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flag  History of Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA

(Gay Head)

Visit Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Aquinnah, located on the picturesque Martha's Vineyard Island in Massachusetts, is a charming and serene destination known for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

This area was first settled by English colonists in 1669. Later colonists officially divided the town of Aquinnah from Chilmark and incorporated it in 1870 as Gay Head, Massachusetts. Gay Head was a descriptive name referring to the brilliant colors of the cliffs.

In 1997, by popular vote of 79 to 21, the town changed its name to Aquinnah, which is Wampanoag for "land under the hill." Throughout the town's history, a Wampanoag community has been among its residents. The people gained federal recognition as the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head in 1987 and controls sovereign tribal lands within the town boundaries. wikipedia

There is MUCH more to discover about Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Aquinnah Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Discover Aquinnah: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1870 - Gay Head incorporated
Prior to incorporation, Gay Head was part of Chilmark.
Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1895 - Gay Head
Gay Head, a post-township of Dukes co, Mass., is a promontory forming the W. extremity of the island of Martha's Vineyard, 22 miles W. of Edgartown. Pop. 216, of partial Indian stock. Here is a revolving light raised 170 feet above the sea, lat. 41° 20'52" N., Lon. 70° 49' 47" W. The promontory affords abundant miocene fossils.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1997 - Gay Head renamed Aquinnah

2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in the Aquinnah area:
Aquinnah Cliffs: The most iconic attraction in Aquinnah, these vibrant clay cliffs are a must-see. They are known for their breathtaking colors, which change throughout the day as the sun hits them at different angles. You can take a guided tour or explore the area on your own.

Gay Head Lighthouse: Perched atop the Aquinnah Cliffs, the Gay Head Lighthouse is a historic landmark that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is especially picturesque at sunset, making it a popular spot for photographers.

Aquinnah Circle: This area is the heart of Aquinnah's community. It's a great place to start your exploration, with several shops, galleries, and eateries to enjoy. You can also learn about the local Wampanoag culture at the shops, which sell handmade crafts and artwork.

Aquinnah Cultural Center: Located near the cliffs, this center is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay... Read MORE...

Discover Your Roots: Aquinnah Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Aquinnah.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

male ancestorJerimiah Weeks DIAMOND (15 February 1880, Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA (Gay Head) - , )
male ancestorFrancis Leavitt JAMES (10 September 1880, Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA (Gay Head) - 1935, , Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorSelina May MANNING (7 November 1880, Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA (Gay Head) - 6 October 1961, Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA (Gay Head))
female ancestorElizabeth E "Lizzie" SMALLEY (1 June 1880, Aquinnah, Massachusetts, USA (Gay Head) - 28 June 1959, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, USA)

Genealogy Resources for Aquinnah

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Updated: 9/13/2023 11:58:18 AM