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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It is another chilly winter day here on island, but the harbor hasn’t frozen…..yet!

Pictured here is the view of several docked boats, frozen in the harbor in 1934.

Photo: P16116, Stackpole Collection.

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It’s a frozen day on Nantucket today with the current temperature at a booming 19 degrees! Very similar to this day at Brant Point lighthouse in January 1981.

Photo: SC831-1. Gift of H Flint Ranney.

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Ferry travel could be impacted by today’s stormy weather, but at least they won’t be frozen like the Steamship “Island Home” in February 1893.

The sidewheel steamer “Island Home” connected Nantucket to mainland Massachusetts for forty-one years, beginning in 1855. For thirty-one of those years, the vessel was commanded by island-born Captain Nathan H. Manter (1818–97), one of many local men and women who made a living working on the boat or supporting its operations at the dock.

The “Island Home” was designed to carry freight and passengers. Its route diversified over time as new mainland railroad lines opened and new summer-home and resort facilities were developed on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. Sold as obsolete in 1895, the vessel was converted to a barge the following year. It later sank from ice damage in 1902.

Photo: F3059. Credit NHA Publication, Collecting Nantucket by Michael R. Harrison.

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Today in Nantucket history, the African Meeting House was opened in 1825. Depicted here in the 1880s, it was built sometime around 1824 by Nantucket’s black community in the heart of the New Guinea neighborhood, making it among the oldest black meeting houses in the nation.

To learn more about the history of this iconic structure, please check out our friends @maahmuseum who continue to make this Meeting House an engaging part of the community.

Credit On This Day In Nantucket History, By Amy Jenness. The History Press.

Photo: P3415.

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Who is ready for a snow day?!

Pictured here is the Whaling Museum after a January 1989 snowstorm. Photo P13385.

And if you are looking for something to do while inside on this stormy day, visit to search our archives, explore digital exhibits, transcribe our log book collection, discover history topic articles, and more!

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On March 24, 1880, the ship Horatio set sail under the famed Captain Charles Grant from New Bedford to New Zealand and the South Pacific Ocean. Captain Grant began his whaling career at 11 years old and would become master of the Walter Scott by 30. After 55 years of whaling, often accompanied by his wife Nancy Wyer, Captain Grant ended his career with this voyage. Learn about his final expedition by transcribing his logbook through the NHA's volunteer transcription project! Please contact Ashely Miller, 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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