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Nantucket, Massachusetts

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Allie at Nantucket Looms

"Take out your map and look at it. See what a real corner of the world it occupies; how it stands there, away off shore. . . a mere hillock, an elbow of sand; all beach without background."

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Nantucket entered the 19th century as the whaling capital of the world, enjoying for a brief time a "Golden Age." But the discovery of petroleum, the refining of kerosene and the use of gas for street lighting also reduced the demand for whale oil. The town experienced a disastrous fire in 1846 that destroyed the wharves and almost 400 buildings. Hard on the heels of these events came the discovery of gold in California, which brought a marked decline in the availability of sailors to man the ships. The final blow was the Civil War, which saw the virtual destruction of the whaling fleet at the hands of Confederate raiders.

It was in the last years of the 19th century that the island was discovered by affluent individuals as a summer retreat. The preservation of its Colonial, Federal and Greek Revival architecture is seen on and near Main Street, where you'll find Nantucket Looms. Their weavers incorporate tradition, creativity and perfection in every hand crafted item, working with the finest quality natural fibers from around the world.

Visit Nantucket web site

Visit Nantucket Looms web site

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