Camp Meeting History

Camp Meeting

“Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye!,” shouted the town crier after ringing a large brass bell at the end of Pier 44, Vineyard Haven.

Building Community Through Song

On a recent Wednesday evening over 200 people followed the winding paths of the Camp Ground to the Trinity Park Tabernacle for the Community Sing, a tradition for more than 100 years.

New Camp Ground Director Has Long History in Hospitality

After a long career in hospitality CJ Rivard is the new executive director of the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association.

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.

Camp Ground Pink House Is One of a Kind

The famous Pink House on the grounds of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association is once again for sale. It is the most photographed of all the many photogenic houses in the 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.


Begun of a Preacher Man, 175 Years Ago

It was 175 years ago next month that six devout Edgartown Methodists decided to establish a summer religious community of their very own and selected the largest oak grove in New England, near Eastville, to be its site. Camp meetings that provided prayer, preaching, hymn-singing and repentance had come into vogue in America at the turn of the 19th century. In 1827, one had been established at West Chop in the community of Holmes Hole — today’s Vineyard Haven.


Tabernacle Cupola Restoration Mixes History, New Technology

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.

Camp Ground Wins Designation As National Historic Landmark

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton has recognized the Camp Ground in Oak Bluffs as a National Historic Landmark.
The Camp Ground, created as a gathering place for Methodist religious revivals starting in 1835, is one of 24 new national landmarks named earlier this month of Secretary Norton.
The National Park Service Advisory Board nominated the Camp Ground under the name Wesleyan Grove.