Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

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Oak Bluffs is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, USA. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 3,713.



Oak Bluffs was first settled in 1642 and was officially incorporated in 1880 as Cottage City, Massachusetts. Before its incorporation, it was part of Edgartown. The town re-incorporated in 1907 as Oak Bluffs.

Oak Bluffs is known for its colorful Victorian-era "gingerbread houses", which are clustered around a central Tabernacle on curved streets in an area of town known as "the Campground". These cottages (for which the town was originally named) were mostly built in the 1860's and 1870's to replace tents that had been used in previous years by the families attending the Methodist revival meetings held during the summertime in the central grove. The iron Tabernacle building that now stands in the center of the cottages was constructed in 1879. The "gingerbread houses" are named for the unique ornamental woodwork that decorates the roofs and porches of the cottages (referred to as "gingerbread").

On April 5, 2005, the grounds and buildings in the Campground was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior.

"The Highlands" is the traditionally black area.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 67.2 km² (26.0 mi²). 19.1 km² (7.4 mi²) of it is land and 48.1 km² (18.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 71.61% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 3,713 people, 1,590 households, and 914 families residing in the town. The population density is 194.5/km² (504.1/mi²). There are 3,820 housing units at an average density of 200.1/km² (518.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 86.72% White, 4.31% African American, 1.51% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 2.50% from other races, and 4.28% from two or more races. 1.19% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 1,590 households out of which 27.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% are married couples living together, 9.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 42.5% are non-families. 32.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.33 and the average family size is 2.94.

In the town the population is spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $42,044, and the median income for a family is $53,841. Males have a median income of $39,113 versus $31,797 for females. The per capita income for the town is $23,829. 8.4% of the population and 6.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.0% of those under the age of 18 and 8.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

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