Entrance Arch and Train Station
The train depot provided the means to transport thousands of people to the camp meeting, an important factor in choosing this location. The Mount Tabor arch was replaced in 2001 to restore the welcoming entrance.
Many visitors to the Mount Tabor camp meeting would arrive by train. In this early aerial view, the station is visible at the lower left. The curving street from the station leads one directly onto the hill. The Morristown road, now Route 53, crosses at an angle through the image.
From the Mount Tabor train depot, it is a short walk to the camp meeting grounds. A carriage could also be hired to bring passengers or goods from the train station. The hill was heavily wooded with a variety of trees.
Upon arrival at the entrance, visitors are greeted by a graceful arch welcoming people to the wooded grounds.
Richard Grant, Esq. is credited with promoting the installation of the pathway arch. By 1908 it was no longer standing. Through a community beautification effort, a replica was fabricated and installed in 2001. Once again, visitors are greeted as they once were in the old camp meeting days.
Standing at the entrance of the walking path and looking south onto the road, now Route 53, the Dickerson Market is seen here on the right. The Dickerson’s bought the store in 1893 and built this larger building in 1918 at the corner of Station Road and opposite the camp entrance. The Dickerson family met the provisioning needs of the surrounding community for many years.
Walking up the steep path through the park, this image reminds us that in its humble beginnings as a Methodist camp meeting, it truly was a tent community. One visitor exclaimed in 1887, “Mt. Tabor, the Grove City, never looked brighter or more attractive. The foliage is very thick and bright with life, the earth is cool and the place is delightful.”
This winter scene shows the buildings clearly as you approach Simpson Avenue. The bell tower of the Old Firehouse is visible on the left, then the stone house, the Tabernacle, and the Camp Meeting Association office are near the top of the path.
It was remarked in August of 1881, that “One of the greatest improvements made about the place in recent years is the new depot building… The platform is 400 feet long… Its width is 28 feet, ten feet wider than the old one. The waiting room is 12×40 feet, besides which seats are ranged under the whole length of the platform roof. It is built of yellow pine and painted in pleasing shades.”
The six o’clock train into Mount Tabor on Friday evenings became known as the “husbands’ train,” as husbands and fathers worked in the city during the week and joined their families in Mount Tabor for the summer weekends.
Proximity to a train station, and thereby offering a means for thousands of people to easily be transported from populated cities to this remote wooded retreat was one of the important factors when selecting this site for the permanent camp meeting grounds.
The entrance to Mount Tabor today, surrounded by beautiful autumn colors.