In the town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, in the Methodist Campground are Trinity Circle and Trinity Park.
Sharing Trinity Park for almost 140 years are the Tabernacle (erected in 1879) and Trinity Methodist Church (built in 1878).
Over the years both have undergone changes. This is just one of the changes for the Tabernacle.
A major transformation for Trinity Methodist Church
A look inside the Tabernacle and Trinity Methodist Church
Tabernacle from inside Trinity Methodist Church… I love this picture.
Trinity Park is a perfect place to enjoy some quiet time… to indulge in some contemplation, read, maybe snooze, enjoy a game of catch, or wander around with a camera.
According to the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Assn. website:
“The original layout of Wesleyan Grove was a simple formation of a circle enclosing the preaching area and the society or church tents. In 1859 a road, now known as Trinity Circle, was built which encircled that area. In 1864, the Association purchased the 26 acres it had been renting. As the area continued to expand (additional grounds were purchased in 1866), it developed in a radial-concentric pattern which was little used in America at that time. Paths radiating from Trinity Circle led to smaller circles where large groups of tents had been located – County Park (Wesleyan Grove), Forest Circle, Washington Park (Victorian Park), Cottage Park Avenue (Cottage Park), Crystal Park (Vincent Park), Washington Avenue (Butler Avenue), Rural Circle and Clinton Avenue, which, at one time, had been the main entrance to the Campground. The smaller circles, some surrounded by larger circles, had small paths radiating from them leading to other circles or parks. The method of the grounds layout was an additive one of discrete neighborhood units, each built around small various shaped parks. Some street and park names (current names are in the brackets) have been changed for various reasons over the 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 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.