Split Rock, Makonikey
Rock - Makonikey Head - West Tisbury
Split Rock is a large, natural middle-split
rock in the shallow waters off what is called Makonikey Head
on the North Shore of Martha's Vineyard Island. It is just
a few yards out from the shoreline, where the waves wash against
it and the sharp, jagged split in the rock allows the sunset
to shine through if you stand in exactly the right spot. It
is reachable on foot from Lambert's Cove Beach, though most
of the land on the bluffs above is privately owned. It is
easily visible by boat and is actually a marker for some deep
fishing holes towards the Elizabeth Islands where large striped
bass like to hang out. Peter chose Split Rock for his
company name because he has always admired its steadfastness
and distinctive character. He lives near this unique landmark
glacial boulder and believes it is apropos of his company
model since he splits “The Rock” between buyers
and sellers clearly separating the two and only working with
Rock - Oak Bluffs
Pulpit Rock is in
the Farm Neck area of Oak Bluffs, off County Road going toward
beautiful Sengekontacket Pond. It is famous as the 'pulpit'
on which John Sanders preached Christianity to African-American
slaves (yes, there were slaves here on Martha's Vineyard)
in the late 1700s. The
MV Heritage Trail site has more information.
Rock - Oak Bluffs
Lovers Rock, also known as 'Moon Rock',
is across from the Seaview hotel (now condos) in Oak Bluffs,
but was buried by the town beach project in the early 1900s.
In its day it was a popular spot for young lovers to watch
the moon rising from Nantucket Sound. It was also a spot for
youngsters to try their first dives. When the beach project
was first proposed, a cry of protest flew because Lovers Rock
would be covered by tons of sand. The town engineers pointed
out that the rock was so big it could not possibly be moved
and natural erosion will expose the rock in time, which is
probably true. A flat stone near the Inkwell Beach jetty marks
the spot of Lovers Rock, and you can watch the moon rise from
there -- and it's still very nice.
Rock - Chilmark
John Belushi was a beloved comedy writer,
blues musician, and actor of the 1970-80's. He got his start
in National Lampoon's off-Broadway
"Lemmings", and subsequently participated in future
National Lampoon projects, including its syndicated "Radio
In 1975, he was one of
several Second City Comedy Troup in NBC's new satirical revue
program "Saturday Night Live". Among Belushi's celebrated
comic creations were the fish-out-of-water Samurai warrior;
the "cheeseburger cheeseburger" short-order cook; and -- with
close friend Dan Aykroyd -- the ultra-hip Blues Brothers.
He is possibly best remembered for his character Bluto Blutarsky
in "Animal House", a hysterically funny take on
the 60's frat house scene. "The Blues Brothers"
are credited by many blues musicians for rekindling an interest
in blues music and many forgotten artists.
Belushi came to the Vineyard during his early
'Saturday Night Live' years, finding peace and quiet, and
purchased a home in Chilmark with his wife (whose name we'll
leave out for her privacy because she still lives on Martha's
Vineyard). The meteoric rise and fall of Belushi was the stuff
of which legends are made, juggling his brilliant comic gifts
against his drug use and death by overdose.
He was buried off of South Road in Chilmark
at Abel's Hill cemetery, whereupon hundreds of fans would
come to hold vigils and party, leaving mementos like 'Blues
Brothers' albums, beer bottles, and frat pins. While John's
body was moved to another undisclosed location, Belushi's
Rock stayed and still brings visitors who loved John and to
remember the laughter he left with them with.
Waskosim's Rock - Chilmark
Waskosim's split, too
Waskosism's Rock and
"Middle Line" were boundaries that divided Wampanoag land
from Mayhew land for about ten to twenty years. Middle Line
was a straight line drawn from Waskosim's rock across the
Island to Menemsha Pond. Looking toward Menemsha Pond, the
land on the right was Wampanoag and the land on the left was
Mayhew. Today, Waskosim's marks a different boundary between
the towns of Chilmark and West Tisbury. Waskosim means "new
stone" in Wampanoag. You can find Waskosim's on a hike in
the Land Bank reservation, which is beautiful woodlands and
natural grassland vistas, marked by sign on North Road in
Rock Bight - Chilmark
The north shore of Chilmark remained Wampanoag
land far longer than the towns of Noepe on the south shore.
Great Rock Bight was owned by Aquinnah Wampanoag Elisha Amos
in the mid-1700s. When Amos died, his estate was turned over
to his wife Rebecca, who had been brought to America on the
Middle Passage and had been a slave on the Bassett Farm in
Chilmark (now the Captain Flanders Farm). Also a Land Bank
Preserve, walk to the North Shore and swim!
Rocks and more Rocks! I think everyone loves Rocks. My name,
Peter, means The Rock according to the Bible. I consider
the name of my company, SplitRock Real Estate, to be a metaphor
for splitting the Rock separating Buyers and Sellers. Did
you know Martha's Vineyard is often referred to as The Rock?
Anyone who has ever visited the Vineyard has most likely found that special rock. I have hauled hundreds of pounds of special rocks up from the beach in my pockets, wrapped in towels, in large buckets, by wheel barrow and in the back of my car during the forty plus years I have been on the Vineyard. I remember when I was a boy, I tried to remove all the rocks on the beach in front of Split Rock, and I could not understand why more rocks returned the next day to replace those I removed.
I have special rocks around my gardens, and
I covet what few rocks remain in the ancient stone walls
around my property. I have an obelisk shaped rock as my
property sign marker. My neighbors refer to it as "Fyler
Rock". I painted my street number boldly on another
large flat rock. I use rocks as paper weights, door stops
and ornamental sculpture on the mantel in my home. I see
many Islanders driving around with rocks covering the top
surface of their car dashboards --- not sure how safe that
is. People paint all kinds of graphical images on rocks,
or etch short slogans into the stone. There is a belief
that rocks with circles on their surfaces signify good luck.
Phillip A. Long, an artist living in Virginia
has gone even further with his passion for Rocks; he creates
one-of-a-kind one time sculptures using different varieties
and shapes of rocks he lovingly and thoughtfully collects
from our Island beaches during his precious yearly pilgrimage
to Martha's Vineyard. His sculptures evoke joy, whimsy,
tension and awe as he skillfully combines and balances rocks
into simple and masterful creations. He then photographs
the sculptures to preserve them in a two-dimensional format.
Take a look at some of Phillip A. Long's work and I think
you will agree, Vineyard
Rocks is something special, and so is the magical Island
that spawned them.
CLICK HERE if you have information on other famous Martha's Vineyard Island
Rocks you'd like to share? I'd love to hear from you.