The Martha’s Vineyard Gingerbread Houses and Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs.
The Tabernacle is a unique structure, with wrought iron arches and supports, two clerestories with dozens of colored glass windows, and an octagonal cupola, it is the physical and spiritual center of the Campground. This magnificent iron structure was built in 1879 and in 1979 was listed in the Natl Register of Historic Places… in 1999 a major restoration began, in 2000 it became a project of Save America’s Treasures, and in 2005 it was recognized by the US Dept of Interior along with the rest of the MVCMA site as a National Historic Landmark. Those are some of the facts of the building but not necessarily what constitutes the heart and soul of it.
**This taken from the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association website:
**The original layout of Wesleyan Grove was a simple formation of a circle enclosing the preaching area and the society or church tents. In 1859 a road, now known as Trinity Circle, was built which encircled that area. In 1864, the Association purchased the 26 acres it had been renting. As the area continued to expand (additional grounds were purchased in 1866), it developed in a radial-concentric pattern which was little used in America at that time. The smaller circles, some surrounded by larger circles, had small paths radiating from them leading to other circles or parks. The method of the grounds layout was an additive one of discrete neighborhood units, each built around small various shaped parks.**
The whimsical Victorian cottages found in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard are an exceptionally well-preserved collection of Methodist camp meeting houses.They are laced with fanciful gingerbread details in an array of shapes and colors.
This is the first cottage on Martha’s Vineyard Methodist Campground ~ 1864
February 1989 was the first time back to the Vineyard in winter since I was a child. Following are excerpts from my travel log about that trip and also pictures taken with a non-digital camera… which does have relevance in this post. So come join me in a trip down a cold, snowy very wintry memory lane.
Picture of the Islander in dry dock in Woods Hole from aboard the ferry, Eagle.
One of my favorite places is the Campground in Oak Bluffs. I love the gingerbread cottages but most of all I really really love the Tabernacle… every time I’m on the Vineyard I take a few moments…or hour… and sit quietly there and enjoy just being. Winter is no exception and cold as it was it was warm in my heart.
Let’s wander through Oak Bluffs a little … notice Christmas tree is still in the Bandstand.
Christmas trees along the dunes at South Beach/Katama where they are brought after the holidays.
Then to Aquinnah to see the Gay Head cliffs.
excerpt from travel journal : ‘it was cold on the cliffs, maybe 26 degrees…but off I went to see them anyway. Down the road I traipsed over the dunes and onto the beach… what a sight. Thousands of rocks all shapes and sizes, and there in the distance… the cliffs… I was very excited. Took some shots and scurried back to the warm car. Noticed camera had opened a bit, closed it and didn’t think much about it. After lunch in Edgartown I rode out to the ‘bend in the road beach’ to take some pictures and noticed that the picture counter on the camera said #1 !!!! When I had gotten in the car in the morning it had said #16 !!! Something was wrong. I turned around and headed for the camera shop. Everything seems to be okay with the camera but maybe it got too cold and lost its memory and reverted to #1… or perhaps when the camera opened just that little bit it caused it to revert !! At any rate I’m having what was in the camera developed.’
The following day I picked up my photos and not only were they all fine, there was this one…. actually, these two…
shot of the cliffs taken before camera opened …
shot after I closed the camera … I’ve always kind of liked it… can’t do this with a digital camera …
After a long first day headed back to Edgartown but not before stopping at Sengekontacket Pond for the sunset…
I love the Vineyard no matter what the season but there’s a quiet, ethereal beauty in the winter.
Tagged Aquinnah, architecture, beach, Campground, Edgartown, ferry boats, Gay Head cliffs, gingerbread houses, Lighthouses, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, New England, Oak Bluffs, Ocean Park, Photographs, seashore, sunset, winter
Goodbye and good night August.
Bandstand and fountain – Ocean Park – Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Tagged fountains, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, New England, night, Oak Bluffs, Ocean Park, photo a day, photo a day challenge, Photographs, water
August 1st – welcome August… for me the biggest event in August is Illumination Night on Martha’s Vineyard
August 2nd – play… a ‘play’ on words with this picture of the play I saw in NYC in March.
Aug 3rd – start with “A”… the Auburn at a classic car show.
Tagged antiques, Broadway, cars, Events, gingerbread houses, Illumination Night, lanterns, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, musicals, New Jersey, Oak Bluffs, photo a day, photo a day challenge, Photographs, theater
I’m doing ‘photo a day’ weekly instead of daily. Here’s the challenge for the week of July 22 – 28.
22-Blue & White 23-Hot 24-Boats 25-Sunrise/Sunset 26-Summer 27-Sea 28-Vacation
Tagged architecture, Bandstand, boats, Cape May, New Jersey, coffee, Family, gingerbread houses, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, morning, New England, New Jersey, Oak Bluffs, Ocean Park, photo a day, photo a day challenge, Photographs, seashore, summer, sunrise, sunset, Walt Disney World
I’m doing ‘photo a day’ weekly instead of daily. Here’s the challenge for the week of July7 – 14.
8– River 9– Ice tea 10-Cherries 11– Park 12– Start with “D” (dock) 13– Flowers in Pots
14– Picnic (my version).
Tagged boats, bridges, drinks, food, fruit, harbor, Hudson River, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, New York, Oak Bluffs, photo a day, photo a day challenge, Photographs, rivers
In the Campground in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard sits the Tabernacle, and across from it is Trinity Methodist Church. Trinity Methodist was built in 1878, a year before the Tabernacle was erected. They have shared the same grassy circle known as Trinity Park for over 140 years.
I spent my childhood summers on Martha’s Vineyard and many of those summers I spent my mornings at Bible School in the Tabernacle. As was the custom a girl and a boy would be chosen each morning to walk from the Tabernacle to Trinity Church and ring the 8 o’clock bell. I waited almost all summer to hear my name called, I didn’t think it was ever going to happen. Finally it did and off across the lawn my partner and I scampered.
Inside the vestibule tied to the staircase railing was the thickest rope I’d ever seen.
The rope was attached to the bell way, way, way up in the steeple and the longer we stood there and pondered the situation the higher up the bell seemed to get.
First though we had to untie the rope, it did not go well, we fumbled along and finally the rope was free from the railing. Time was ticking but neither of us were aware of how close to 8 o’clock we were coming.
Now all we had to do was pull the rope and the bell would ring and … well, that did not go well either. Neither one of us had enough weight to pull the rope hard enough to ring the bell. Rope burn was the least of our problems though as now we were sure it was after 8 o’clock and we’d failed our mission. With what strength we had left we both grabbed the rope, stood on one of the steps and jumped. Just as our teacher walked in the door to see what the problem was, we heard… bong, bong, bong… it was ringing, the bell was peeling loud and strong, we had succeeded, we were saved … we had only missed the 8 o’clock bell by… oh 10 or so minutes. Who would notice!
When I got home at lunch time the first thing my mother said was “the 8 o’clock bell was a bit late this morning, do you know who was ringing it this morning?” I said it had been me… she shook her head slowly and said nothing but I did notice a little smile. By the way, I was never asked to ring the bell again.