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What are the dimensions of our lives? Space and time, of course, and when we spend significant time in one place it becomes meaningful.

Our sense of place defines us. As Wendell Barry once put it: "If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are."

Harthaven began in 1911 when William H. Hart purchased the first lot here. For at least two generations Harthaven was peopled by relatives or their good friends - and so everyone knew each other well. There were parties they all went to and the end of the year clambake where they gathered to shuck clams and boil lobsters in great steaming caldrons. Our ancestors connect us to our past. They remind us who we are. I recall my parents' voices, bathing me in their stories and laughter, rising through the floorboards as I went to sleep in a tiny bedroom over the dining room.

Over the years we have welcomed new residents and they have made our community more vital. They settled here because Harthaven is a unique place with an abiding aura of camaraderie. 

We are part of a ribbon of history or we are part of nothing. We are part of, as Wendell Berry wrote: "the kind of knowing that involves the senses, the memory, the history of a family... the knowledge of a place that comes from working in it in all weathers, making a living from it, suffering from its catastrophes, [and] loving its mornings or evenings or hot noons." Or, as he wrote in his poem, In Rain: "I walk this ground/of which dead men/ and women I have loved/are part, as they/are part of me."

Our shared experience is called our culture. If you have lived in one place long enough, culture inheres in the landscape. As author David Macaulay once said: "...there's something remarkably reassuring about being connected to a place where other people have been before you. People like you who have had difficult times and have survived all kinds of things. I find that extremely hopeful and promising. If they could do it, we can do it."

Sam Low

This website is for the entire Harthaven Community. Please send your photographs and memories to Sam at

This is also just one facet of a multi-media project - Facebook, Google Maps and Youtube.

Kudos from the Martha’s Vineyard Museum:

“I've been on to your website, I watched the slideshow, and explored the google map, they are all such great ways to learn! I love the idea of a community project, and the map is such a great tool that can be continually added to. You've really done great work to preserve the memory of Harthaven, and I hope your work inspires others to do the same for their community.“

Anna Carringer

Assistant Curator

Martha's Vineyard Museum


just click on the http:// address

visit the Harthaven Memory Map on Google


visit our Facebook Page

visit our youtube offerings


Howard Stanley Hart II:

Sailing School:

The Best Darn Place to Grow Up:

Heart animation

The Centennial Boogie

  1. E.A. Moore home video

1947 clambake video

Sailing school video

Videos from the centennial party

Shaking a leg

Watching old movies in the “memory room”

Cutting the cake

Visit the Harthaven Timeline

Contributors of text, pictures etc.

Ed Abbe, William Abbe, Caroline Abbe Smith, Dakkan Abbe, Genevieve Abbott, Lucy Abbott, Billie Burke, Deborah Dorsey, Phronsie Conlin, Barbara Pease, Jed Conlin, Peg Charpentier, Howdy Eddy,

Mary lee Everett Gifford, Dorsey Grandfield,

Sharry Stevens Grunden, Sam Hart, Pete (Don) Hart, Jim Hart, Rick Hart,

Diana Hart, Lisa Hart Clark, Carl Jann, Sam Low, Lanny McDowell, John Moore, Marty Moore, Allen Moore, Ally Moore, Ron Moore,

Doug Pease, Polly Pease, Charlie Rathbone, Judy Hart Savage,

Joanne Shepard, Jonathan Stevens, Art Stafford, Beverly Prizer Thomas

Jill Woollacott, Alan Willens, Bung Young, Peggy Yoars

if I have forgotten anyone, please let me know...

webdesign: Sam Low


Harthaven - A Special Place

The Harthaven Centennial

June 25th - 2011

Join us to share our love of this unique year-round community