Chilmark is one of the most rural towns on Martha's Vineyard, with rolling hills etched with rocky reminders of the last Ice Age and a tiny population of just 1,212 year-round residents. The hills offer panoramic vistas of the island, Vineyard Sound and Elisabeth Islands to the north and the island's southern beaches and the waters of Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.
Homes are hidden down long dirt roads, atop hillocks and reigning over farms and fields. There is no town center, but the Chilmark Community Center, Chilmark Store and Menemsha provide plenty of small-town-like places to gather. It's quieter here and for residents and renters, that's the way they like it.
Buying Property in Chilmark
Chilmark has two areas for homes—North and South.
North Chilmark – North Chilmark generally extends from Middle Road to the North Shore. Beachfront usually is the most expensive, but high elevation properties with near 360-degree views fetch premium prices as well. Recent sales range from $850,000 to $8.8M.
South Chilmark – South Chilmark extends from Middle Road south to the island's southern beaches, such as Squibnocket and Lucy Vincent Beach. Recent sales range from $1.76M to $9.02M.
Real Estate Taxes
Real estate taxes levied upon Chilmark residents vary from year to year based on the town's spending budget. For 2022, the rate was $2.82, one of the lowest on the island and in the state.
Thinking about a Guest House?
Guest houses don't come easy in Chilmark. First, the Zoning Board of Appeals will only consider a special permit for a guest house after the principle dwelling on the property has been owned for five years.
Other requirement include that the lot on which the principal dwelling and the accessory dwelling are located contain a minimum area of three acres.
Another important element is that the maximum floor area of the accessory dwelling shall not exceed 800 square feet, which shall include any roof-covered area enclosed by walls or screening. See the Chilmark bylaws for the full set of requirements.
Chilmark schools go all the way back to 1663. It has long been important to area residents to maintain a school within the town. Today, the Chilmark school is a member of the Up Island Regional School District, which also includes Aquinnah and West Tisbury.
In November 1999, children and teachers moved into their, then brand new, $3.6M campus, joining a long succession of educational facilities in the town and ensuring local education for generations to come.
Currently, the school has 50 students in grades K-5 with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Chilmark students in grades 6-8 attend the West Tisbury School.
Chilmark School uses a multi-age approach to learning. It has been an integral piece of the school's philosophy since its inception.
Thus, the school combines Kindergarten & 1st grade, 2nd & 3rd grades and 4th & 5th grades. The multi-age classroom offers many benefits to the student as well as the school community, according to administrators.
They say that this environment embraces differences in learning styles and embodies cooperation and support between learners. Instruction is customized to a student's learning speed, rather than the student being confined to a grade level based on a set of expectations.
Students experience new roles in a multi-age classroom—transitioning from novice to mentor within each two-year cycle. This growth promotes confidence, self-esteem and helps to nurture strong classroom communities. Administrators find that students forge relationships outside of their age groups and more easily respect the perspectives and individuality of all students.
For more information about Chilmark School and the benefits of multi-age classrooms, click here.