From the August 1868 editions of the Vineyard Gazette:

Another week has passed, and the readers of the Gazette will probably expect something from the Grove.

We have to record new arrivals every day, and the number of our inhabitants increases quite fast. In fact, the Grove presents the appearance and bustle of a city. Another fine cottage is being erected near the Association’s Building, which is to be built of pine. I understand it is for a gentleman by the name of Clark, of Providence.

During the past week, our friend, Charles Worth has contracted to build a cottage for Mr. Perry, of Fall River.

Mrs. Willoughby’s Hotel has the name of the Narragansett House which has been placed upon the front of the building during the past week.

Cranston has his boats here for those who wish to “lightly row,” on the small lake, which bears the vegetable appellation of Squash Meadow Pond.

Activity in business is still up to fever beat and bids fair to continue until the meeting commences. Wesleyan Grove is a live place; no one can doubt the fact that has the pleasure of stopping here for a season.

To note the success of our own native-born Island people, in any of the honorable pursuits of life, is always a pleasure. Hence, Mr. Editor, it affords me much pleasure to speak of the able sermon delivered by Rev. William T. Worth, of Stafford Springs, Conn. (a son of our esteemed townsman, Mr. Charles Worth). The sermon was preached here during the past week and is very highly spoken of as an able, eloquent and convincing argument for Christianity. Mr. Worth is now on his third year of labor with the church at Stafford Springs, a fact evinces the esteem in which he is held by his people.

The population in the Grove, and on the Bluffs is daily increasing, with the arrivals by the excellent steamer Monohansett. It is a pleasure to travel on this boat with true and tried officers who know their business and who are so uniformly courteous, gentlemanly and accommodating as these officers are. In this connection, it may be well to state, that the Steamboat Company has secured the fine sea-going steamer Stamford to run in connection with the Monohansett during Camp Meeting week, this insuring abundant accommodations to the thousands who annually visit this delightful spot.

The Grove has the appearance of a city when, in the evening, the several circles and avenues are lighted up by the generosity of the sojourners and the residents. Many of the cottages are already occupied and, being brilliantly illuminated, add much to the beauty of the scene which is duly appreciated and enjoyed by those who like to walk around the grounds. Not the least of the interesting services of the evenings are the sounds of voices mingled in singing the beautiful harmonies that soothe the troubled mind and cheer the mechanics after the severe and arduous toils of the day. A visit to Weslyan Grove and Oak Bluffs will ere long be considered the sine qua non to a pleasant and profitable summer cruise. The atmosphere is physically and morally healthy and there is nothing to hinder but everything to assist one in taking wholesome recreation.

The number of sojourners here is increasing very fast. I should judge there were at least two thousand persons on the ground yesterday, and the prospect is that there will be the largest gathering here during the meeting that has ever been known. The Monohansett is being patronized to a large extent, and her freight-bills will reach a high figure; proof of which may be found in noticing the activity of the many teamsters immediately after the daily arrivals. Wesleyan Grove and Oak Bluffs are really live places in a business point of view at the present time.

There is one thing that is creating a great deal of dissatisfaction among those who wish to obtain lots for the purpose of building thereon in this Grove and that is the large premiums demanded in addition to the yearly license, some being obliged to pay as high as $100. I have heard very many express the opinion that it will tend to discourage many from building. In fact, Mr. Editor, I know it has worked to the disadvantage of one of your townsmen, who had the promise of building a fine cottage for a gentleman who, when he ascertained that so large a premium was demanded, came to the conclusion that it was “rather steep,” consequently gave up the idea of building. It is to be hoped that the Camp Meeting Association will take the matter into consideration and make some arrangement that will be more satisfactory to those who wish to camp here from year to year.

Oak Bluffs stock is improving quite rapidly, and quite a number of lots have been disposed of within a few days. There is pretty strong evidence that there will be quite a number of cottages erected during the coming year on that side. I hear that our friend, Joseph W. Donaldson, has already contracted to build three.

Compiled by Hilary Wall