This Week in Nantucket History

On This Day in Natnucket History CoverNantucketer Amy Jenness shares her research on what happened On This Day In Nantucket History one day at a time for the past seven days. These excerpts offer up quirky and fascinating stories of the people and events that shaped this remote island. Check the NHA home page each day to catch up on what happened today in Nantucket history.

Excerpts from On This Day In Nantucket History
By Amy Jenness
The History Press


  • January 18, 1849
    The editor of the Inquirer & Mirror published an 1850 obituary that eulogized Josiah Sturtevant, a Nantucket resident who had left for California in search of gold in March of 1849.
  • January 17, 1983
    Miss Elma Loines died in 1983 at age 100. Born in Brooklyn and a graduate of Bryn Mawr, Loines spent many summers on Nantucket. In 1959 Loines gave an 8 inch Alvan Clark telescope to the Maria Mitchell Association.
  • January 16, 1875
    An item with the heading “Obituary!” appeared in the newspaper Island Review on this day in 1875.
  • January 15, 1864
    Caleb Lyons Depung died of pneumonia at the U.S. General Hospital in Washington, DC in 1864. Depung was a Nantucket farmer who enlisted to fight in the Civil War in 1862 at age 35.
  • January 14, 1843
    In 1843 an item appeared in the Daily Telegraph, a newspaper published in 1843 and 1844, under the title “The Harpoon.”  Election results show that in 1843 Nantucket voters favored the Whig party, electing George N. Briggs Massachusetts Governor and Joseph Grinnell to the 28th U.S. Congress.
  • January 13, 1894
    The schooner Minnie C. Taylor wrecked in 1894 on the lee side of Great Point, north of Coatue.
  • January 12, 1878
    Under the heading “Temperance Topics” the editor in the 1878 issue of The Island Review reports more than 650 people attended a temperance meeting that week and a new group called “Reformed Men’s Club” would begin meeting the following week.
  • January 11, 1883
    In 1883 the Muskeget Life Saving Station was established. Muskeget Island, located off Nantucket’s western end, is a tiny island situated in the middle of some of Nantucket Sound’s trickiest shoals.
  • January 10, 1909
    On this day in 1909, almost 850 displaced Italian citizens boarded the SS Florida in Naples. One day before they were to land in New York City their ship struck the ocean liner Republic in 1909 in a heavy fog 26 miles from the Nantucket lightship.

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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