Martha’s Vineyard History

A sketch of Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites, a premier Edgartown hotel.

Situated in the heart of downtown Edgartown rests Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites. Located close to charming shops and world-class restaurants, the charming Edgartown hotel is a top option for anyone looking to enjoy a relaxing Martha’s Vineyard getaway for a reason. In honor of our many years serving vacationers, we wanted to take a second to pause and reflect on how we got to where we are today.

The Start of Martha’s Vineyard

All of the rich history of how our hotel got to where it is today would mean nothing if it weren’t for the history of Martha’s Vineyard itself. The first documented name of the island off the shores of Massachusetts is Noepe, which means “land amid the waters.”

Bartholomew Gosnold is said to have called it Martha’s Vineyard after a family member and the abundance of grapes after he discovered the island in 1602. Eventually, Thomas Mayhew bought the island in 1642, when Great Harbour became the first European settlement. This area was renamed in 1672 to Edgartown. The whaling industry of the 1820s transformed the village, and many captains built stately mansions in Edgartown, many of which exist to this day. 

Fast forward a few years, and the Edgartown Methodists held their first camp meeting at the northern end of town in 1835. This meeting would become a yearly event and is regarded as one of the catalysts for transforming the island from a farming community into a seaside resort and vacation destination.

Learn more about the history of Edgartown and Martha’s Vineyard by visiting local landmarks and museums, including the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

A Brief Overview of a Storied History

Before it was Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites, our hotel operated under the name The Colonial Inn. Opening its doors in 1911, the space was a smaller house with 16 rooms and was described as having been finished in an Old English Style. 

After that first season, the hotel was revamped and became double its original size. More work and expansion occurred in 1921 when the adjacent building was added, where the current Edgartown Residence Club Wing is found. By 1927, there were 60 rooms. 

The Inn hosted many rich and famous people throughout the years, including Dr. Charles E. Banks, Jacqueline Bouvier, John F. Kennedy, and I.M. Pei. After Thomas Chirgwin, the original owner of the hotel, passed away in 1940, the Colonial Inn changed hands and transformed a number of times over the years. In 2008, the current ownership group purchased the property and renamed the hotel its current namesake. Today, everyone who works at Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites works to continue the hospitality and service that started back in 1911.

Experience Our Edgartown Hotel for Yourself

The exterior of Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites, an Edgartown hotel, as it stands today.

See why Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites has remained a top option for visitors to Martha’s Vineyard for yourself. Now is the perfect time to book your stay at our Edgartown hotel. Thanks to numerous accommodation options and excellent amenities, we have everything you need for the best stay possible. Call 508-627-4711 to learn more about booking your stay or ways to save.

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