Demographics of Oak Bluffs
The Town of Oak Bluffs is a resort town on the northeast shore of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Originally incorporated in 1880 as Cottage City, in 1907 the town’s name was changed because of the growth in the year round population and the changing face of the resort required an acknowledgement the town was not just “Cottage City” anymore.
The renaming marked the coalescence of all the elements that make Oak Bluffs unique as an oceanfront resort and distinguish its character in relation to the other Island towns. With its diversity and density of population and the tradition of being the site of institutions that serve the Island-wide community, Oak Bluffs has proven itself to be the innovator in response to changing trends and conditions in the society at large.
Oak Bluffs is home to many historical and nationally recognized landmarks. Located at the foot of Circuit Ave, the Flying Horse Carousel is the nation’s oldest operating platform carousel. It is one of the two known carousels built by Charles W. F. Dare in 1876. In 1884, the Flying Horses were brought to Martha’s Vineyard; this treasured carousel has been enjoyed by Vineyarders and visitor for more than a century.
The Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, located in the center of Town offers a unique experience for visitors. Consisting of hundreds of imaginative and colorful gingerbread cottages containing the most perfectly preserved collection of Carpenter Gothic style architecture in the world. These truly unique Victorian “gingerbread” cottages are just a stone’s throw from the famed Tabernacle.
Oak Bluffs operates the largest marina on Martha’s Vineyard, which not only has the most slips, but is situated in the midst of the historic gingerbread campgrounds, and offers easy access to the rest of the Island. “OB”, as it is sometimes referred to, also is home to several beautiful public beaches, a teaming shore of wildlife, fish and shellfish, fabulous public parks, a golf course and even a microbrewery.
In modern times Oak Bluffs has come to terms with all of the strands in its past. Oak Bluffs has experienced simultaneous development of a secular seaside resort, and the continuation of a religious summer revival. Today, an active downtown is complete with exciting restaurants, charming inns, shops, and galleries, a variety of specialty food shops, movie theaters, and places to enjoy live entertainment and dancing.