Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Chilmark

"Entering Chilmark" on State Road (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The town of Chilmark on Martha's Vineyard is the neighbor to the town of West Tisbury, which is the home of my family's cottage on the island.

I think Chilmark is one of the Vineyard's prettiest towns, as it is a combination of rural hills, winding roads lined with farmers' stone walls, and some of the most stunning coastal landscapes on the island.

Even the cemetery in Chilmark, called Abel's Hill, is pretty. At least during the daytime. It's a different story at night.

Abel's Hill Cemetery
Sheep farmers once populated the town and can still be found among the rolling green hills. Stella, the main character in my book The Ghosts of Aquinnah, lives in Chilmark and owns sheep herself.

My own great-great grandparents Franklin and Nancy Hammett lived on a farm in Chilmark. Not coincidentally, Stella's maiden name is Hammett.

If you were a fan of The X-Files, you may remember that Fox Mulder was born and raised in Chilmark, something I did not remember until I was doing research for this post. :D

My writing group Untethered Realms is also participating in this month's challenge and we are presenting an A - Z of fantastical creatures. For today's C post, I shared a fantastical feline called a Cat Sith. Visit us here to meet this kitty and to see our creatures throughout the month!

My A-Z of Martha's Vineyard theme is inspired by my book, The Ghosts of Aquinnah, which was published in December, 2013 and is set on the island. Click here for all the info on the book.


  1. I want to go.

    Hugs and chocolate, Julie.

  2. Beautiful place, Julie. I was devoted to the X-Files, didn't remember about Fox Mulder though.

  3. Sometimes place names sound so exotic, you have to wonder if they exist. This sounds like an idyllic place to be.

    Didn't know that about Mulder.

  4. I was, and am, a fan of the X-Files, but I forgot this. But now I remember him going home to his parents at one point, later in the series I believe. Maybe near the very end.

  5. @Shelly, I do to! :D

    @Cathy, I didn't remember it at all either.

    @Joy, it really is.

    @Trisha, yeah, once I read this that's what I remembered too. But I was surprised I had totally forgotten about it since the name would have jumped out at me.

  6. That does look like a beautiful graveyard, but I bet it changes at night!

  7. It looks so pretty! I've always wanted to visit Martha's Vineyard.

  8. It sounds like a lovely town. I'm heading over to the other blog to see what you had to say about a cat.

  9. I love going through cemeteries. Strange, yes, but it's always fascinated me.

  10. @Laura, it is super creepy at night.

    @Johanna, now that you are on the East coast you should! :)

    @Nana, I couldn't resist a magical cat. :D

    @Huntress, I do too! I agree with you.

  11. It sounds so perfect. I would want to live there in the cottage. The rest of the fam would have to buy another one.

  12. I love hearing about the areas that books are set in, and learning a bit about the background. I think this is a great theme, Julie.

  13. Looks like a gorgeous place! Love the X Files trivia, too.

    Just wanted to pop over and see what you had cooking for your A-Z, J! :D

  14. The landscape is so different from here. It reminds me of my years on the East coast.

  15. Oh, so Chilmark made it into the X-Files. It just be some town. :) It may sound strange, but if I were to travel to small towns and other countries I would try to visit a cemetery. There is just something magical, beautiful, and peaceful about them that I love.

  16. @Elizabeth, LOL LOL.

    @DG, thank you, I'm so glad you are enjoying it!

    @EJ, thanks, it's great to see you!

    @Inger, it's amazing the difference between the west and the east coast, sometimes it's hard to believe it's all the same country.

    @Chrys, oh, I think you would definitely like this one then. There are so many old graves and it's a fascinating place really.

  17. You're really providing me with a great itinerary, Julie. Thanks.

  18. Sheep farmers on MV? Huh. Well at least no one can lose them on an island - it's not like they're going to pay for a ticket on the ferry! lol

  19. @Lee, glad you feel that way!

    @Lexa, LOL. Yeah the sheep are stuck.

  20. I love the little tid bits about your life tying into your book. I love when authors do that. *sigh* I miss the X-Files. Well, the early ones. Towards the end they got a bit wonky.

    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  21. When I hear Martha's Vineyards it invokes thoughts of richness I'll never get to see. You make it out to be quite available to the normal traveler and even if I never get there, I can visit virtually! Thanks!

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

  22. A family cottage on that island... surrounded by all that beauty?

  23. @Elsie, I'm so glad you like it, thanks! And I totally agree about the X-Files.

    @Jamie, it really is! Although I feel lucky that my family has been on the island since before it got so wealthy, I'm sure I couldn't afford a place there now!

    @Michelle, we are very lucky to have it, no doubt. :)

  24. You're so lucky to have a home there! And I love that you used your grandparent's name for your heroine!!

  25. It reminds me of somewhere I've been before, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm thinking I want to say Yellowstone...

  26. It reminds me of somewhere I've been before, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm thinking I want to say Yellowstone...

  27. Hi Julie - I hope you've got some historical mementoes from their time - so interesting to read about .. and lovely you've commemorated their memory in your book ..

    Such fun .. cheers Hilary

  28. @Ava, thanks!

    @Crystal, oh, I've always wanted to go to Yellowstone. Hope I make it there someday.

    @Hilary, we do have a few and you're so right, the history is so interesting. It's fun to get a glimpse at a different time period. Thank you and cheers back to you!

  29. I'm not a big fan of cemeteries...especially at night...but Chilmark does look pretty!

  30. Such a lovely place, would love to visit! What an interesting detail about Mulder.

    Hopping to UR!

  31. @Sk, you definitely wouldn't want to be in this one at night LOL. It's spooky just to drive past it.

    @Yolanda, I still can't believe I didn't remember that about Mulder.

  32. I did not know that Mulder was born in Chilark! I love that!

  33. Sounds like it would be the perfect place to write.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

  34. Ha! I should write this down somewhere because my kids want to do X-files A to Z next year.

  35. Gorgeous! But I had no idea that's where Mulder was born. My X-Files fandom isn't that...precise. Lol

  36. What a perfect name for a town in a ghost story.

  37. I have always wanted to visit Martha's Vineyard. It seems like such a historical place and I always dig on places out east that have been around for so long.
    Dara the Writer

  38. You're making me want to go to Martha's Vineyard...

  39. Wow! I'm not surprised you had so much inspiration for your book, and such a good idea to make Martha's Vineyard your A-Z.
    It's amazing that the lighthouse, where your great-great grandfather worked, is still there. It must feel good to have those ties to your family history in Chilmark. Sheep farming sounds idyllic.
    Sorry I've taken so long to get back to you - hubby's having Windows 8 problems again!

  40. Are we all going to do a big road trip together? I want to go there now too! :)

  41. The cemetery trail looks so pretty. It reminds me of some hiking trails we used to visit when I was a kid. I enjoy beautiful trails with lots of trees and greenery about them.

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches

  42. Hi human, Julie,

    Oh I wish this ridiculous alphabet challenge was over. Sigh...

    Some interesting facts that mean a lot to you in regards to Chilmark.

    Of course, a lot of the X-Files was filmed in Vancouver :)

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

  43. That's so cool about Mulder! Great post!

  44. I've been to Chilmark, but a lot of years ago.

  45. The cemetery looks "haunting" even in the daytime. It is neat that your book(congrats!!)is centred here. Thanks for visiting my post:)

  46. @Liz, I didn't either but I thought it was such a fun little bit of trivia.

    @Brandon, I think it would be, I'd love to be able to stay there all summer.

    @Charity, oh that's perfect then LOL.

    @Jay, mine isn't either, LOL. I liked the show but had no clue about details like this.

    @Vanessa, I'm glad you think that! I don't even know why but I love the name.

    @Dara, I feel the same way, I love the history on the east coast.

    @Beverly, you should go!

    @Loni, it is! :D

    @Sarah, I do too LOL.

    @Fanny, oh geez, I can relate to that. I hate Windows 8 and am having a terrible time with my own laptop. I feel your husband's pain!

    @Christine, okay that's a great idea LOL.

    @MJ, I do too. :)

    @Gary, LOL, you've got a long way to go yet until we get to Z. :D Yeah I don't think the X-Files ever actually went to New England. But to me the show went downhill when they left Vancouver!

    @Tyrean, thanks!

    @Bob, one thing I love about MV is I don't think it ever really changes. You can be gone for years and when you go back things are still almost the same. :)


  47. Mulder's birth place? Nice! That picture is beautiful. You really worked hard for A-Z Challege this year Julie.

  48. Chilmark seems like such a lovely place! Love the ties both you and your book have to it... :)

  49. @Sheena-kay, that's nice of you to say, thanks!

    @Heather, thank you!

  50. @Birgit, I'm so sorry I missed your post earlier. Thanks so much for coming by here and again I'm so glad to meet you.


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