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Originally published in the Proceedings of the Nantucket Historical Association, Fifty-third Annual Meeting, 1947.

Nantucket Farms, by William E. Gardner

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This list of numbers and names identify the Nantucket farms of the 1850s shown on the accompanying map.

The names are those most frequently used" in conversation, and not a record of all the owners.

Corrections cannot be made in the zinc plate of the map but Dr. Gardner would welcome them and file them in the Historical Association.


Concerning this map and the names under it, Dr. Gardner makes the following statement:

The map and names of farm owners is the result of some research in gathering material for my book on the Starbucks: "Three Bricks and Three Brothers," and for the book I am now preparing on the Coffins.

I found that I could not search out Starbuck and Coffin farms and properties without locating many other farms; most of these are ' memories and only located by holes in the ground, by doorsteps hidden in the grass and by rubble where no grass would grow because of the big chimney that once stood there.

I became conscious that these holes and rubbish heaps told a story of an important period in our island life.

In the eighteen fifties there were over one hundred farms on the island. More than three hundred children were growing up on these farms. Men were going whaling, leaving their farms to "the women folks" and the old men; and many times coming back, as in the case of Obed Swain (he lived on what is now the Dr. Folger farm), to find his wife had made more money farming that he had made whaling.

Look at this record of 1855: horses, 346; cows and oxen, 874; sHeep, 1201; pigs, 541; pounds of butter made, 24,152; potatoes, 7,776 bushels; hay, 2851 tons.

It seemed important to gather as much material as I could about these farms and make a map and place the record in the files of the Nantucket Historical Association.

I secured the help of Jay Gibbs, one of the few men who have kept up his interest in the farm life of the island, and during two winters we have spent many evenings together in my home just before Jay went on to ring the "curfew" at nine o'clock. Many others have helped by correcting our conclusions and adding new data; some have developed a difference of opinion concerning locations and ownerships.

We are indebted to Alex Hoyle, Pest House Shore, for the drawing of this excellent map; it is based largely on the Geodetic Maps of 1945.

All the material we have collected will go into the files of the Nantucket Historical Association; not only the map and the list of owners, but also interesting stories about the making of peat, the good times at Polpis—especially at the corn huskings—the Farm Institute and the "Annual Cattle Show."

Two interesting manuscripts will be included, one by Millard F. Freeborn and" Wallace Gardner, and the other by Jay Gibbs.

All will be filed under "Farms of Nantucket."

We are especially indebted to the editor of The Inquirer and Mirror, for not only making this map known to many interested in the history of Nantucket, but also for his help in the detail of the search where his knowledge of island people and property was invaluable.1. Polpis Road—Seth Clisby, R. E. Burgess, Lawrence Mooney.
2. Polpis Road—William Shaw.
3. Polpis Road—Obed Swain, David Worth, Charles Burgess.
4. Polpis Road—Charles Burgess.
5. Polpis Road—Joseph Folger, Harrison Gardner, George Norcross, Harry Gordon.
6. Polpis Road—Kezia Coffin ("Miriam"), William B. Starbuck.
7. Polpis Road—"Town Farm," John Harps.
8. Polpis—"Norwood Farm," F. C. Sanford.
9. Polpis—David Joy.
10. Polpis—Reuben Joy.
11. Polpis—Charles C. Chadwick.
12. Polpis—Benjamin Swain, Benjamin Eldridge, Benj. Worth.
13. Polpis—Obed Macy, "Spotswood," F. C. Sanford.
14. Polpis—Capt. Samuel Harris.
15. Polpis—Benjamin Robinson, Frank Chadwick.
16. Polpis—John Swain, Harvey Smith, Charles Swain.
17. Polpis—Heiry Swain, Josiah B. Gould.
18. Polpis—Benjamin Ray, Charles Rule, John Enos.
19. Polpis—Charles Swain (J. E. C. Farnham lived here, see "My Boyhood Days on Nantucket.")
20. Polpis—Gardner Coffin, Robert Mooney.
21. Polpis—"Beachwood Farm," F. C. Sanford.
22. Polpis—"Milton Farm," Edward Morris, Jonathan Parker, Edward Ray, Charles Swain.
23. Polpis—William Phinney, William Perkins, Jacob Gibbs.
24. Polpis—William Rawson, Henry Swain, Charles Swain.
24.a Polpis—George B. Starbuck.
25. Polpis—"Eatfire Springs," Albert Easton, Sylvanus Morey, Henry Fay.
26. Squam—Oliver Backus, John Harps, Henry Fay.
27. Squam—David Phinney.
28. Pocomo—"Boden Farm," Joseph Steingardt, Edward Boden.
29. Pocomo—"Steingardt Farm," Manuel Enos, Joseph Steingardt.
30. Wauwinet—Elijah Luce, LeGrand Canon Tibbetts.
31. Coskata—Capt. Edward Coffin, Philip Folger.
32. Squam—Sylvanus Morey, LeGrand Canon Tibbetts.
33. Squam—"Chadwick Farm," William Henry Chadwick.
34. Squam—Thomas Ray.
35. Quidnet—George Norcross, Capt. John Killen.
36. Quidnet—George Chadwick.
37. Quidnet—Edward Norcross, Oscar Norcross, Allan Norcross.
38. Sesachacha—James Norcross.
39. Sesachacha—Charles Chadwick.
40. Sesachacha—James Maguire, James Norcross, "Beach Club."
41. 'Sconset—Philip Folger, Levi Coffin.
41.a 'Sconset—"Tashama Island," Albert Easton.
42. 'Sconset—Matthew Crosby, Levi Coffin, "Bloomingdale Golf Club."
43. 'Sconset—Sidney B. Folger.
44. 'Sconset—Samuel Pitman.
44.a 'Sconset—Low Beach, Henry C. Coffin.
45. Tom Nevers—Thomas Ray.
46. Nobadeer—"Nobadeer Farm," William Worth.
47. Nobadeer—Frank Sylvia.
48. Nobadeer—Joseph Vincent, Isaac Hills, Frank Holm.
49. Nobadeer—"Myrick Farm," "Morse Farm," Abner Fish, Frederick Fish.
50. Nobadeer—Matthew Macy.
51. Shimmo—Captain Andrew Arthur.
52. Shimmon—Aaron Swain.
53. Shimmo—Stephen Gibbs.
54. Shimmo—Coffin Macy.
55. Shimmo—Paul Clisby.
56. Shimmo—Brown Gardner.
57. Monomoy—Zimri Cathcart, S. S. Lewis, Jr.
58. Nobadeer—"Hinsdale Farm," Fred Fish, Leslie Holm.
59. Surfside—"Spring Garden," Edward Hammond, William Macintosh, "Tashama Farm."
60. Surfside—"Miacomet Farm," John Appleton.
61. Cisco—John O'Connell, Dr. Charles Congdon.
62. Cisco—John Wilson, Thomas Gibbs, Albert Chase, John Bartlett, Joseph Grouard.
63. Cisco—George H. Gardner.
64. Cisco—Joseph Starbuck, William Starbuck.
65. Cato—Narcissa Coffin, Joseph Sylvia de Rosa.
66. Cato—"Appleton Farm," John S. Appleton, Noah Appleton, Nathaniel Lowell.
67. Cato—"Mitchell Farm," John Eoberts.
68. Cato—Obed Starbuck, Charles Starbuek, Walter Dawson, John Ring.
69. Cato—"Cherry Grove," Eliot Cathcart, Thomas Macy, Clinton Hussey, Nathaniel Lowell, E. McLaughlin.
70. Cato—D. B. Alien, Arnold Morse, Daniel Brayton, Clinton Hussey, Nathaniel Lowell.
71. Hummock Pond Road—Edward Macy, Reuben Chadwick, Andrew Sandsbury, Charles G. Austin.
72. Hummock Pond Road—"Burnt Swamp"—Albert Folger.
73. Hummock Pond Road—"Mount Vernon Farm," ...... Cartwright, Laban Paddock, Fred Paddock, Charles G. Gardner, Wallace Gardner.
74. Hummock Pond Road—Capt. Shubael Alien (part of 73), Capt. Henry Coleman, John J. Gardner, Charles W. Gardner, Wallace Gardner.
75. Hummock Pond—George Starbuck (part of 73), Judge Edward Gardner.
76. Hummock Pond—"Bartlett Farm," Henry Coffin, Albert Bartlett, John Bartlett.
77. Hummock Pond—"Rams Pasture," Lot Palmer, Henry Coleman, May Brayton, William Wallace.
78. Hummock Pond—Elihu Coleman, William Hosier.
79. Hummock Pond—William Randall.
80. Hummock Pond—David G. Hussey.
81. Madaket—"Cambridge," site of farm of "Great Mary" Starbuck, "Cornish Farm," Bailey Cornish, William T. Swain.
82. Madaket—Andrew Backus.
83. Madaket—"Trott's Swamp," William Bartlett, "Gibson Farm." Madaket—James Collins, George Barrett.
84. Madaket—Nathan Chase, "Bennett Farm," Warren Ramsdell, "Madaket Gun Club."
85. Madaket—Warren Ramsdell, William Ray, Benjamin Pease.
86. Madaket—William Ramsdell.
87. Madaket—Washington I. Fisher.
88. Madaket—Joseph Fisher, Isaac Hills.
89. Madaket—Colin Small, Daniel Folger, Ernest G. Eliot.
90. Madaket—Valentine Small.
91. North Shore—"Franklin Valley Farm," William H. H. Smith, Mary E. Crosby.
92. North Shore—"Hamblin Farm," Thomas Hamblin.
93. North Shore—"Hinckley Farm," Eben Hinckley.
94. North Shore—George Robinson.