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Sankaty Head lighthouse at the eastern end of
Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
Nantucket is an island 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the United States. Together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget, it constitutes the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts and the coextensive Nantucket County, which cover all three islands. The region of Surfside on Nantucket is the southernmost settlement in Massachusetts.
Nantucket is a tourist destination and summer colony. The population of the island soars from approximately 10,000 to 50,000 during the summer months, due to tourists and summer residents. It has some of the highest property values in Massachusetts.
The National Park Service has designated the entire island as a National Historic District, paying particular note to the settlements of Nantucket and Siasconset. The island features one of the highest concentration of pre-Civil War structures in the United States.
Nantucket was part of Dukes County, New York until 1691, when it was transferred to the newly formed Province of Massachusetts Bay and split off to form Nantucket County. The entire area of the New York county had been purchased by Thomas Mayhew Sr. of Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1641, buying out competing land claims. The earliest English settlement began on Martha's Vineyard.
Nantucket was formerly the world's leading whaling port
"This county is an island which lies east from Duke's County, and about thirty miles south of Cape Cod or Barnstable County. It is fifteen miles in length from east to west, and about four miles average breadth: it contains fifty square miles. In 1659 it was bought by Thomas Macy of Thomas Mayhew for thirty pounds, "in merchant pay and two beaver hats." It was first settled by whites in that year, when it contained about three thousand Indians; it was formerly well-wooded; the soil is light and sandy. The whale fishery commenced here in 1690, and has continued to the present time; it has a good harbor, on the borders of which the town of Nantucket is located."
Incorporated as the town of Sherburn, June 27, 1687; name changed to Nantucket, June 8, 1795
[Source: " A History of Massachusetts in the Civil War" by William Schouler, vol. II, Towns and Cities]
Towns and Villages
Madaket * Nantucket * Siasconset
Other Populated Places
Chadwicks Folly * Cisco * Codfish Park * Coskata * Fishers Landing * Hoicks Hollow * Long Josephs Point * Mikas Pond * Monomoy * Pocomo * Polpis * Quaise * Quidnet * Sesachacha * Shallow Pond * Shawkemo * Shimmo * Smooth Hummocks * Squam * Surfside * Town Pasture * Trots Hills * Warren Landing * Wauwinet