Oak Bluffs cottages

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went in our motor boat across Vineyard Sound to Oak Bluff’s harbor.  We took the launch ashore and walked the short distance to see the cottages in the Martha’s Vineyard Camp-Meeting Assoc. Campground.

The 300 or so mini cottages look like gingerbread-styled play houses, all nestled closely together, with barely a path between them. The cottages have an interesting history, with their plots originally holding tents for religious revival meetings started in the 1840’s.

In the 1960’s, cottage owners began to have fun, painting them bright colors. The early Methodists who formed the campground had a long “Do Not Do” list. I’m sure that they would be appalled at today’s collection of flamboyant cottages.

The original canvas tents were built on wooden platforms. Then, wood sides were added, with canvas tops. By the 186o’s tiny prefabricated “Carpenter Gothic” wooden houses were built in place of the tents. Today, 320 cottages remain, with 52 winterized and occupied year-round.

I’ve been here many times, but found new inspiration looking through the camera. Here are a few of my favorites.

13 thoughts on “Oak Bluffs cottages

  1. The summer of my sophomore year at college I worked on MV and spent some evenings off in Oak Bluffs. I remember Illumination night when all these cottages were decorated with lit candle/ paper lanterns all around the campground. Gorgeous (and a bit dangerous). I also remember an old carousel in Oak Bluffs complete with a brass ring. This was a L O N G time ago. ;~)

    Thanks for the memory!

  2. Such gorgeous cottages, I love the rocking chairs out on the verandas, so typically american! We have plenty of old cottages here in England,but none have verandas!

  3. enchanting is the word that rattles through my mind as i see these pictures. i just had a chance to view your rabbitat film and i am just in awe. to a rabbit lover like me and an admirer of your work, i am so inspired….generally i don’t comment much but this was something else!

  4. These colorful cottages warm the cockles of my heart! I love when we visit Martha’s Vineyard…but it’s not often enough. Thanks for sharing these images which helped me to “visit the Vineyard” again, from right here at home. Enjoy the beauty of the harvest season and the sights of New England. Our renovation project won’t allow us to get there this fall, but I look forward to our next trip to New England…and to the Cape.

  5. We discovered these cottages this summer on a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard. I was enchanted! I would love to live in one for a summer!

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