The Bethel Pavilion
Built in 1873, this octagonal structure began as an open-sided prayer pavilion used for religious services. Enclosed in 1886, then modified in 1938 to accommodate year-round use by the community.
The walls were enclosed in 1886 and the space was rededicated as the Children’s Temple. The one-story building had board and batten siding, was topped with a square cupola with gingerbread trim at the eaves. The entrance doors faced Trinity Park.
A child’s ticket for children’s hour gatherings in 1886.
Further improvements were made in 1938 to allow the building to serve the community year-round, including a new entrance vestibule, a full basement, a kitchen and a heating system. This image is after the basement improvements, but prior to the new vestibule addition which changed the orientation of the doors.
The community shifted from a summer-only resort to year-round residency during the 1930s and especially after WWII. By adding heat to the Bethel, church services could be held inside during the winter.
Next door to the Bethel at 26 Trinity Place was the residence of David Campbell, Esq. of Jersey City. David Campbell served as president of the Camp Meeting Association board from 1877 to 1887 and guided the new community through its formative years. This etching of the cottage appeared in the Tabor Record in 1877.
This view across Trinity Park is notable — the cottages seen in the postcard are early and fine examples of the esthetic and architectural details that continue to charm today. Clustered around Trinity Park, the cottages are nestled close together due to the size of the original campground tent lots.
Today, the Bethel Pavilion is still used for community events and gatherings.