Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Jersey's Best Kept Secret

"God's Square Mile at the Jersey Shore."

What a wonderful place to find along the Jersey Shore: 
Ocean Grove is nothing like what I expected. 
It is like the Jersey Shore might have been 100 years ago. 
Well, not quite, but that's the feeling you get when you are there.

With much wisdom, the people of Ocean Grove 
have preserved their architectural past from the wrecking ball.
Something I wish the rest of America would learn to do.

The old cottages and Victorian homes survive beautifully. 
There are no modern condos or ugly hotels to be seen.
And no rude tourists on the streets either.

Instead, there is history, and lots of it.
In 1869, a group of Methodist ministers
established Ocean Grove as a camp meeting.

The camp meeting association still owns the land
and leases it at a nominal fee
to the home owners and businesses.
A Victorian homeowner I met
pays $24 per year to lease the land her house sits on.

The old camp tabernacle still stands today.
It is home to one of the 25 largest pipe organs in the world.

Inside, there is seating for about 7000.
(All original.)

The most unique part of Ocean Grove
is what remains of the tents from the camp.
There is a whole neighborhood of tents!

These summer homes have a ten year waiting list to be leased.
And basically, they are just sheds in the back
(where a kitchen and bathroom are located)
with tents in the front.
But they are adorable!

Today, the old camp buildings still offer
 Worship services, meetings and concerts throughout the summer months.

I am fascinated by this place...
and somewhat head-over-heels in love with it too!


Kmcblackburn said...

Becky...what a find! I have never heard of Ocean Grove. Where in Jersey is it? Up north more? Great photos!

Kathy said...

It's certainly a quaint little place. But I'm not sure about living in a tent. Are they air-conditioned?

Mersad said...

Love the images, and have to piggy-back to Kathy's question, who can live in that tent without air condition in summer? :D

Oh, and to answer your question on my blog the other day, you can add me personally on Facebook if you like: I don't have a Photo-page, but my profile always includes more photos and a wider set of images from particular shoots that I put up on my blog.

forgetmenot said...

Looks like a charming place. Mickie :)