September 12, 2014
Are you obsessed with Disney, Candyland: The Game, or Easter? If so, then you need to visit Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts for its pastel-colored gingerbread cottages will provoke you with a real sense you have stepped into a fairy tale.
In 1859, the campground was organized as a summer retreat for New England Methodists. They originally resided in tents but in 1859 they started building wooden cottages along with a Tabernacle and Grace Chapel. There were 40 cottages in 1864, 250 in 1869 and 500 by 1880. Today, there are approximately 318 cottages and they are no longer used for Methodist practices. Each house is complete with a manicured garden and gum-dropping trimmings. Adding to their cuteness are there names such as “Angel Cottage”, “Wooden Valentine”, and “The Pink House.”
During the summer, the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association has a number of event you can attend, such as community sing-alongs in the Tabernacle, campground walking tours, and family movie nights. The biggest event of the year is held on the third Wednesday of August and it is the Grand Illumination. Paper Chinese and Japanese lateens adorn the cottages and are strung from tree branches. At nighttime, there is a concert at the Tabernacle and many gathers dress in nineteenth century fashion to pay homage to the year the tradition was established, 1869. Additionally, for $2.00 you can tour one of the cottages and for an even heftier fee stay in one of them from June to early October.
With its rich history and whimsical architecture, the Gingerbread Cottages at Martha’s Vineyard are certainly a treat for all. It's almost October, so go experience the houses you spent your childhood fantasizing about owning before it's too late!