Morris Ave at Asbury Place

As the first developed area of the campground, the properties on avenues circling Trinity Park were confined by the original tiny tent-sized lots resulting in characteristically narrow and close-set cottages.

Standing at Morris Avenue, looking down Asbury Place this photo shows the cottages fronting directly onto the road and nestled tightly among the trees. All three cottages are very similar in build with narrow, steep gable fronts and double porches with decorative gingerbread.

Asbury Place is named in honor of Francis Asbury, one of the first two bishops in America, and the man who brought Methodism to America as part of the Second Great Awakening.

This residence at 31 Morris Avenue at the corner of Asbury Place was described in the Mt. Tabor Daily Record, “A house surrounded with balconies, and the balconies delightfully shaded by chestnut trees of large growth, it is no wonder the Mount Tabor home of Mrs. Hannah Palmer has a wonderful attraction for her friends as well as for its owner. It has two distinct fronts, that on Morris Avenue opening into a lawn beautified by evergreens and flowering plants, and it is in fact as conveniently arranged as it is attractive in appearance. Mrs. Palmer is a resident of Newark, and every summer season the fresh, dry air and pure spring water of Tabor attracts her to her mountain home, there to remain until after the close of the meeting season.”
The Asbury Place façade of the same cottage, as seen years later in this photo by T. F. Crane, has been covered in cedar shakes, roofs have been extended over the lower porches and the decorative railings have been enclosed. Even so, the essential elements remain with two distinct “fronts”, balconies surrounding three sides of the house, and a garden. 
The 31 Morris Avenue façade of this cottage is shown in another view by T. F. Crane.
On the opposite side of the street is this striking 1892 view of 28 Morris Avenue. Benjamin F. Britten of Jersey City purchased lots when first offered in 1869. Britten Villa, as this cottage was known, was one of several houses he and his family owned in Mount Tabor.

The house is decorated in a festive fashion for Children’s Day similar to this description in the Mt. Tabor Record: “Hanging from every cottage, playing hide-and-seek among the trees, are gay colored lights and bright oriental shades of every description, together with flags and flowers.”
A few steps down the street will bring you to 29 Asbury Place, described in detail in the Mt. Tabor Daily Record, “The owner of this gem among the forest trees of Mount Tabor was this year first, among those who dwell here during the season… It is the cottage of Mr. Jacob W. Stephens, Esq., of Newark. The outside speaks for itself, if we except the tasteful colors in which it is painted, the shades bringing out the various angles, and graceful proportions of the building in fine relief. Within it is richly papered and draped, furnished with the modern improvements, provided with a fine cellar, & c. Mr. Stephens owns the lot on the left, forming a corner on West Pass, and contemplates an addition to his already convenient and every way delightful home which will make it as large and roomy as could be desired.”
A photograph of 29 Asbury Place shows that Mr. Stephens did, indeed, complete an addition to expand the spacious porch to wrap around his cottage, known as “Tower House”. The square tower was a signature feature of several cottages built on the grounds by S. M. Mattox, a carpenter, and builder of Rockaway, NJ. Bordering on West Pass provided this owner convenient and direct access to Trinity Park for services.