"Nantucket Island, island, SE Massachusetts, in the Atlantic Ocean, separated from nearby Cape Cod by Nantucket Sound. The island is crescent-shaped and is about 23 km (about 14 mi) long and between 5 and 10 km (3 and 6 mi) wide. The surface is generally sandy and undulating, with excellent beaches. The county seat and chief community is the town of Nantucket, which is coextensive with the county. Other communities include Siasconset, Wauwinet, Quidnet, and Surfside. Tourism is the chief economic activity of the island.
The English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold landed on Nantucket Island in 1602. It was settled in 1659 by English colonists and belonged to New York until 1692 when it was made a part of Massachusetts. During the 17th and 18th centuries the island was the base for prosperous whaling operations. Area, 148 sq km (57 sq mi); pop. (1990) 6012."
--Nantucket Island. (2014). Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, 1p. 1.