Virtual NHA

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During these unprecedented times, the Nantucket Historical Association is sharing digital resources weekly to enrich the lives of our members and friends at home through video lectures, kids activity kits, our transcription program, history articles and more! All the information in our newsletters is being gleaned from the resources presented below. We hope you’ll dive in, enjoy, and give your mind a rest from thinking about today’s challenges.

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The NHA is honored to host the USS Nantucket Official Crest unveiling is today, Monday, September 20 at 4 pm! The ceremony will be streamed live. Set a reminder on YouTube @ACKHISTORY:

The in-person ceremony registration is full. Doors open for registered guests at 3:30 pm.

The USS Nantucket Commissioning Committee and the Prospective Commanding Officer will present the ship’s official crest and discuss how they symbolized Nantucket history within the newly designed seal. Attendees will learn about planning efforts for the Commissioning Ceremony and meet the Prospective Commanding Officer.

The Chairman of the Commissioning Committee, Robert Gerosa, Commander, USN (Ret), a former Commanding Officer of USS Constitution, will be the MC host. The USS Constitution Color Guard, the Commodore for Littoral Combat Ships Squadron Two, CAPT David Miller, USN, and the Prospective Commanding Officer of USS Nantucket, Commander Kari Yakubisin, USN will be present. Also attending will be summer resident and ship sponsor and christener Polly Spencer, wife of Richard V. Spencer, the 76th Secretary of the U.S. Navy from 2017 to 2019.
#nantucket #ackhistory #nantuckethistoryinthemaking

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Set sail on a new transcription project!
Join the ship’s master Henry B. Gifford as the brig Minerva sails out to the South Atlantic Ocean and Walvis Bay in modern-day Namibia, Africa from 1825 to 1827.

Interested in transcribing? Click on our website link above to get started!
#ackhistory #nantuckethistory #nantucket

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The #NantucketCulturalDistrict official redesignation, as part of the @masscultural Council, has been approved! 🎉🧡 We're so excited to join these other organizations as we move into this next chapter!
Our district partners: American Legion Post 82, Artists Association of Nantucket, Maria Mitchell Association, Nantucket Arts Council, Nantucket Atheneum, Nantucket Community Music Center, Nantucket Community School, Nantucket Culinary Center, Nantucket Dreamland Foundation, Nantucket Historical Association, Nantucket Land Bank, Nantucket Land Council, Nantucket Preservation Trust, Sustainable Nantucket, Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, Visitor Service Center/ Department of Culture and Tourism, White Heron Theatre Company and NEW THIS YEAR, the designation includes Museum of African American History and the assets of the Egan Maritime Institute – the Tallship Lynx and the Shipwreck Shuttle which transports visitors to the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum.
#nantucket #nantuckethistory

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Today we highlight another Nantucketer you may have never heard of!

Harriett “Nellie” M. Cooper (1845–1905) moved to Nantucket from St. Johns, Newfoundland, in 1882 to marry George Hooper, who owned an ice-cream business on Broad Street. Since 1850, his parents had run an ice-cream saloon on Centre Street, which Nellie and George eventually took over.

In all, the Centre Street store ran for more than half a century, during nearly half of which Nellie was a well-known presence behind the counter. In the 1890s, she also ran a boarding house on Broad Street and was active in many local social and charitable organizations.

Nellie Hooper, 1888

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It’s Map Monday! Happy Labor Day!

If you have been enjoying our Map Mondays, stop over to Hadwen House to explore and see many of the maps we have highlighted over the past couple of months on display in the exhibit, Mapping Nantucket. Located at 96 Main Street and open daily, 10am-4pm.
Today we share this fun Young’s Bicycle Shop Map of Nantucket, circa 1935 by the one and only, Tony Sarg (1880–1942).
The top of this map was created for the Main Street Fête, hosted in 1959 to celebrate 300 years of English settlement on the island. Intended to entice visitors to see historical tableaux and buy homemade goods, it is drawn with a more artistic, rather than technical, style.

The pictorial approach can also be seen in the first Young’s Bicycle Map (bottom), created by illustrator and puppeteer Tony Sarg. “Macadam” indicated road paving, with the thicker lines showing those routes most favorable for cyclists.

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Twelve Nantucketers you may never have heard of!
#2) Manuel F. Gomes (1864–1910) commanded seven whaling voyages from Provincetown and New Bedford between 1897 and 1910. In 1904 he and his men in the bark Bertha landed 150 pounds of ambergris from a single whale, valued at $100,000. Many Portuguese-speaking immigrants named Manuel Gomes lived and worked on Nantucket and in New Bedford during this period, some from the Cape Verde Islands and some, like Captain Gomes, from the Azores. They reflected longstanding fishing, whaling, and trading connections between New England and the Atlantic Islands, and their descendants live on island and throughout the region to this day.
Gift of Edouard A. Stackpole

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Set sail on a new transcription project! Journey to the Pacific Ocean on the ship Planter from 1852 to 1856. Carpenter Stephen Easton Jr. kept this whaling log. Along with daily entries, Easton also documented songs written by himself and other crew members, including this excerpt from “Homeward Bound” by Samuel G. Swain:
Old Nantucket’s shores are now in sight / And we will soon be [there] / Our sisters greet us with their tears / Our parents with their prayers. / Three cheers we’re home once more / Upon our native shores / We’ll sing one more song so loud & strong / We’re home, we’re home once more.
Help us transcribe historical materials from the NHA manuscript collection!
As we upload our collection of ships’ logs to the crowdsourcing manuscript transcription service From the Page, follow along on whaling voyages from the comfort of your own home! Details on our link above in the bio.

This work is made possible thanks to a visionary gift from Connie and Tom Ciggaran, who understand and value how digitization and transcription help make our collections available and accessible to all.
#nantuckethistory #nantucket

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Happy Map Monday! Pictured here is a New Map of Nantucket, 1821 from an unknown creator. ��In this map, like in many presented, the outline of Nantucket differs greatly from what we see today. Here, the unknown author, likely another island student, has rendered it rounder than is typical, with a short Great Point and an inflated Tuckernuck. Although some of these disparities reflect the inexact natures of nineteenth-century surveying and its translation into drawing, others indicate the ways in which the sands of Nantucket have shifted, literally changing the shape of the island. ��One can notice, for example, that here Smith’s Point marks the narrow end of Madaket, extending to just south of Tuckernuck, whereas today that name has come inland, as Esther Island has disconnected and reconnected to the island by storms, tides, and other sea changes.��Want to see this map on display? Check out our Mapping Nantucket exhibit at Hadwen House. Open daily, at 96 Main Street, from 10am-4pm for just a few more weeks! ...

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It’s a hot one out there! Cooldown this weekend with a dip in the nearest pool or beach like these guests at The Beachside, circa 1990. ...

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These "basket weaving bracelets" were created just this morning by three generations of a family in a private workshop! Consider bringing your family or a group of friends in to learn how to create basket weaving bracelets in a unique place such as Greater Light! Create some memories, and the bracelet you make will be a cherished keepsake. Learn more by visiting our website under decorative arts. ...

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Thank you to all our volunteers who have been transcribing our whaling logbooks! The log of the ship Lima, 1838–1841 is now fully transcribed! Follow along with Samuel C. Coffin as he and the crew of the ship Lima hunt for whales in the Pacific.

Please reach out to Kelli Yakabu, Assistant Archivist, at with any questions.

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The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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