59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Frances Louise Meikleham Memoirs, circa 1916-circa 1977

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum, Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call NumberRU 440
Creator Meikleham, Frances Louise, 1902-1977
TitleFrances Louise Meikleham memoirs
Datecirca 1916-circa 1977
Extent1 box (0.504 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection includes several autobiographical accounts written by Frances Louise Meikleham, 1902-1977. Meikleham resided in Edgartown, Massachusetts and ran a bakery and preserve shop out of her family home, Nunnepog, from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to the library's staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 440, Frances Louise Meikleham Memoirs.

Acquisition Information

The immediate source of acquisition and date of accession are unknown.


Meikleham, Frances Louise. "From New York to the Island in the Early 1900s." In Dukes County Intelligencer 21:2 (November 1979): 63-72.

Obituary of Frances Louise Meikleham, Vineyard Gazette, July 22, 1977.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Insley Julier in March 2013. Machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick April 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Materials

Related Materials

See also, RU 411, Arthur Railton Research Papers, for a file on Meikleham.

Index Terms


  • Autobiographies
  • Memoirs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Edgartown (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Europe--Description and travel
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--Description and travel


  • Bakeries--Massachusetts--Edgartown

Biography/Historical Note

Frances Louise Meikleham was born in New York City on August 4, 1902 to Thomas Mann Randolph Meikleham, 1869-1954, and Agnes Bowie Dash Meikleham, 1869-1953. In 1908, the Meiklehams moved into a house on South Water Street which they named Nunnepog. Thomas Mann Randolph Meikleham had worked in New York as an electrical engineer, but in 1916 the family relocated to Martha's Vineyard year-round. Frances Louise Meikleham's mother Agnes became an active member of the island community, founding the Martha's Vineyard Garden Club and serving as its President for 16 years. She was also a member of the Edgartown School Committee, the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), the Edgartown Yacht Club and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.

Frances Meikleham attended the Edgartown High School; however, she remained active in the New York City social scene. Her society debut occurred at the Autumnal Ball at Tuxedo Park, New York in 1922. According to a July 24, 1927 New York Times announcement, Frances Louise Meikleham was engaged to Wilson Shepard Crosby, a graduate of Williams College, however there is no evidence that they married. As a young woman, Meikleham traveled abroad in Europe and studied painting for a summer in France. After her return, Meikleham organized an exhibition of works of art by Edgartown residents at her family home on August 26-27, 1935 and she later showed 24 of her own paintings at the Garden Club Center, at the Old Mill in West Tisbury on August 26-27, 1938. Like her mother, Frances Meikleham was a passionate gardener and an active member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.

In the 1930s Frances Meikleham started a business selling baked goods and preserves from her home Nunnepog. Her products, labeled under the "Great Harbor Brand," and sold in a store called, The Sea Gull and the Whale, included fruit cake, plum pudding, cheese savories and brownies, as well as, jams and jellies derived from wild fruits growing on the island. A 1955 product list included preserves made of beach plums, grapes and Aquinnah cranberries. In 1965, Frances Meikleham closed the store. She sold her South Water Street home and moved to Cow Bay in Edgartown, where she resided until her death. Frances Louise Meikleham died in July 1977 at the age of 74.

Scope and Content of Collection

Frances Louise Meikleham wrote several autobiographical accounts and this collection includes two manuscripts, one partial draft memoir and a shorter account of Meikleham's travels in Europe. The first typescript memoir of 263 pages is untitled and undated. It bears hand-written corrections in ink. The second, 205 page manuscript, also undated, is titled: Pan-Tasy on Martha's Vineyard. This text includes some illustrations and sketches in the margins. The collection also contains a 1955 price list and order form for Meikleham's business, which specialized in baked goods and preserves.


The materials are arranged in their original order.

Collection Contents


Untitled Memoir, undated 


Revised Portion of Untitled Memoir, undated 


Pan-Tasy on Martha's Vineyard, undated 


"Grand Tour Continental", undated 


Price List and Order Form from The Sea Gull and the Whale, 1955