Seats of History: If These Chairs and Benches Could Talk
For many Islanders, the chairs and benches at the Oak Bluffs Tabernacle are synonymous with the place itself. Now the iconic 19th century seating will be restored.
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All-Island Art Show Transforms Tabernacle Into Colorful Open-Air Gallery
Ivy Ashe

Each year, artist Gertrude (Gee Gee) Barden and her family plan their annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard around one event: the All-Island Art Show.

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At the Tabernacle: It's New and Different
Joshua Sabatini

To keep abreast with the changing times, the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association has altered the way it brings in and hosts the summer programs at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs.

"Things have changed because public taste is changing," said program director Robert Cleasby. "Many of the groups that used to come wouldn't be of interest today. I have been here for many years, long before I became program director in 1991, and I have seen that people's tastes have gone upscale like the Vineyard has gone upscale."

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Tabernacle's Birthday Celebrated with History, Song and Applause
Helen Phillips

More than 2,000 people gathered in the Tabernacle Saturday night to celebrate the structure's 125th birthday.

Grandparents, grandchildren, and everyone in between filled the rows, sitting on some of the same benches used in the 1800s, when the religious campers gathered under the oak trees and the canvas tent that predated the Tabernacle's construction in 1879.

"It had begun to look its age - and so have I," said the evening's host, newsman and Vineyard Haven summer resident Mike Wallace, complimenting achievements of the Tabernacle's current restoration project.

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Tabernacle Cupola Restoration Mixes History, New Technology
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Tabernacle cupola is undergoing the most significant restoration in more than a century. The $635,000 project will not only preserve the cupola for the years ahead, but restore its key purposes of ventilation and visual distinction.

For Russell E. Dagnall, president of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, the work, called Topping off the Tabernacle, is but part of a much larger $3 million restoration of the Tabernacle that began almost 10 years ago.

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