Camp Ground

Life's a Porch in the Oak Bluffs Camp Ground

On a summer day in Oak Bluffs, Circuit avenue can sometimes feel like a circus. If you’re looking for some relief from the hot pavement and bustling crowds, follow the road down to the end of the main shopping area and turn right. You’ll stumble into Wesleyan Grove, a shady oasis filled with colorful cottages pulled straight from the pages of a storybook. This is the Camp Ground of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association.

Beating Back the Ravages of Nature on This Old House is a Bittersweet Tale

Over the years I have wondered what form the end will take for our Camp Ground cottage. Since I began seeing the cottage through adult eyes, I’ve eyed it with the trepidation of watching a truck turn off Main street in Vineyard Haven. It’s not going to make it.


Camp Ground Tour Opens Cottage Doors

If you have ever wanted to step inside one of the colorful gingerbread cottages that are a signature of Oak Bluffs and its historic Camp Ground, then tomorrow is the ideal time. The Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association will host the 17th Camp Ground Cottage Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, a self-guided experience that includes a walk through seven wonderful Camp Ground cottages and the Cottage Museum. The $25 admission fee benefits the Tabernacle Restoration Fund.

15 fourth avenue

Cottage Tour Goes Past the Porches

The opportunity to see the interiors of the privately owned cottages on the grounds of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association occurs only once a year. On Wednesday, August 10, five of the larger cottages which face the Tabernacle on the north end of Trinity Park, as well as a sixth one nearby, will be open to the public as part of the 2011 Camp Ground Cottage Tour.

Rural Circle

Step Inside Camp Ground Cottages

Most Vineyard visitors believe they have seen the Gingerbread cottages after they have walked through Trinity Park and around the Tabernacle. However, the Camp Ground consists of 315 cottages spread across 34 acres.


Camp Ground Where Holy Meets Happy-Go-Lucky

Circle of Faith,> The Story of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting, By Sally Dagnall, Vineyard Stories, Edgartown, Ma. 2010 $24.95.

T here is no other place quite like Oak Bluffs — the color and charm, the hustle and bustle, the beaches and parks and fireworks and festivals, open and free and inviting. And to think it all started as a religious retreat.


Rite of Spring in the Camp Ground


When we closed the Camp Ground cottage for the winter 40 years ago, it was serious business. The braided wool rugs were rolled, the refrigerator was cleaned and propped open, the water had been turned off and the pipes flushed, the delicate glass pane windows nailed shut. An official sign was affixed: No Trespassing. Oak Bluffs Police Take Notice.

Oak Bluffs Camp Ground Makes Register

The Camp Ground at Oak Bluffs is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Michael J. Connolly, secretary of state for the Commonwealth and the new chairman of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, made the news public.
The Camp Ground, Mr. Connolly said, is an area “unique in the nation for its architecture, remarkable state of preservation and as the best example of a nineteenth century religious retreat.

It Was a Paradise or a Wilderness That Camping Site

The modern town of Oak Bluffs traces its origin to a camp meeting held at the site, then a paradise or a wilderness — most people thought the former — in 1835. Hebron Vin­cent of Edgartown made this record of the first camp meeting, in his history, published long ago:
The first camp meeting held in this beautiful grove was in the year 1835, and commenced on Monday, the 24th day of August. A meeting has been held here every year since, excepting that of 1845, when it was removed to Westport Point.

Cottage City Held Joys For Youth In The Old Days

Summer visitors play a large part in Vineyard activity and many who have spent summer after summer on the Island feel as deep an affection and admiration for Martha’s Vineyard as any all year-round resident. For for­ty-five summers Frank C. Lawton has spent at least part of every year in Oak Bluffs and, although his first ar­rival on the Island was at the age of six months, he recalls many interesting facts about the Vineyard’s earlier history, that occurred during his boy­hood.