Don Whitney - In His Own WordsEdgartown Harbor Sunrise (Dick Whitney)

Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard - As a young boy

"When I was 2 ½ years old, Mother and Dad took me to Oak Bluffs. We stayed at the Treat Cottage on Tuckanuck Avenue, then owned by Mr. Finney. We had our meals at the nearby Pequot Hotel, run by Mr. Tait. I remember hearing stories of the first time they took me to the beach at the end of the street.

Treat Cottage on Tuckanuck Avenue

I started walking right into the ocean fully dressed and headed, to hear my mother tell it, for Nantucket. I was quickly returned to the cottage, changed into my bathing suit, and returned to the beach. Now, I wanted nothing to do with the water. The Treat Cottage Three of the four neighborhood families had a favorite summer spot. Ours was Oak Bluffs, the Pilsburys had a cottage at Ferry Beach in Maine, while the Whites had a summer place in South Harpswell, Maine. The Burts were tied down by Walter's photographic work. Is spite of vacation time, there was still much of the summer when the entire neighborhood gang could be together.

Vacation at Oak Bluffs was always a joyous occasion. Sometimes we would take the car, usually to Woods Hole but sometimes to New Bedford, and catch one of the four steamers to Oak Bluffs. Other times we would take the train from Boston to Woods Hole. When it was to be the train, we packed a steamer trunk, and sent it off by Railway Express two weeks in advance. For the first few years we stayed at the Treat Cottage and had meals at the Pequot. Later, we stayed at the Tower Cottage which was part of the Pequot complex. Either way, the meals prepared by Mr. Tait and his staff were something to look forward to. We usually stayed for two weeks, and we had the same waitress for the whole time. I usually developed a crush on our waitress.

Mr. Tait ran a tight ship. There was never any liquor in sight, and on Sundays the game equipment (croquet, ping-pong, shuffleboard) would be put away. Everyone was in proper dress at mealtime. It sounds rather prim and dull, but there was great comradery and the two weeks just flew by. On every day that weather permitted, we would walk to the beach at the end of Pequot Avenue for a morning swim, and repeat that procedure in the afternoon. "

Tower Cottage - Across from the Pequot (~1939)
Back Row (Henry, Don and Marion Whitney

Rare 1942 view of Oak Bluffs swimming dock across from Sea view near Tuckanuck Ave

1961- Oak Bluffs portion of the Joseph Sylvia State Beach

Marthas Vineyard Family photos thru the years

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs Bandstand and Ocean Park

The Jetties of Oak Bluffs


The Pequot - Oak  Bluffs



Gay Head / Up Island


Other Excerpts from Don Whitney Autobiography:
Notes from his Dad
Being sent to Camp
Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard
Glenn Miller
Asbury Park
Harvard Days / Remembering Jack Lemmon
The Totem Pole
Engagement to Jan
Starting at AO as an Apprentice Lens Designer
Why Dick was once named David

Download Complete Autobiography (Zip file of 360 k, in PDF format)

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