In 1835 this community served as the site for annual summer camp meetings when Methodist church groups found the groves and pastures of Martha’s Vineyard particularly well suited to all-day gospel sessions. Steam vessels from New York, Providence, Boston, and Portland continued to bring more enthusiastic devotees of the Oak Bluffs way of life. Horse cars were used to bring vacationers from the dock to the Tabernacle. The horse cars were later replaced by a steam railroad that ran all the way to Katama. One of the first passengers on the railroad was President Ulysses S. Grant. The railroad gave way to an electric trolley from Vineyard Haven to the Oak Bluffs wharves, and the trolley eventually gave way to the automobile. Oak Bluffs is also the home of the Flying Horses Carousel, the oldest continuously operating carousel in the country. Its horses were hand carved in New York City in 1876. This historic landmark is maintained by the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust. It is open daily during the summer, and on weekends in the spring and fall.
(Text courtesy of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce. www.mvy.com)