William Street, Vineyard Haven – the quiet, elegant Historic District in Vineyard Haven just a block from Main Street lined with classic homes and well-maintained yards; a neighborhood that takes pride in its heritage. My husband and I renovated a fabulous home on William Street ourselves. It is a quiet, picture-perfect area that displays the history of Vineyard Haven in living color. Could there better neighbors? Not possible. Everyone is friendly, engaged as much as you like and at your doorstep when you need a friend.
This four-bedroom Greek Revival home built c. 1850, updated over the years, most recently in 2016, is within walking distance of the ferry, all activity on Main Street, swimming, boating and band concerts at Owen Little Park.
When William Street was laid out in 1831, it was only the second street in Holmes Hole, now known as Vineyard Haven. In 1839 William Daggett, Jr. sold this lot to Thomas Bradley when the area was pastureland. Bradley, who became a master mariner at age 25, went on to become a successful merchant, hold multiple town offices and to co-found the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard.
But Bradley may be best known as a real estate developer. Between 1828 and 1833, he acquired approximately eight acres of land and laid out house lots along William Street for what he called his Model Village and sold most of them to sea captains.
Bradley sold this simple Greek Revival farmhouse in 1853 to Alonzo Daggett. In 1870, carpenter Calvin Tilton bought the home and made substantial changes, adding a second story, attic and sun porch. As early as 1897, merchant Henry Howes, who owned a laundry, confectionery and stationery store on Main Street and later a men’s’ clothing store, was the owner.
The 1883 fire that destroyed much of Vineyard Haven did not travel as far as William Street, so this collection of houses serves as the oldest section of town.