Mount Tabor Library

Ebenezer prayer pavilion occupied a central position on the East side of Trinity Park. Built in 1873 as an octagonal open pavilion, it was enclosed in 1901 to serve as the Mount Tabor Free Library.

As stated in the Mt. Tabor Daily Record in 1877: The Ebenezer “… will accommodate three hundred people comfortably, but is generally crowded with about four hundred.” This is one of the few images depicting the open pavilion with canvas sides before it was enclosed.

The Mount Tabor Library started as a private lending library created by Dr. Henry Coit at his drugstore under the Tabernacle. In 1889 Dr. Coit donated the books of his library to found the Mount Tabor Free Public Library which would be housed in the pavilion with the condition that the books would be used for the benefit of Mount Tabor. 

The flat roof portico supported by four Tuscan columns dates to the enclosure of the building in 1901 to better serve its purpose as a library. Over the next 50 years, the library expanded, growing from the original donation of a few hundred books to over 5,500 books. 

As reported in the Mt. Tabor Daily Record in 1877: “Those who are fortunate enough to own lots upon this park have one advantage of location not possessed by any others, in that they can sit upon their balconies and listen to the services held at the Tabernacle and in the pavilions. On account of the choice location, it is but natural that there should be here many very pretty cottages, and such is really the case.”

In 1877 the cottage next to the Ebenezer Pavilion was owned by Dr. J. P. Stickle, of Newark. It was described in the Mt. Tabor Daily Record: the cottage “…presents a most beautiful appearance, and in its architectural proportions, painting and other exterior arrangements is different from anything else upon the grounds. It has been completely remodeled this year, and a bay window and tasteful fence add greatly to its appearance.” This image shows the cottage decorated with festive Chinese Lanterns to mark the Children’s Day celebrations.
The next cottage is 35 Trinity Place, built in 1877 for M.S. Allison, a shipbuilder of Jersey City, and by carpenter/builder Samuel Cosgrove of Jersey City. The Mt. Tabor Daily Record described the newly built cottage as: “…perhaps the finest single cottage upon the grounds, having recently been completed at a cost of over $2000. It is in fact a substantial residence, occupying two lots, built in a becoming order of architecture, and with a view to comfort and convenience in its interior arrangements. Upon the first floor are parlor, dining room, and kitchen, and upon the second seven sleeping apartments.”
An early photo of the Allison cottage reveals that it is remarkably unchanged today. It has elements of Stick Style architecture with hints of Eastlake, highlighted by cutout patterns, pendants, and medallions. Don’t overlook the small gable roof cupola, the knee braces which support the projecting gable, and its decorative stickwork.

Downhill from the Library, at 27 Trinity Place is the cottage built for Rev. C. S. Coit, a pediatrician from Jersey City. Rev. Coit was “one of the projectors and most earnest workers for the success of Mt. Tabor.” His cottage was described as “large and well-arranged and presents a fine appearance architecturally.” The donation of books from his private lending library formed the foundation of the Mount Tabor Library. 

The architectural elements of this cottage exemplify the standard form of a camp meeting cottage. It is a narrow, two-story, gable fronted with double doors flanked by windows on each side, and second-floor double-doors opening onto a balcony. The gable, façade, and railing feature decoratively cut gingerbread. Still recognizable is the hanging pendant and gable trim in the peak, as well as the decorative door hood. 

Now part of the Parsippany Library System, the Mount Tabor Library is the smallest of the three branches.