Chappaquiddick Island (colloquially known as “Chappy”), a part of the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts, is a small peninsula and occasional island on the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard. Norton Point, a narrow barrier beach, connects Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick between Katama and Wasque (pronounced way-sqwee) Chappaquiddick became internationally known following an eponymous incident in 1969, when U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy accidentally drove his car off the island’s Dike Bridge, fatally trapping his 28-year-old passenger, inside the vehicle. The island was once mainly the home territory of the Chappaquiddick band of Wampanoag Indians, remaining exclusively theirs well into the nineteenth century. They still have a reservation of about 100 acres (40 ha) (40 hectares) of brush land in the interior.
Early colonists settled Edgartown in 1642, quickly proclaiming Chappaquiddick as village property as well. The first homes owned by people of exclusively European descent were built around 1750 where residents raised livestock and farmed the land.