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9.1.18

Encyclopedia Vineyardia: G

Katharine “Kay” Graham, left, at her West Tisbury home with William Styron, Rose Styron, Mike Nichols, and Ann Buchwald.
Courtesy Rose Styron

Graham, Katharine: 1917–2001. Publisher of The Washington Post, first woman to head a Fortune 500 company and to serve as director of the Associated Press, and celebrated hostess for many a Vineyard dinner party. In 1972 Graham purchased the 218-acre Mohu property on Lambert’s Cove for $1.4 million. “I have spent every August there,” she wrote in her autobiography, which won a Pulitzer Prize. “My stays there always do restore me.” She had an endless flow of guests to the 10,000-square-foot 1920s home: Princess Diana, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Henry Kissinger, along with Vineyard summer friends such as Diane Sawyer, Mike Wallace, and Robert McNamara. “Her socializing was always quite deliberate,” her obituary in the Vineyard Gazette said. “It was at these gatherings that the kindly (and rarely recognized) side of Katharine Graham came out.” Her son William “Bill” Graham took over the property at her death and dismantled the home, save for two stone fireplaces and their chimneys. He died in December 2017 and the majority of the property has been put on the market with an asking price of $39.5 million.

Martha’s Vineyard Museum

Grant, Ulysses S.: The eighteenth president of the United States and the first to visit Martha’s Vineyard. (Shown seated, at right.) He debarked the side-wheel steamer River Queen in Oak Bluffs in late August 1874 and slept three nights in a cottage on Clinton Avenue in the Camp Ground. The president and his wife, Julia, dined at Central House, were guests of honor at a gala held at the Sea View Hotel, watched the annual Grand Illumination festivities and fireworks from Dr. Tucker’s tower on Ocean Park, and attended Sunday services at the Tabernacle, but saw none of the Island outside of Oak Bluffs.

Courtesy Chris Baer

Great Gate, The: Barrier that formerly existed at the bottom of what’s now Main Street, Vineyard Haven. At the end of the 1700s, the road now called Main Street was a private cart path leading to West Chop, open only to members of the extended Chase family. The Great Gate stood where the path intersected the “highway to Tisbury” – today Beach Street and south Main Street. No homes faced Main Street at the time, so the path passed behind the old houses facing the harbor. In 1798, however, the old cartway was opened as a public way, and by 1810 some twenty-two houses were built in the vicinity of the Great Gate, together with the Mansion House and the village’s first schoolhouse, built about where Educomp stands today.

Grey’s Raid: Devastating theft of Vineyard livestock during the American Revolution. In September 1778, a fleet of eleven British warships and twenty troop transports, commanded by General Charles Grey, anchored off West Chop, demanding that Islanders surrender all of their sheep, cattle, and arms. More than 10,000 sheep and 300 oxen were driven to Holmes Hole over the next two days and delivered to the British troops camped near what’s now Five Corners, together with 388 guns and 52 tons of hay. Although efforts at compensation stretched for decades afterward, little financial satisfaction was ultimately obtained.

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