Overview - Beaches - Points
of Interest - Schools - Chamber
of Commerce - Nantucket Lodging
The name Nantucket is derived from a Native American word meaning
"faraway island." After buying the island for forty pounds,
Thomas Mahew parceled it out in 1659 to nine shareholders whose family names are
still common here. Slowly, Nantuckets Indian population (originally
near 1,500) died out over time.
At the time of the American Revolution, Nantucket was well on its way
to becoming a bustling whaling center. The island was considered the
"Whaling Capital of the World" from 1800 to 1840. During this economic
boom, Nantucket was the third largest city in Massachusetts, with a population of 10,000. Only Boston and Salem were larger.
Herman Melville based his novel 'Moby Dick' on the true
story of the Essex, a Nantucket whaling ship. While whaling off the coast of South America in
1820, it was rammed by a whale. His information source was a mate on the
Essex who kept the ship's log.
Eventually, the discovery of oil and the California Gold Rush
signaled the end of the whaling era for Nantucket. But the vast wealth
had already transformed the island into a estate-filled resort community. After an
economic depression, tourism quickly became and today remains the islands
In 1955, residents created the Nantucket Historical District to
preserve the islands unique historic character and natural
Today, island building codes are very strict and prohibit commercial
architecture that compromises its historic integrity. Of the island's
30,000 acres, 36 percent now falls under the protection of conservation groups like the
Nantucket Conservation Foundation and Massachusetts Audubon Society.
- Brant Point
- Children's Beach
- Cisco Beach
- Dionis Beach
- Francis Street Beach
- Jetties Beach
- Madaket Beach
- Miacomet Beach
- Nobadeer Beach
- Pebble Beach
- Pocomo Point
- Siasconset Beach
- Steps Beach
- Surfside Beach
- Abiah Franlin Fountain
- Friends Meetinghouse and Fair Street Museum
- Greater Light
- Hadwen House
- Jethro Coffin House
- Nathaniel Macy House
- Old Fire Cart House
- Old Gaol
- Old Mill
- Peter Foulger Museum
- The 1800 House
- Whaling Museum
- Children's House of Nantucket
7 Pheasant Dr.
- Cyrus Peirce Middle School
10 Surfside Rd.
- Nantucket Elementary School
30 Surfside Rd.
- Nantucket High School
10 Surfside Rd.
- Nantucket Island
School of Design & the Arts
23 Wauwinet Rd.
- Nantucket New School
45 Surfside Rd.
- The Preservation Institute
11 Centre St.
- Small Friends on
- St. Paul's Nursery
20 Fair St.
- Strong Wings
30 Surfside Rd., Box
Lightship Basket School
- UMass - Field Station
180 Polpis Rd.
- Wee Whalers
16 Newtown Rd.
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