God’s square mile

I spent a little time yesterday poking my camera into some of the living rooms and sleeping porches in the tent city at Ocean Grove. I’m there at least once a week with work, but usually avoid the maze of one way streets around the Great Auditorium and instead ogle the old Victorian homes on the other side of town. It’s a great little shore oddity and one that I remember visiting as a kid. My dad brought me for Sunday services in the huge open air Auditorium back when a blue law banned cars in town on Sundays.

The town was founded as a leisure-time retreat by Methodists and descendants of those founders still come to Ocean Grove to sleep in tents for the summer and to pray by the sea. There’s a hundred-some tents and they’re laid out within inches of one another in rows around the auditorium. A more permanent structure makes up the back of each – with electric and plumbing! – and the front of the tent is reserved as a sitting/sleeping space. They’re very cute and not nearly as rustic as one might imagine.

Other ramblings about Ocean Grove are available here.

6 thoughts on “God’s square mile”

  1. There are much less glamorous tents all over the south used for “Camp Meeting.” It’s a time of preaching and praying and fellowship. Most of the “tents” have a lot of amenities and serve as home for several months during the summer. Like the ones on the beach, the “tents” have a more permanent structure in the back with the “tent” making up the front.

    The Ocean Grove ones are more colorful than any I’ve seen here in NC.

  2. Jayne and Lynne: They’re pretty cute, yeah.

    NCMountainWoman: Thanks for adding some details; my little snippet of text was fairly vague.

    The transformation that takes place in the summer is miraculous almost and makes me smile anytime I see them. They’re so blah looking during the winter that I couldn’t imagine spending any time there.

    Mary: Yeah Mary? Didn’t you have Barbies to make all fancy?


    Ruth: I don’t imagine it’s like camping at all; it must feel like a very nice community by the beach.

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