Eleanor Ham Pony Field History

10 Mill Street

Acquired 1978

Nantucket is a tightly built town, with few dedicated public green spaces. One exception is the small, fenced field on Mill Street.

Here, Eleanor Ham once kept a pony that she raced at the course in Miacomet in the mid-twentieth century. Eleanor’s family summer home was at 8 Mill Street, two doors west of the Nantucket Historical Association’s 1800 House, and not far from the Old Mill, in a neighborhood of nineteenth-century houses. When Miss Ham died in 1978, she left the small, fenced pony field to the NHA for the purpose of “enhancing and preserving the beauty of Mill Street.” The pony field recalls not only the era of harness-racing on Nantucket, but an earlier time when livestock pastures and kitchen gardens were an integral part of the neighborhood’s landscape. Historic photographs in the NHA’s collection show cattle in the field near a dilapidated house since removed.

Excerpt from the Nantucket Historical Association Properties Guide, Eleanor Ham Pony Field by Betsy Tyler, 2015.

Read the full history (PDF)

Banner image of Eleanor Ham Pony Field, ca. 1890s. (GPN2183)

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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