A Sneak Peak: Weekends with Yankee films with Patrick Ahearn

In historic Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard

The series Weekends with Yankee is distributed by American Public Television and airs nationally in over 90% of US markets.

We recently had the pleasure of filming an episode of Weekends with Yankee in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. Weekends with Yankee, a collaboration of the public media powerhouse WGBH and Yankee Magazine, asked us to highlight some of the town’s hidden, historic gems with their Public Television audience – and we were delighted to do so. Today we’ll share some of the day’s filming highlights and provide a preview of what’s to come this spring.

The WGBH crew interview Ahearn in his Edgartown office.
The WGBH crew interview Ahearn in his Edgartown office.

We met the WGBH crew bright and early at one of the Edgartown’s most historic residences, blacksmith John Coffin’s House, which was built on the town harbor in 1682. The current homeowners (who refer to themselves as stewards, not owners) were generous enough to share their morning with us describing our careful and collaborative restoration of the main house and reimagining of the additional outbuildings – all inspired by archival research. A stunning home in Edgartown’s historic district, the John Coffin house is truly an island gem.

John Coffin House
The historic John Coffin House: over 80 percent of the wood we used in its restoration dates back to 1682.

Next, we toured Edgartown’s historic Carnegie building with Vineyard Trust president and CEO Funi Burdick who described the building’s important role representing and communicating the work of the Trust. Many do not realize that the Trust owns, preserves and operates 20 historic island landmarks, “restoring living institutions to their rightful place in island life.” The Carnegie is among the most treasured landmarks in town and represents an important and historically significant restoration project for us.

Funi Burdick and Yankee Publisher Brook Holmberg discuss the iconic Trust property, Flying Horses, the oldest working carousel in the country.
The Vineyard Gazette
The Gazette has been Martha’s Vineyards paper of choice for centuries and was named Newspaper of the Year eight times by the New England Press Association.

After a lively lunch at Rosewater, we walked down South Summer Street to film with Jane Seagrave, the publisher of The Vineyard Gazette and Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. Founded in 1846, The Gazette resides in the heart of the residential historic district – and literally lives and breaths beside its island neighbors. Ms. Seagrave discussed what it means to work with this historic newspaper, housed within one of Vineyard Trust’s historic properties, and she even ran the paper’s 150 year old press for us during the shoot.

The final part of our day was spent shooting at one of our first design commissions in Edgartown – a classically inspired new build that the homeowners graciously opened up to us. To make newly built houses feel authentic, we create a script that explains the design in historically accurate terms. We were all delighted when the crew asked about this “beautiful renovation” because, as intended, they had no idea it was not centuries old.

Ahearn with friend and homeowner Josh McCall reminisce about working together on the home’s design.

Sharing some of Edgartown’s historic gems with the crew of Weekends with Yankee was indeed a great pleasure. They were a delight to work with and we look forward to seeing this special episode next spring. Stayed tuned for air dates!