People & Our Past
Discover an island steeped in history and home to a host of fascinating people from all walks of life.
After vacationing on Nantucket for the first time in the summer of 1976, Jack McFarland said he never wanted to leave the island. He and his wife of 41 years, Susan, began making regular visits to the...read more
The African Meeting House. Greater Light. The Unitarian Meeting House. The Methodist Church. The Oldest House. The Old Gaol (jail).
The word “old” may be the giveaway, but it is only one adjective that...read more
On Feb. 11, 1823, cruising to the west of the Sandwich Islands – now Hawaii – in consort with the whaleship Martha, the Two Brothers was separated from her sister ship and caught in a severe gale....read more
The Atheneum opened its doors in 1834, and from day one was much more than just a lending library.
It was a community center, a cultural hub, where islanders over the next 176 years could get the news of...read more
Three hundred and fifty years ago, Tristram Coffin and his mighty band of family and fellow proprietors entered into an agreement to purchase control of the island from its native Wampanoag chieftains and...read more
The Town Clock that has famously regulated life in Nantucket from its place in the tower of the Unitarian Church is not the only chronometer in the building. There is another on the inside – strategically...read more
Ray Coursen did not have the kind of culinary or oenological upbringing that would have tabbed him for a future as one of the top wine producers in California’s fabled Napa Valley.
He grew up on his...read more
When Mark Kenward takes the stage at the Nantucket Wine Festival to perform his one-man show, his character will likely feel familiar to islanders.
“It’s about a man who is trying to hold onto his land...read more
“The increasingly higher value placed on human life is an infallible indication of higher civilization. To conserve human life on this isolated island, it is imperative that the conditions under which...read more
Herman Melville’s classic novel, then titled “The Whale,” was first published in England 160 years ago, in October 1851. In November of the same year, the first American edition appeared as “Moby-Dick.”...read more