Tabernacle – Lower Level

Built in 1885, this octagon building was designed to look like a large
camp meeting tent. As the focal point of the campground, it is
the most architecturally prominent building in the historic district.

The Tabernacle has long been the focal point of many cultural and social gatherings. Designed by John Post and built by C. White in 1885, the Tabernacle is shaped like an elongated octagon, representing eternal life. The structure, designed to look like a meeting tent, features board and batten siding, a functioning cupola, and large triple-hung windows. 

The lower level of the building was used for commercial purposes and had a post office, a barbershop, a bazaar, and a drug store. Today, the lower level of the Tabernacle is occupied by the CMA Offices, The Mount Tabor Fire Department, and the U.S. Post Office.

This 1885 photograph captures the community as it transitions from a religious colony to a summer resort. Young people seek shelter from the summer sun under the stately trees along Simpson Avenue. The shops can be seen in the lower level of the Tabernacle, one advertises cream soda.

The Tabor Post Office was established in 1882, with Mr. Earles serving as the first postmaster. Mail was delivered by train several times each day.  The Fire Hose Carts are elaborately decorated in honor of Children’s Day celebrations. The post office moved to its current location on the south end in 1952.

It is easily recognizable that Mount Tabor streets were designed to accommodate horses and wagons, not automobiles. A hack could be hired to bring people and their goods from the Mount Tabor train depot up the hill. The fare for Mount Tabor was 10¢ and from Denville 15¢.

The Fire Department moved to occupy the center two spaces in 1953 providing two bays for trucks and a meeting room.
This 1953 view from Simpson Avenue shows 24 Trinity Place with much of its original form including open porches, original gingerbread, and traditional board and batten siding.