Posts Tagged With: Alleys General Store


Our last day, cool and sunny, we decided to go for a bike ride in this beautiful place. Its clean, slow paced beauty will linger in memory long after we leave, as will my favorite food, the stuffed scallops at Larsens Fish Market. We drove out and unloaded the bikes just above West Basin, near the clam gardens.

I’ve never been clamming before and decided I’d like to try it, but Jim was sure you have to have a license to clam. The sign was unclear, and we didn’t have a bucket nor a shovel, anyway.

I’d never heard of a shellfish warden. Sounded a bit like, “We’re Watching You.”

We biked the Farm Shore road for a bit, but it was rough going and we turned around and headed for the
Gay Head Cliffs, a steady uphill pull, but on smooth asphalt. Great exercise, little traffic. We cooled on a big rock. The ride back down hill was exhillarting.
We loaded the bikes and headed for Larsens at Menemsha. Another great lunch. Chowder for Jim, Mussels and stuffed scallops for me.

On the way back to camp, we stopped to visit the oldest general store on the Island at West Tisbury. Alleys, established in 1858, is still a working store, though supported by the Marthas Vineyard Preservation Trust. The old wooden floors and casings are intact, but, its surprisingly modern. They’ve incorporated an ATM machine, a fancy coffee bar with fresh muffins, sweet rolls and quick-eat treats like any Seven Eleven;

They still cut glass, sell nails and just about any hardware item you can think of. At one time, they were also the local post office.

I’m old enough to remember stores where the clerk stood at the counter and asked you what you needed and then went and got it for you. The counter is still there, but you can prowl around and find what you need. Lot of nostalgia here for me. A rack full of aprons, greeting cards, old penny candy, only higher priced, toys…

I didn’t see the old wood stove with chairs around it, but they did have an inviting hammock on the porch.

And, an annex with produce.

Quite fittingly, they have fresh basil and a tomato plant in a pot out in front.

The one and only really rainy day we spent here we did the laundry and took a short jaunt to town for a ride on the oldest operating carousel in the nation.

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