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

A Finding Aid to the Dr. Daniel Fisher House Architectural and Detail Drawings, circa 1840

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum, Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call NumberRU 463
TitleDr. Daniel Fisher House architectural and detail drawings
Datecirca 1840
Extent1 oversize box (0.436 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection contains architectural drawings and details of the ornamental woodwork of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House, constructed around 1840.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Access to these materials is RESTRICTED due to preservation concerns. Materials are extremely fragile. Please contact the Chief Curator for further information regarding the availability of this collection for research.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to museum staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 463, Dr. Daniel Fisher House Architectural and Detail Drawings.

Acquisition Information

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


  • Brown University. Historical Catalogue of Brown University, Providence Rhode Island, 1764-1894. Providence, R.I.: Press of P.S. Remington & Co., 1895.
  • Holmes, Lewis. The Arctic Whaleman or, Winter in the Arctic Ocean: Being a Narrative of the Wreck of the Whale Ship Citizen. Together with a Brief History of Whaling. Boston: Wentworth & Company, 1857.
  • Massachusetts. Private and Special Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, from January 1838, to May 1848. Vol. VIII. Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, State Printers, 1848.
  • United States Congress. Executive Documents Printed by Order of the House of Representatives, During the Second Session of the Thirty-Third Congress, 1854-'55. Vol. 5. Washington: A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer, 1855.
  • United States Marine Hospital Service. Annual Report of the Supervising Surgeon-General of the Marine-Hospital Service of the United States for the Fiscal Year 1896. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1896.

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 January 2014. 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, Photograph Collection.

Index Terms


  • Architectural drawings
  • Architectural ornament
  • Balustrades
  • Columns
  • Cornices
  • Detail drawings
  • Elevations
  • Lanterns
  • Pilasters
  • Railings
  • Sections
  • Windows

Geographic Name(s)

  • Edgartown (Mass.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Fisher, Daniel, 1800-1876
  • Lewis, Ellis, 1806-1878


  • Architecture, Domestic
  • Historic buildings

Biography/Historical Note

Daniel Fisher was born in Sharon, Massachusetts, in 1800 to Owen and Betsey Fisher. He attended Brown University, graduating in 1821. He subsequently enrolled in Harvard Medical School and received a medical degree in 1825. After working at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Fisher was hired in 1826 by the Customs Collector, District of Edgartown, to provide medical services to seamen. In 1829, Daniel Fisher married Grace Cozens Coffin, 1812-1870, of Edgartown, Massachusetts. The pair had seven children; Daniel, David, Ann, Elizabeth, Leroy, Grace and Carrie.

Daniel Fisher was a successful entrepreneur and investor. He owned a wharf in the Edgartown harbor. According to contemporary sources, he also operated one of the largest whale and sperm oil processing factories in the country, Daniel Fisher & Co. The facility produced refined oil in great enough quantities to be awarded at least two public contracts by the federal government in 1853 and 1854. The oil was used in light houses. In 1865, Daniel Fisher founded the Martha's Vineyard National Bank of Edgartown. Daniel Fisher died around 1876.

Fisher's personal wealth was considerable and around 1840 he built a large home on Main Street in Edgartown. The house wright in charge of the project was Ellis Lewis, 1806-. The Federal style Dr. Daniel Fisher House was acquired by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust in 1975.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains architectural drawings and details of the façade and ornamental woodwork of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House constructed around 1840, addressed to the foreman, "Mr. Lewis, Edgartown." The latter is likely Ellis Lewis, 1806-1878, carpenter and house wright of Edgartown. Drawings are in pen and ink, wash and pencil on paper, and include profiles or sections of architectural ornaments and elements, as well as hand-colored flank and front elevations. There are details of the cornice, roofline, lantern, pilaster caps, roof rail or balustrade, column base and shaft, widows and trim. Several of the drawings have written instructions addressed to Lewis, regarding the execution of the designs.


The collection is arranged according to the fragility of the materials themselves, as opposed to a logical arrangement schema.

Collection Contents


Profile of Pilaster Cap, undated 

OS 1

Section of Windows and Window Trim, undated 

OS 1

Elevation and Profile of Lantern, undated 

OS 1

Full Size Plan of Cornice for Lantern, undated 

OS 11

Profile of Column Base and Shaft, undated 

OS 12

Elevations and Profiles of Cornice, Pilaster Caps and Balustrade, undated 

OS 13

Flank and Front Elevations, undated 

OS 14

Plan of Base, undated 


Note: Drawing appears to be an interior trim or molding detail.

OS 15