Dr. Daniel Fisher House & Gardens
This stately Federal style residence was built for Dr. Daniel Fisher, a medical doctor and entrepreneur who, during the height of the whaling era, was one of the wealthiest men in the country. At the turn of the twentieth century, the house was owned by Senator William Morgan Butler of New Bedford, the politically influential Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
During Butler’s ownership, significant architectural and landscape features were added including the porte cochere facing the West Garden and, on the opposite side, the graceful semi-circular porch and the East Lawn.
On the western side of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House there grows a formal garden featuring roses, hydrangeas, pear trees, and other island favorites. It became part of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House grounds in 2008 through contributions from the Begary Charitable Trust in memory of John M. Morgan and the Thoron Family.
The architectural centerpiece of the West Garden was designed by Francis Peabody in the same year that Fisher House was constructed. The onion-domed roof, ornamented with a gilded pineapple, was influenced by Peabody’s voyage to Russia on his father’s ship, Augustus. This “Little Summer House” was originally located at the Peabody estate, Glen Magna Farm, in Danvers, Massachusetts. It graced their formal garden for 118 years until Louise Endicott’s death in 1958, when the family donated the estate to the Danvers Historical Society. The Gazebo was inherited by her nephew, Samuel Thoron, and moved to his residence at Seven Gates Farm on Martha’s Vineyard. The Thoron family donated the Peabody Gazebo to the Trust in 2008.
In the northeast corner of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House property, visitors will find a restored sunken water garden originally installed by Senator William Butler at the end of the nineteenth century. Senator Butler’s water garden was restored in 1999 through contributions from the Luther and Neuhoff families.
The Fisher House was acquired in 1975, through the generosity of Fairleigh and Elizabeth Dickinson, the founders of the Trust. Initially, the house was renovated to provide office space for local companies and Town departments. In 1992, the mansion’s interior was extensively restored and decorated as the first Martha’s Vineyard Designer Show house. It has since been used as an elegant location for private parties and wedding receptions, as well as housing the main offices of the Trust.