When filming the 1975 film “Jaws,” director Steven Spielberg’s film crew took over the town of Edgartown on the east coast of Martha’s Vineyard with a 24-foot-long robot shark and a cast of bite-sized beach goers. Many of the streets, stores, and houses of the downtown area made it into the movie.
One location in particular has become famous as Jaws Bridge. Called the American Legion Memorial Bridge, as well as “Big Bridge,” by locals, it’s part of Seaview Avenue, which connects Edgartown with the town of Oak Bluffs. The bridge also divides the Atlantic Ocean from Sengekontacket Pond.
Despite its nickname, the bridge is a small one, just a few car-lengths in total, and it has been refurbished in recent years. The stone quay Roy Scheider ran during the Jaws attack at the bridge is still there and runs perpendicular to the bridge. The beach on the ocean side, called Joseph Sylvia State Beach, was where the rest of the scene was filmed.
Although it’s not there anymore, for the past three and a half decades a second great Jaws site rotted on the shore of a pond on the opposite side of the island from Edgartown. The Orca 2, the stunt boat that stood in for the original Orca during the sinking scenes at the end of the movie, was left derelict on the shore of Menemsha Pond in Menemsha. The owner of the property eventually had the wreckage dismantled and completely removed.
Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker
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Fishing Traditions and Marine Ecology in Martha's Vineyard
Set sail, June 13–16, with a seasoned local fisherman, reel in the ocean’s freshest fare, and explore the history and ecology of Martha’s Vineyard’s beaches, hatcheries, and wildlife sanctuaries.