Preserving Gingerbread Cottages in Martha’s Vineyard

4 Apr

by Caitlin Dentamaro-

Homes in Martha's VineyardPreserving history is taking place all over the United States. During a trip to the east coast, I had the opportunity to visit Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Our tour guide Deana taught us about the area and how the people lived. Oak Bluffs became a thriving Methodist area during the nineteenth century. Starting in 1835, Methodists came to Martha’s Vineyard, living in tents. The area in Martha’s Vineyard is called the Oak Bluffs where the people of the camp lived. The group that is responsible for the campground is called Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association (MVCMA).

Home in Martha's VineyardEach summer, members of the church would pitch tents and have their meetings outside. As years went on, more visitors began coming to the island. They would start building small wooden houses, now known as the Gingerbread Cottages. They are very colorful and actually do look like Gingerbread Houses. With the town forming in a circle, they decided to build a tabernacle in the center. The tabernacle holds 3,000 people. Winter came and they built a church called Trinity Methodist Church in 1878.

Tabernacle in Martha's VineyardThere are 320 cottages that belong to the MVCMA. They are now priced for over a million dollars each. Many families have passed the cottages down from generation to generation. Everyone loves their community and they sit outside and greet the visitors. I was very happy that I was able to see such a memorable place. I feel that it is important to preserve history so generations in the future can learn about their past. The memories will be remembered forever if the residents keep their Gingerbread Cottages preserved. The residents answered any questions we had and were proud of where they lived. On April 5, 2005, Oak Bluffs became a National Historical Landmark.

 

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