The Tashmoo Cottage and Hideaway is conveniently set about 1-1/2 miles on a dirt road through the forest, from the Tashmoo Beach. Take a sharp right off the end of the paved Daggett Avenue,  where two dirt roads side by side, gently slope and wind through the forest, like a gentle marbles chute.  The beach is a perfect morning walk in the quiet of the woods with your canine friend from here, or a great bike ride away for active kids. The road is named Herring Creek, for the herring run at the inner part of the Tashmoo Lake. This is where Tisbury Water Works is located, and where the natural well providing our piped drinking water still runs lively.  If you stay on course, you will soon notice the light through the trees as the forest opens to reveal the inner lagoon of the beach area.

There is parking for 15-20 cars, but we love to bike the distance and wash off with a dive into the salty water in the summer, or walk the beach in the off-season.

Tashmoo Beach

Our favorite beach - just a little more than a mile from the property

Martha’s Vineyard geology is a mixture of sand, rocks, and some clay, all scraped off the mainland by ancient glaciers, and dumped off the coast into the ocean. When climate changed, and the ocean recessed, the pile of rubble became an island graced with an assortment of sometimes stunning, but always beautiful beaches, bordering the island all the way around.

The Native American people took this little pile of rocks and sand to their hearth and made it home. One of the early powerful sachems, on what was then called Noepe, bore the name of Phohoganot. He lived on the south side of the island. One day, it was time for his son Tashmoo to start the voyage towards his own manhood and establish his own tribe.

After teaching his son the skill and power of tribal government, Phohoganot sent Tashmoo out to form a tribe on his own. Tashmoo’s mother was the seer of the village. The night before it was time for her son to go, she had a dream. The dream told her that in his travels, her son would come to a large lake, full of fish, crabs and shellfish. The lake was connected with the ocean and surrounded by wonderful landscapes of hills and valleys and covered with thick forest. There would be plenty of deer, rabbits and all kinds of game hiding in the lush forest. At the source of the lake, Tashmoo would find a spring of the purest, sweet, water. This spring would mark his journey's end. The mother gave Tashmoo a “Pearl Shell”(an oyster shell), telling him to use the shell to drink from the spring. When he tasted sweet water, he was to give the place his name. This was where Tashmoo was to build his wigwam and establish his tribe, according to the legends. Young Tashmoo found his paradise, and so did we.

Lake Tashmoo still contains this quiet magic, and we still drink the water from the source of the pond here at Tashmoo Cottage and Hideaway, now piped from the same spring. We treasure every day in our carefully crafted dwellings in the midst of the forest, at the end of the paved streets and close to the surrounding sea. We visit the ocean every morning in all kinds of weather. Originally, Tashmoo was a contained lake, fed from the natural spring. Like so many of the lakes on this island, it tore open in big storms and connected to the ocean for a period of time. In the 1800s, a big storm again tore an opening through the bordering sandbank and opened the lake up to the ocean, in a big way. The opening proved profitable for shellfish and fish, plus it created another protected port for recreational and commercial fishing boats. With that observation, the Vineyard Haven (or Tisbury) town, decided to keep the lake open to the sea.

 The channel now gets vigilantly dredged to keep the ocean water flowing through a deep channel - all the way from the Tisbury Town Dock at the end of Lake Street, and all the way to the ocean side of the Tashmoo Public Beach.