Martha's Vineyard

Long Point Wildlife Refuge History

The Wampanoag, who have been on Martha’s Vineyard for millennia, depended on the land at Long Point for agriculture (corn, mostly), fuel (firewood), fishing, and hunting/gathering. In the 1600s, the first white settlers learned from these traditions and techniques; over a 30-year period in the second half of the 17th century, colonists acquired from the natives all of what is now called Long Point.

At first commonly held for grazing, by the 1700s coastal parcels were being divided and sold to individuals. Extraction of resources became more ambitious over the next century. Activities included large-scale clearing of fields; sheep farming (for the export of wool); commercial fishing in the coastal ponds; the harvesting of salt hay for cattle fodder and insulation of homes. In the early 20th century, wealthy seasonal residents purchased abandoned farms and established waterfowl hunting clubs. Later, as club membership decreased, three remaining members of the Tisbury Pond Club (see below) gave Long Point to The Trustees of Reservations. Property Acquisition History

Original acreage a gift of Frederick N. Blodgett, Carl J. Gilbert, and William B. Rogers in 1979. Additional land given by Arthur Hadley in 1990, Anthony Lewis and Margaret Marshall in 1993, and Richard and Barbara Campbell in 1999. Archival Collections

Archival material related to Long Point is available to researchers at the Archives & Research Center in Sharon, Massachusetts. Tisbury Pond Club Logbooks (1.0 linear foot). Including photographs and dated entries regarding club members, weather conditions, and birds encountered and shot, 1912-1948.

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