These are just a few of the bazillion pictures I’ve taken of the Tabernacle. Seriously, a bazillion of them.
I live in NJ but my heart and soul live on MV… and on MV they like to live here at the Tabernacle in the Campground . It is my favorite spot on the Island… an oasis of serenity and calmness in the middle of the Vineyard’s most bustling and lively town, Oak Bluffs. This magnificent iron structure was built in 1879… in 1979 was listed in the Natl Register of Historic Places… in 1999 a major restoration began, and in 2000 it became a project of Save America’s Treasures. Those are some of the facts of the building but not necessarily what constitutes the heart and soul of it.
Inside the Tabernacle is a banner that says “truly God resides in this place” and so he does. I am profoundly attached to the Tabernacle and visit it several times every time I’m on MV whether it’s in the heat of the summer, or the cold of the winter… I just magnetically gravitate there, I have no choice.
Many events take place at the Tabernacle. There are of course religious services held during the summer months. The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School holds its graduation there. There are concerts also and what a magnificent setting for a concert. Three that I particularly enjoyed were… Harry Connick Jr and his special guest Carly Simon in Sep 1990 and two Boston Pops concerts.
One of the best events of the summer is Illumination Night in the Camp Ground… it’s a magical fairy land and for me it’s hard not to become 8 years old again. The evening starts with a rousing community sing… the band plays… the whole Campground is alive with the sounds of happiness and joy. All the gingerbread houses are decorated with Japanese lanterns… many of them handed down from generation to generation and some still being lit by candles. Suddenly all lights are extinguished and the ceremonial first lantern is lit…. it’s walked up the aisle of the Tabernacle and illuminates it… as that happens all the gingerbread houses come alive with lanterns… it takes my breath away every time.
So there it is… a little bit about my favorite place on MV. I shall end this post by simply saying… amen.