I like the way the shadows of the branches show on the church columns
In the Campground in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard sits the Tabernacle, and across from it is Trinity Methodist Church. Trinity Methodist was built in 1878, a year before the Tabernacle was erected. They have shared the same grassy circle known as Trinity Park for over 140 years.
I spent my childhood summers on Martha’s Vineyard and many of those summers I spent my mornings at Bible School in the Tabernacle. As was the custom a girl and a boy would be chosen each morning to walk from the Tabernacle to Trinity Church and ring the 8 o’clock bell. I waited almost all summer to hear my name called, I didn’t think it was ever going to happen. Finally it did and off across the lawn my partner and I scampered.
Inside the vestibule tied to the staircase railing was the thickest rope I’d ever seen.
The rope was attached to the bell way, way, way up in the steeple and the longer we stood there and pondered the situation the higher up the bell seemed to get.
First though we had to untie the rope, it did not go well, we fumbled along and finally the rope was free from the railing. Time was ticking but neither of us were aware of how close to 8 o’clock we were coming.
Now all we had to do was pull the rope and the bell would ring and … well, that did not go well either. Neither one of us had enough weight to pull the rope hard enough to ring the bell. Rope burn was the least of our problems though as now we were sure it was after 8 o’clock and we’d failed our mission. With what strength we had left we both grabbed the rope, stood on one of the steps and jumped. Just as our teacher walked in the door to see what the problem was, we heard… bong, bong, bong… it was ringing, the bell was peeling loud and strong, we had succeeded, we were saved … we had only missed the 8 o’clock bell by… oh 10 or so minutes. Who would notice!
When I got home at lunch time the first thing my mother said was “the 8 o’clock bell was a bit late this morning, do you know who was ringing it this morning?” I said it had been me… she shook her head slowly and said nothing but I did notice a little smile. By the way, I was never asked to ring the bell again.
What a fun thing to do on a gorgeous April Saturday. A walking tour of downtown Newark, NJ with Have You Met Newark tours. Newark is where I was born and grew up and it’s exciting to see what’s going on there. Here are some pictures of our tour.
The Old First Presbyterian Church was established in 1666 by the founders of Newark, NJ. My 10 times great-grandfather was one of the founders of Newark and he, along with some of my other ancestors were buried there.
The City Hall, and Broad and Market streets, known as the 4 corners.
The Prudential buildings. The Prudential came to Newark in the late 1800’s, the original building was demolished in 1956 to make way for Prudential Plaza which opened in 1960. A few blocks away in July 2016 the Prudential Tower opened.
Prudential Plaza Prudential Tower
Right in downtown Newark are three lovely parks. Lincoln Park, Military Park and here is Washington Park. The Newark museum and library are located on one side of the park.
Newark always had lots of department stores. Pictured here are Bamberger’s (which became Macy’s).. and Kresge (which is the K in K-Mart ), there was also Orbach’s and S. Klein all within a two block radius.
But the department store that was always a bit above the others, literally and figuratively was Hahne & Co. Hahne’s closed its doors in 1987 and sat empty for 30 years, it has been totally renovated and is gorgeous. In addition to retail space the new renovation includes 160 apartments. Note the original Hahne & Co sign.
I’m a big fan of Newark, not just because I was born and raised there but because it’s a terrific place to visit. Learn about what Newark is planning for the future, like this beautiful new park. But also learn about Newark’s place in our history. A fun way to do that is with a group from Have You Met Newark.
For a few years now my daughter and I have been visiting cemeteries where our ancestors and family are buried. We have found cemeteries to be beautiful, peaceful places … monuments become works of art and epitaphs become poetic homage to those who have passed. We have visited beautifully manicured and well cared for cemeteries, the one above was not one of those though. Although this cemetery in Goshen, New York, the resting place of several ancestors, is over grown and sadly neglected there is a silent beauty to it.
A merry and blessed Christmas to all…