"What wonder, then, that these Nantucketers, born on a beach, should take to the sea
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
The history of Nantucket as discovered by the first off islander begins when Captain
Bartholomew Gosnold an English Mariner chartered the “elbow of sand-“ and discovered it
in 1602. Approximately 1,500 Native Americans populated the Island and
began the interest in pursuing whales at first just from the shore.
The white man’s approach to Nantucket came around 1641 when Lord Sterling
sold the island to Thomas Mayhew in 1641, subsequently Mayhew broke the the
Nantucket enterprise into 27 shares, the holders of which became the first white residents
of Nantucket. Wars, disease and plain bad luck lead to the demise of the Native American
ending with the death of the last man with Indian blood, a half breed, in 1854.
Quakers. Whaling Industry. By this time the two most important events
Whale oil lamps and sperm candles were now a thing of
arrivals of the tourists that would continue today, the people that came to seek the ocean breezes
By the 1880’s the tradition of the summer vacation developed and what better way to enjoy this time than a journey
Today, 36% of the land is conservation. Moors, cranberry bogs, heaths, aromatic flowers, miles and miles of splendid beaches,
The best way to learn the history of Nantucket is not to read but to take a walk
and open your eyes look around at the wonders and beauty of Nantucket.
Historian, Edouard A. Stackpole