July 11, 1895

A burst of cannon fire, steam whistles and bells kicked off the final day of a three-day celebration in 1895 to commemorate the one-hundred-year anniversary of the town’s name change from Sherburne to Nantucket. Hundreds of people visited during the centennial celebration, which included a parade, concerts, fireworks, a baseball game, bicycle races, swimming competitions, a lifesaving demonstration, literary exercises, boat races, a reunion, a banquet and a ball.

Businesses and homes exuberantly decorated their buildings with bunting, and some families displayed art and artifacts from Nantucket’s whaling days.

Five arches bearing patriotic messages decorated town: one with supports made to look like the Eiffel Tower was placed over Main and Federal Streets, another arch made of hoops was on Steamboat Wharf, an arch made of fishnets spanned Main and Orange Streets and there were also arches over Main and Centre Streets and across Main Street at the Pacific Bank.


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