Martha's Vineyard Calendar The Cottagers, Inc.'s 37th Annual House Tour
Martha's Vineyard Calendar

The Cottagers, Inc.'s 37th Annual House Tour

The Cottagers, Inc.'s 37th Annual House Tour gives participants access to guided tours of homes and gardens in the town of Oak Bluffs. Tickets ($50) may be purchased in advance online at the Cottagers’ website: and at local retail outlets, C'est La Vie and Cousen Rose Gallery, both located on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. Tickets can be purchased on the day of event from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Hartford Park across from Cottagers' Corner, 57 Pequot Avenue in Oak Bluffs. This fundraiser benefits local charities.

Founded in 1956 by Thelma Garland Smith, The Cottagers, Inc. is a prestigious, philanthropic group of African American women homeowners on the Vineyard. We promote a sense of cultural pride by fundraising to support charitable, educational, and community service projects that help improve the quality of life in the Vineyard community.  Ms. Smith spearheaded the organization's founding with friends in response to criticism that African Americans did not care about the Island or contribute to community needs. Rather than take this as an insult, she and her friends took it as a call to action.  Twelve women became the founders of the organization and began recruiting others. Meeting regularly in each other's homes, they made personal contributions. They held bazaars in Hartford Park, suppers, dinner dances, and clam bakes to raise money for their philanthropic efforts.

Later, as more African Americans began summering on the Island, the women outgrew meeting at their homes. In 1968, under President Maggie Alston's leadership, they voted to buy the Oak Bluffs Fire Station and Town Hall at 57 Pequot Avenue and three lots on Wamsutta Avenue. The building was named Cottagers' Corner, and The Cottagers were incorporated on May 28, 1969.

Today, The Cottagers, Inc. is a diverse group of women of different experiences and generations, full-time and seasonal residents, who work to make Martha's Vineyard a better, more welcoming island through philanthropy, education, and community service.

Thursday, July 18 at 10:00am to 3:00pm

Cottagers' Corner
57 Pequot Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

Event Type

Guided Tours, Annual, Charitable Events, Community


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