Sunday, August 10, 2014
Nantucket Island Trivia
Nantucket Island is tiny island, only 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide, 26 miles at sea, off of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. You can arrive there by sea or by air.
The name Nantucket is derived from an Indian word meaning “Faraway Land” or “Land Far out to Sea.”
The entire island is a historic district designated as a National Historic Landmark, with more than 800 remaining houses that were built before the Civil War. Nantucket also has more properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places - qualifying as totally preserved buildings - than anywhere in Massachusetts including Boston, Plymouth and Salem.
Nantucket was home port to two ships involved in the Boston Tea Party--the Beaver and the Dartmouth--owned by the Rotch family whose offices were located in the brick building at the foot of Main Street, now the Pacific Club.
Herman Melville based Moby Dick on the ramming of the Nantucket ship Essex by an angry whale in 1820. He received his information from Owen Chase, a mate on the Essex who kept the ship’s log.
The “roof walks” or “widows’ walks” atop many island homes were used both to spot incoming ships or to pour sand down a burning chimney.
The first wireless radio station in North America was built in Siasconset in 1901 and operated by the New York Herald. It relayed the first successful rescue signals from the sinking liner Republic in 1909.
Petticoat Row, once located on Centre Street, was named for the many women who owned and operated the shops that lined the downtown thoroughfare. Women traditionally ran the town of Nantucket, as their husbands traveled the seas for years at a time.
Nantucket is usually 10% cooler than the mainland in the summer and 10% warmer in the winter because of its proximity to the Gulf Stream. The island also gets much less snow than mainland, usually 8 – 18 inches per year.
It really is a very special place. Here are places to stay at, and things to do.
You can read more here. This link will bring you to a brief history of the island.
Information and trivia on Nantucket from the website of Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce was written with permission.