The “Grand Dame” of Martha’s Vineyard, the Harbor View Hotel, has a celebrated history, as generation after generation have gathered here to stay in style, enjoy entertainment, and stretch out the sultry days of summer.  Next month, the iconic establishment commemorates its 125th anniversary, with celebrations to last all year long.

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When the Harbor View Hotel made its debut on July 23, 1891 some 400 islanders and guests passed under festive Chinese lanterns on the broad front porch for a night of magic and music by Mattie Josephine Atkins and the Fitchburg Band.  To fete 125 years (and toast 125 more!), an equally revelrous jubilee is in the works for later this summer.  Other commemorations of the anniversary include celebratory keepsakes, amenity perks, and photos in front of the iconic hotel.

Harbor View Hotel 4 - Credit Alison Shaw - Copy

“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.”

Porch - Photo Alison Shaw

Located on Starbuck’s Neck, overlooking the harbor entrance and surrounded by the former homes of whaling captains, The Harbor View is a mainstay of the island year round and a member of Historic Hotels of America®.   A “Who’s Who” of Vineyard visitors — including the cast and crew of Jaws when it was filmed on the island — have been guests of the Harbor View, many of whom went on to build their own homes there.

In addition to the hotel treating guests to a 125th birthday celebration this summer, a book on the Harbor View was recently published in anticipation of this milestone. The book explores the hotel’s illustrious history and its pivotal role in the growth and prosperity of Martha’s Vineyard.