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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Centrally Located Historic Davis Academy

Bedrooms 4
Half Baths1
Property type chateau / country house
Minimum Stay 6 nights


About the property

Location, location, location for this comfortable home one block from Main St.

The house is centrally located in the heart of the Edgartown historic district. Shopping and restaurants are around the corner on Upper Main Street. The property features walkable access to the Lighthouse Beach, the Fuller Street Beach, the Chappaquidick Ferry, and the Edgartown Transit Hub. There is off-street parking for two vehicles. Beautiful, well-maintained Japanese Garden and large hedge-rowed yard for quiet daytime reading, al fresco dining, and garden entertaining. Bedroom locations are a master king with private bath of tub only, master bedroom 2 with king, and two smaller bedrooms with twin beds. Hall bathroom of tub and shower. Powder room on first floor. All bedrooms are on the second floor with window A/C units in master bedrooms. There is a window A/C in the kitchen and fans to circulate cool air throughout.


Davis Academy, at 49 Davis Lane, was built in 1836 when its owner, David Davis, was 33 years old. Descended from a local family, Davis moved here from Maine. His first school was in a building mid-way down the block on the other side of Davis Lane. In February, 1836, Jeremiah Pease wrote in his diary: “At about ½ passed 12 o’clock (midnight) Fire! Was cried, the Church Bell rang, the People ran. It proved to be the Academy belonging to D. Davis, situated in the centre of the Town. The fire could not be subdued when the people arrived. It burned to the ground.”

This building was then built, but the school didn’t last long. The Edgartown High School opened just up the street in 1850. Davis was a lawyer, state legislator, and the tax collector for Edgartown. He was also very community-minded, a quality well demonstrated by his establishment of the Edgartown Lyceum in his house. This was a debating society, which took on the burning topics of the day. It’s founding principle was “the improvement of the intellect and cultivation of faculties by which mind can communicate with mind.” The Lyceum in the present day Academy is much how it was in Davis’ time. Davis was the most spirited debater of the initial seven founding members. The Lyceum movement, as it is called, was a a national phenomenon in the mid-19th century, but the most prominent in New England and the mid-West. Over the years such notables as Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Susan B. Anthony, and Henry Thoreau spoke at their local lyceums. The Edgartown Lyceum, under David Davis’ guidance, existed between 1837-1853, and was re-established in 1876-1890. Topics that were debated covered philosophy, politics, international relations, slavery, education, woman’s equality, and some of those topics are relevant today. A few examples are:

• “Was the conduct of our fathers toward the aborigines of this country justifiable?” 1845

• “Has the differences of opinion in politics caused more bloodshed than differences of opinion in religion?” 1840

• “Judging from the history of past Republics and the present condition of our own , is it probable that the U.S. will continue to flourish as a nation?” 1849

• “Are novels pernicious to morals?” 1838

• “Is fear a greater incentive o human action than hope of reward?” 1839

• “Is the cultivation of music more beneficial to the community than poetry?” 1842

• “Would the condition of society and woman be improved by placing the two sexes on an equality in respect to rights and duties?” 1838

• “Should the fugitive slave law be repealed?” 1850

In 1969 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, James Reston, a columnist at the New York Times for thirty years, bought the house after he purchased the Vineyard Gazette and spent time here during the summers of the 1970s and 1980s. In the past three years the house has been lovingly restored by the family of Reston’s son, James Reston, Jr., who is the an author of some seventeen books. Some of them are on the shelves in the living room.

More Details


Edgartown Chateau / Country House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • chateau / country house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Included
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:30 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6 ...
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed ...
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 12 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , tub
    Bathroom 3 - toilet
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • limited accessibility
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • paragliding
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • racquetball
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing


This property doesn't have any reviews yet!

Property Manager

Devin Reston
Member since: 2014
Speaks: spanish
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
October 2, 2017


State Road Restaurant
"Great Up-Island option for fine dining. "
South Beach
"Easy bus or bike ride from the Academy, beautiful beach with lots of fun folks. "
Long Point Wildlife Refuge Beach
"The more secluded beach option. "
Cronig's Markets
Nearest Barpub
100 Metres
Port Hunter
Nearest Ferry
0.25 Miles
Chappy Ferry
Nearest Golf
2 Miles
Farm Neck
Nearest Restaurant
100 Metres




Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $1,000
Cleaning Fee $300

Inquire for Shoulder-Season Specials

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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