Martha's Vineyard Bucket List #2: Exploring the Martha's Vineyard Museum

May 14, 2019

A number of years in the works, the new Martha’s Vineyard Museum has made a dramatic debut onto the island. Perched on a prominent hillside overlooking Vineyard Haven Harbor and Lagoon Pond, the distinguished building is now easily visible as you arrive on the ferry. And it’s a new adventure that belongs on everyone’s Martha’s Vineyard Bucket List.

1557863982Martha’s Vineyard Museum: From Hospital To Camp To Museum
The $30-million dollar-plus renovation and transformation from former Marine Hospital and later summer camp, is stunning. The group preserved everything that could be saved or salvaged. From the outside, the main building looks much as it did in 1895, when the hospital opened. 

Martha’s Vineyard Museum: New Layout, New Pavilions
There are now two new additions to the original hospital building. The glass Linneman Pavilion, and a new barn-like structure called Doherty Hall.


 Among the three buildings, there are permanent as well as changing exhibits. This is a modern take on the museum experience, with interactive, multi-media displays and discoveries.  From the Wampanoag people to the whaling era to farming, vacationing, religion — there’s a lot to see, learn, and discover about the people, the places, the history and the magic of Martha’s Vineyard. 

Martha’s Vineyard Museum Show-Stopper: The Fresnel Lens


In a museum full of historical gems, there’s no doubt, there is one crown jewel. It’s the original — and now restored — Fresnel lens that used to light Gay Head Lighthouse.

Our own Guinevere Cramer is your Insider Tour Guide for this museum adventure.


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