Amity is the unofficial name of an Island otherwise known as Martha's Vineyard which lies off the coast of Massachusetts. Amity is the setting for three Jaws films in the franchise including 'Jaws', 'Jaws 2', and 'Jaws 4' (aka Jaws: The revenge).
The Amity Incident
The Amity Incident is a frightening series of horrific shark attacks, which were later adapted for films and formed what is known more commonly as the JAWS film franchise.
Years after the initial Amity incident, people are still afraid to go into the water, which has distinctly affected the Islands summer tourist economy. In the hopes of playing down the shark attack debacle, the island council has moved to adopt 'Martha's Vineyard' as the island's official name, thereby limiting the use of 'Amity' for occasional events marking the anniversary of the Amity Incident only.
Early Amity historical record
Bartholomew Gosnold, of Falmouth, England, in 1602 sailed for Virginia. Contrary winds drove him to the Azores; thence he sailed a little north of west, and struck out boldly across the Atlantic. He was the first Englishman to sail directly to the American coast, thereby saving nearly a thousand miles in distance and at least a week in sailing time. He landed on a cape, which he named Cape Cod from the abundance of codfish found there. Then doubling the cape and sailing to the southward he landed on a small island about six miles southeast of Gay Head. He called this small island Martha's Vineyard.
The next day he landed on the larger island. After exploring it and finding it so large, well wooded, and with such luxuriant grape vines, many beautiful lakes and springs of the purest water, he transferred the name and called it Martha's Vineyard, in honor of his mother whose name was Martha.
The other island he named ‘No-Man's-Land’. When the Island of Marths’s Vineyard became more inhabited, locals decided that the neighboring island of ‘No-Man's-Land’ should be renamed Amity in contrast to its more foreboding title. This would serve to highlight the ironic nature of the shark attacks that occurred during the Amity Incident which were later depicted in the film Jaws.
Present Day Amity- Edit
"With a year round average of 9,190 population, the quiet vacation-town of Amity Island has had quite a past - the “shark attacks” of ‘74 completely crippled all town business. Two years later Mayor Vaughn reopened the suffering Island in 1976 and since, Amity Island has been a huge vacation and sight seeing spot due to it’s world class Captain Jake’s Amity Boat Tours. Just ask yourself, is it really safe to go back into the once shark-infested waters?"
- From http://amityboattours.com/ (official site)