Each year the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association holds a Gingerbread Cottage Tour, taking guests inside the privately owned cottages to get a look past the porches. This year’s tour is Wednesday, August 8 and includes six cottages. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning at the Tabernacle. The cost is $30, which includes the tour and admission to the Cottage Museum and refreshments. Proceeds benefit the Tabernacle Restoration Fund, and are available in advance at mvcma.org or on the day of the tour.

1 Bayliss Avenue

This double-gabled cottage is one of the most photographed in the Camp Ground. It is surrounded by a picket fence with a trellis, which encloses a beautiful garden. The Gothic windows with cranberry glass inserts and the three open balconies with double Gothic doors are all original as are the tongue and groove boards on the front.

The owners have a photograph of the cottage taken soon after it was built in 1869, showing just one peak. The second peak appeared after another cottage was joined to the first. The original name of the cottage was Kickemuit, but the sign over the entrance says The Gerrards, a nod to the owner’s parents, who purchased the cottage in 1976.

2 Bayliss Avenue

The Allen cottage, built in 1865, is the smallest on the tour with an area of 650 square feet. The original cottage was very typical: a front room with a staircase and two bedrooms upstairs. Later, more rooms (or spaces) were built on the back of the original cottages and there are three very apparent additions in the kitchen area of this small house. When the current owner and her late husband purchased the cottage in 1986, they opened up the porch and added the decorative honeycomb pattern shingles to the front facade.

6 Bayliss Avenue

Craig Hall’s parents purchased their cottage in 1966. They were born in Glasgow, Scotland, which explains the cottage name: The Highlander. The red, blue and green exterior paint colors are those found in the family tartan. The porch is held up by covered posts and brackets — unusual and found on only two other cottage in Camp Ground. The double front doors and the round top Romanesque windows are original. The original cottage was built in 1864 and a second cottage was combined with it soon thereafter. There are five bedrooms and each has its own sink.

8 Bayliss Avenue

Janet Barker’s cottage was built in 1868 and is a great example of the saying “appearances are deceiving.” What you see on the outside are many typical features of a Camp Ground cottage: the Gothic windows and double Romanesque doors are all original. All of the gables are adorned with teardrop gingerbread. The cross gables indicate that two cottages were joined together. However, the inside is totally modern. The wood floors are bamboo, the furnishings are contemporary, and the house is completely winterized with a full basement. There is a wrap-around porch with a beautiful garden full of hydrangea bushes and fragrant lilies along its side. 

11 Bayliss Avenue

The Desautelle home, built in 1866, is the first one seen when entering the Camp Ground from Circuit avenue. The Copeland-style gingerbread along the roofline and the doghouse dormers are all original. This home is actually three cottages joined together. The first has a small living room and stairs up to the master bedroom. The second is perpendicular to the first and houses the dining room, and another staircase to three upstairs bedrooms. The kitchen is clearly a part of another cottage. The original pumpkin pine floors are visible throughout the house, as are most of the tongue and groove wall boards. The only remaining evidence that a previous owner resided in the house year-round is the finished walls in the living room.

12 Bayliss Avenue

This 1867 cottage has a spectacular wrap-around porch that is wide enough to house several tables. There are many original features visible on the outside: Italianate brackets under the eaves, the eyebrows over the Romanesque windows and double doors, and the painted tongue and groove boards. The owner lived in France for 25 years and there are several pieces of furniture from that era in her life in her home. The first floor bedroom includes an ensuite bath, which is very unusual in a Camp Ground cottage.