When Mr. Cottle was only 4 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 the island to be near her family, the Wests of Edgartown, and her extended family in West Tisbury.
They lived in the small shack that is immediately to the right of what is now the West Tisbury lumberyard, when the area was all overgrown land.
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 other Islanders that gave him a chance at a very young age, Mr. Cottle started the lumberbyard that we know today as
E. C. Cottle, Inc.
E. C. Cottle, Inc was officially incorporated in 1965, and has since opened a second branch in Edgartown, and now employs over 35 people.
- Mr. Cottle aboard Misty, August 2011