Our Story

A family owned and operated business since 1965.

Mr. Cottle aboard Misty, August 2011.

Mr. Cottle aboard Misty, August 2011.

From humble beginnings to an Island legacy

Our founder, Mr. Edmund Charles Cottle, was born in Medford, MA on March 15, 1931.

When Mr. Cottle was only four years old tragedy struck his family, when his father died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 49. His widowed mother chose to move the family back home to Martha’s Vineyard to be near her family, including the Wests of Edgartown, and her extended family in West Tisbury.

When they returned to the island the family lived in the small shack that is immediately to the right of what is now the West Tisbury lumberyard; then the area was all overgrown land.

Mr. Cottle with a cow, 1943.

Mr. Cottle with a cow, 1943.

As the man of the household, Mr. Cottle quit high school as a teenager to work and support his family. His mother allowed him to mortgage the house and buy his first tractor, which he used to start farming, haying fields, and making ponds. Along with the influence of Mr. Bob Goodale, who gave him a chance at a very young age, and the influence of other generous Islanders, Mr. Cottle was able to start the lumberyard that we know today as E. C. Cottle, Inc.  

E. C. Cottle, Inc. was officially incorporated in 1965. Around the 1970s, George “Snooky” Baptise and Francis Rogers started what we now know as the Mill, where our long-time custom woodworker Carl resides today. Several of the original long-time crew members that helped build the business include Jimmy Andrews (off-island truck driver), Betty Keniston (bookkeeper), Alma Benson (front desk), Ralph Devine (lumberyard hand), and Ed Silva (lumberyard hand), just to name a few.

Mr. Cottle’s daughter and son soon joined the business as well. Janet Johnson started working in 1973 and Eddie Cottle Jr. began in 1975. They were followed by Mike Hebert and Bruce O’Donnell in 1982. After lot of hard work and dedication, Mr. Cottle expanded with a branch location in Edgartown in 1986, and we welcomed our receiving and delivery hub at the Airport Business Park in 2019. 

It’s hard to believe that E. C. Cottle, Inc. now operates three locations and employs over 40 people. We are grateful for all of our founding employees and our current staff, it has truly taken a village.

Mr. Cottle passed away November 8, 2018 and he will be forever missed. We work tirelessly everyday to carry on his memory–with the help of his guiding voice leading the way in everything we do.