About Katama

katama, martha's vineyard
Katama has been a popular summer resort since the late 1800s. Today it is a residential area in the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts, on the south shore of the island of Martha's Vineyard. It is bordered on the west by Edgartown Great Pond, on the east by Katama Bay (separating Katama from the island of Chappaquiddick) and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean.

The word "Katama" comes from a Wampanoag word meaning "crab-fishing place." The terrain is a flat outwash plain, characterized by sandy soil and few trees. It is sometimes referred to as the "Great Plains."

Mattakesett refers to the southernmost portion of Katama immediately adjacent to the beach. Although the name dates back in written records to 1646, in recent times it has been most commonly associated with a resort named "Mattakesett", first developed in the mid-1970s, but named after the 19th-century Mattakeset Lodge which was the terminus of the old Martha's Vineyard Railroad.

The Katama Bay Boat Landing is just ¼ mile from the house on Edgartown Bay Road near the end of Mattakesett Bay Road, in the southeast corner of Katama. It is maintained by the town of Edgartown. Boats are launched into Katama Bay and exit to the ocean through Edgartown Harbor to the north. The boat landing accommodates 20-foot boats from an inclined ramp.