Harbor View Hotel, Martha’s Vineyard’s iconic establishment, is commemorating its 125th anniversary. The “Grand Dame” of the Vineyard, Harbor View Hotel has a celebrated history as a gathering place for residents and travelers, including generations of families who have returned year after year. It also played a pivotal role in the rebirth of Edgartown as a sought-after summer resort in the waning days of the whaling industry.
“As we celebrate our 125th milestone, we’re mindful of Harbor View’s rich legacy and the special spot it holds in so many hearts,” said Robin Kirk, principal and CEO of Scout Hotel & Resort Management. “After the decline of the whaling industry in the years following the Civil War, a group of Edgartown residents pinned their hopes on transforming the island into a vacation destination and banded together to build a hotel worthy of their vision. Today, Harbor View Hotel is as much a part of the fabric of this island as it was then, and we look forward to providing many more years of hospitality and memories to our guests and neighbors.”
Located on Starbuck’s Neck, overlooking the harbor entrance and surrounded by the former homes of whaling captains, The Harbor View Hotel made its debut on July 23, 1891. From its broad porch, hung with festive Chinese lanterns for the occasion, the hotel opened its doors to upwards of 400 islanders and hotel guests for a night of entertainment by Mattie Josephine Atkins and dancing to the music of the Fitchburg Band.
In the ensuing 125 years, Harbor View Hotel has more than fulfilled its promise of popularizing Martha’s Vineyard as a popular summer resort and it has been a mainstay of the island year round, catering to residents and sponsoring and hosting countless community events.
Its guests have included a “Who’s Who” of Vineyard visitors, many of whom went on to build their own homes on the island. From lovers of the Cape and Islands to the cast and crew of Jaws, which was filmed in Edgartown, Harbor View Hotel has enveloped each guest in its unique brand of legendary and award-winning hospitality.