, classes and guided tours. Youth education programs are also available for kids looking to learn more about nature. Internships are also available for college students and a member library which has many publications that members can take a look at after making an appointment.

Polly Hill Arboretum is extremely beautiful and well worth the time for you to visit. There are many different plants, shrubs and trees to check out at this amazing 70-acre sanctuary in West Tisbury. If you’’re looking at visiting Polly Arboretum, let Sandpiper Rentals help you find a great place to stay!