Approximately three miles off the southwest coast of Martha’s Vineyard, lies the 628 acre island of Noman’s Land. It had once been inhabited by the Wampanoag Tribe and numerous settlers, but is now desolate and overgrown.
Many visible clues of past inhabitants have already disappeared, since the island has been off-limits to the public for the past 76 years. As time continues to pass, so does the opportunity to record the history first-hand through tangible evidence.
Through the decades, there have been unusual occurrences reported on or around Noman’s Land. Among other fascinating tales, many believe Norsemen traveled to Noman’s Land (est. 1000 A.D), which may of served them as a seasonal hunting and fishing camp.
A Brief History of Noman's
In 1926, a mysterious runic stone with an inscription which translates to “Leif Erikson, 1001”, was located. Much attention has been drawn to the stone, allegedly visible only during very low tides. However, no one has been able to find it in recent years.
There are also numerous shipwrecks in the immediately surrounding waters, giving insight to the island’s many tales of woe. There have been ghost sightings, speculation of Captain Kidd’s buried treasure, and accounts of rum runners. Each story adds allure to the true history of Noman’s Land, which is unique and culturally significant. Unknown places often leave our minds to do the exploring, with great imagination.
According to the earliest known inhabitants, the Wampanoag Tribe, the island was created when Moshup, a benevolent entity, was building a bridge to a nearby island. As he stacked boulders in the sea, a crab bit him on the big toe. Moshup threw the crab into the water along with several boulders, forming the island.
“Fishing, it makes us participants rather than spectators in nature. A significant distinction; participants become passionate and protective, while spectators remain indifferent.” – Jerry Dennis