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Martha’s Vineyard

Day 8 - Friday - September 16

EC/NE Camping Adventure 2022

I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since Jeff planned it! We explored Martha’s Vineyard for the first time ever!

I did a little investigating regarding the island and found that the oldest continuously working carousel was on the island - The Flying Horses Carousel! The carousel was built in 1876 and features hand-carved wooden horses with real horsehair tails. Another unique feature is that the glass eyes of each horse have tiny lead animals embedded in them. AND, it was first used at Coney Island!! How cool is that? Needless to say, that truly excited me!

Generations of children and adults have enjoyed riding this beautiful carousel and grabbing at that elusive brass ring for a free ride!

It wasn’t in service the day we visited the island, as they only operate the carousel on weekends after Labor Day. BUT, the carousel manager was there and after talking to him about my love of all things related to amusement parks; my love of Coney Island; and, my book about the Lost Amusement Parks of Kentuckiana, he said “You know what? Let me turn on the music and give you non-motorized ride!” WHAT?!!

He then told me to sit on the horse of my choice, turned on the organ music, and began to push the carousel around and around!! I was SO delighted and he was such a super nice man. He told us of the history of the carousel and we talked about Coney Island and amusement parks in general. I was thrilled and left thanking him profusely. He made my day!

The island has quite an interesting past, and has made the news in many ways over the past few centuries.

For instance, several US Presidents have visited the island, including Ulysses S Grant! The gingerbread houses that make up the one-time Methodist campmeeting campground in Oak Bluffs are delightful and a big tourist draw. The 1975 movie Jaws was filmed on the island. Comedian John Belushi is buried on the island. John Kennedy, JR along with his wife, lost their lives when the plane he was piloting crashed just off the coast of the island. President Obama bought a 30-acre homestead on the island in 2019.

We took the Falmouth Ferry to the island and spent a good portion of our Friday exploring, before taking the ferry back to Cape Cod at sunset. We definitely needed more time to explore. I’m thinking a night stay or two on the island would be best to get a complete feel for this unique piece of paradise. I will say that visiting is probably all you’ll want to do. The cost of living on the island is around 60% higher than the national average. The average home price is around $1.3 million.

Up Next?! We head to the Gloucester/Rockport/Salem area!

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