Camp Meeting History

Editorial: Centennial of a Purchase

A hundred years ago the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meet­ing Association, having decided that the time had come to assure a settled state, acquired by purchase its extensive acre­age at what is now Oak Bluffs. “The cost of the grove, rights of way etc.,” Hebron Vincent recorded, “was thirteen hundred dollars.”

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.

Hundred Years of the Camp Meeting History Filled with Countless Episodes

The hundred years of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting are filled with countless episodes which link the Island with the great figures or great events of other periods; or reflect in some colorful way the atmosphere and manners of the times; or supply in their own right some flavorsome item of history.

These Were Founders

A circumstantial account of the selection of the site of the Martha’s Vineyard camp ground - which was the equivalent of the selection of the site for the town of Oak Bluffs - is contained in a communication which the Vineyard Gazette published in 1885. Jeremiah Pease of Edgartown was the prime mover; but the communication did not mention that the pastor in Edgartown a few years before this first meeting at the grove had been Rev. Frederick Upham. Mr. Upham was probably at the first camp meeting; he was certainly at the second.

Will Dedicate Electric Cross

At the Tabernacle at Oak Bluffs next Sunday evening the services will include the dedication of the huge electric cross which will hereafter surmount the edifice. The new lighting system will also be used for the first time that evening.
Mounted on the highest point of the Tabernacle will be the electric cross of white enamel with pure golf leaf border, 12 feet in height. On each side of the cross, 30 powerful lamps will flash their rays. This cross may be seen not only from all points on the Island, but from a distance of from 15 to 20 miles out to sea.

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs! May her oaks grow and spread out and flourish.

Change of Hands in the Cottage City Railroad

A railroad deal which bids to play an important part in the high life of Cottage City has just been consummated. The Cottage City street railway has been sold to gentlemen interested in the Boston & Quincy Railroad company, and Josiah Quincy is president of the syndicate. Land near Norton’s store at Eastville has been purchased for the location of a power house, 40 by 70 feet, and work will be immediately begun for a first class electrical equipment. E. G.

Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Grove and Vicinity: Dedication

The new Methodist Tabernacle was formally dedicated Wednesday forenoon, in the presence of a goodly number of the clergy and an immense congregation. Rev. Dr. Morrison had the general charge of the exercises, which opened with singing, followed by scripture readings by Revs. Messrs. Brown and Hamlin. Prayer was the offered by Rev. L. B. Bates, followed by singing, after which Bishop Foster arose and commenced his sermon, taking for his text Ephesians IV, 30: “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Vineyard Highlands Horse Railroad

Mr. Lemuel T. Talbot, formerly superintendent of streets in Taunton, has contracted to build the horse railroad at Vineyard Highlands, to be run the coming Summer, and the cars, in the style of the Summer cars of the New Bedford & Fairhaven road, are ordered of J. M. Jones & Co., West Troy, N.Y., the builders of the cars of the latter road. This is good evidence of the enterprise of the Vineyard Grove Co., and we hope it will be a success in every respect. [New Bedford Standard.

Vineyard Grove

The carpenters are busy, notwithstanding the recent severe cold.
The first baby ever born on the Camp Ground was born on Wednesday, 6th instant; a son to Mr. and Mrs. Frank P. Vincent.
A mite society was held at the Vineyard Grove House, Capt. Dias, proprietor, on Monday evening, for the purpose of raising funds to purchase books for the library of the new Sabbath School. About one hundred persons were present, and an evening of social enjoyment was passed. Forty dollars were realized as the net proceeds of the gathering.