National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, object, site, or structure, recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places, only some 2,500 are recognized as National Historic Landmarks. A National Historic Landmark District may include contributing properties that are buildings, sites or objects, it may include non-contributing properties. Contributing properties may or may not be separately listed. Prior to 1935, efforts to preserve cultural heritage of national importance were made by piecemeal efforts of the United States Congress. In 1935, Congress passed the Historic Sites Act, which authorized the Interior Secretary authority to formally record and organize historic properties, to designate properties as having "national historical significance", gave the National Park Service authority to administer significant federally owned properties. Over the following decades, surveys such as the Historic American Buildings Survey amassed information about culturally and architecturally significant properties in a program known as the Historic Sites Survey.
Most of the designations made under this legislation became National Historic Sites, although the first designation, made December 20, 1935, was for a National Memorial, the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, Missouri; the first National Historic Site designation was made for the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on March 17, 1938. In 1960, the National Park Service took on the administration of the survey data gathered under this legislation, the National Historic Landmark program began to take more formal shape; when the National Register of Historic Places was established in 1966, the National Historic Landmark program was encompassed within it, rules and procedures for inclusion and designation were formalized. Because listings triggered local preservation laws, legislation in 1980 amended the listing procedures to require owner agreement to the designations. On October 9, 1960, 92 properties were announced as designated NHLs by Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton; the first of these was a political nomination: the Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City, Iowa was designated on June 30 of that year, but for various reasons, the public announcement of the first several NHLs was delayed.
NHLs are designated by the United States Secretary of the Interior because they are: Sites where events of national historical significance occurred. More than 2,500 NHLs have been designated. Most, but not all, are in the United States. There are the District of Columbia. Three states account for nearly 25 percent of the nation's NHLs. Three cities within these states all separately have more NHLs than 40 of the 50 states. In fact, New York City alone has more NHLs than all but five states: Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. There are 74 NHLs in the District of Columbia; some NHLs are in U. S. commonwealths and territories, associated states, foreign states. There are 15 in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, other U. S. territories. S.-associated states such as Micronesia. Over 100 ships or shipwrecks have been designated as NHLs. About half of the National Historic Landmarks are owned; the National Historic Landmarks Program relies on suggestions for new designations from the National Park Service, which assists in maintaining the landmarks.
A friends' group of owners and managers, the National Historic Landmark Stewards Association, works to preserve and promote National Historic Landmarks. If not listed on the National Register of Historic Places, an NHL is automatically added to the Register upon designation. About three percent of Register listings are NHLs. American Water Landmark List of U. S. National Historic Landmarks by state List of churches that are National Historic Landmarks in the United States Listed building, a similar designation in the UK National Historic Sites and Persons, similar designations in Canada National Natural Landmark United States Memorials United States National Register of Historic Places listings Official National Historic Landmarks Program website A History of the NHL Program List of National Historic Landmarks National Historic Landmarks: Archaeological Properties Historical Landmarks - United States Lighthouses
U.S. Route 31 in Michigan
US Highway 31 is a part of the United States Numbered Highway System that runs from Alabama to the Lower Peninsula of the US state of Michigan. In Michigan, it is a state trunkline highway that runs from the Indiana–Michigan state line at Bertrand Township north to its terminus at Interstate 75 south of Mackinaw City. Along its 356.5-mile-long route, US 31 follows the Michigan section of the St. Joseph Valley Parkway as well as other freeways and divided highways northward to Ludington. North of there, the trunkline is a rural undivided highway through the Northern Michigan tourist destinations of Traverse City and Petoskey before terminating south of Mackinaw City. Along its route, US 31 has been dedicated in memory of a few different organizations, sections of it carry the Lake Michigan Circle Tour moniker. Four bridges used by the highway have been recognized for their historic character as well; the first highways along the route of the modern US 31 corridor were the West Michigan Pike, an auto trail from 1913, a pair of state trunklines in 1919.
These state highways were redesignated US 31 on November 11, 1926, when the US Highway System was approved. Since the highway has been realigned in places; the highway crossed the Straits of Mackinac by ferry for about a decade in the 1920s and 1930s before the Mackinac Bridge was built, connecting to US 2 north of St. Ignace. Sections were converted into freeways starting in the 1950s; these segments opened through the subsequent decades with the last one opening in 2003. Future plans by the Michigan Department of Transportation are to finish the St. Joseph Valley Parkway and bypass Grand Haven. Between Lake Michigan Beach and the northern terminus south of Mackinaw City, most of US 31 forms a portion of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour except where the various business loops run between the main highway and Lake Michigan. Additionally, much of the highway from the Indiana–Michigan state line to Ludington is built to freeway standards. Two notable exceptions are a short segment along Napier Avenue between the St. Joseph Valley Parkway and I-94 near Benton Harbor, between Holland and Ferrysburg.
The remainder of US 31 is a two- or four-lane highway with some sections in cities comprising five lanes. The entire length of the highway is listed on the National Highway System, a network of roads important to the US's economy and mobility. US 31 and the St. Joseph Valley Parkway crosses into Michigan from Indiana southwest of Niles and parallels the St. Joseph River as the two run northward through southwest Michigan; the freeway passes through farmland before crossing US 12 at the first of a set of three interchanges located between Niles on the east and Buchanan on the west. US 31 crosses the river north of the interchange with Niles–Buchanan Road. North of the Walton Road interchange, the freeway turns northwesterly to recross the St. Joseph River near Lake Chapin south of Berrien Springs; the parkway curves around the west side of town before crossing the river for a third time. As US 31 continues northward parallel to the river, it enters the eastern fringes of the Benton Harbor–St. Joseph area.
Traffic is forced to exit the freeway at the interchange with Napier Road although the freeway continues northward for less than 1⁄2 mile. After separating from its freeway, US 31 turns west along Napier Avenue for about two miles before meeting I-94 and merging with it. I-94/US 31 runs concurrently on a northeasterly course through a partial interchange with Business Loop I-94 before meeting the southern end of I-196 in Benton Charter Township. At this trumpet interchange, I-196/US 31 runs north from I-94 and passes to the west of the Point O'Woods Golf & Country Club, it continues northward in rural Berrien County through farm fields. The trunkline turns northwesterly near the Lake Michigan Hills Golf Course and crosses the Paw Paw River. Past the river, the freeway turns northeasterly and runs parallel to the Lake Michigan shoreline several miles inland. At the community of Lake Michigan Beach, I-196/US 31 meets the northern terminus of M-63 at exit 7, the LMCT joins the freeway for the first time.
North of this interchange, the freeway parallels a county road, the former route of US 31. Further north, I-196/US 31 crosses into Van Buren County and assumes the Gerald R. Ford Freeway name; the inland side of the freeway is forested while the lakeward side is predominantly either forest or fields. As it approaches South Haven, the freeway passes near the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station and Van Buren State Park. North of the power plant and park, the freeway turns farther inland to bypass the city of South Haven. There is an interchange on the south side of town that provides access to BL I-196 and M-140; the freeway crosses over M-43 without an interchange and intersects the other end of the business loop about two miles later. It crosses the Black River near the Van Buren–Allegan county line. In Allegan County, I-196/US 31 passes a pair of golf courses and continues northward through farm fields. Near the community of Glenn, A-2 runs parallel to it on the east; the two roads trade places again when I-196/US 31 turns northeasterly on the south side of the twin cities of Saugatuck and Douglas.
The freeway crosses over a section of Kalamazoo Lake, a wider section of the Kalamazoo River that flows between the two towns. A-2 crosses back to the eastern side of the freeway north of Saugatuck, I-196/US 31 continues north-northeasterly toward Holland. On the south side of Holland, US 31 and I-196 separate as the Interstate turns northeasterly around the city to continue to Grand Rapids. US 31 follows the BL I-196 freeway
Cornell College is a private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Called the Iowa Conference Seminary, the school was founded in 1853 by George Bryant Bowman. Four years in 1857, the name was changed to Cornell College, in honor of iron tycoon William Wesley Cornell, a distant relative of Ezra Cornell. Cornell students study one course at a time. Since 1978, school years have been divided into "blocks" of three-and-a-half weeks each, during which students are enrolled in a single class. While schedules vary from class to class, most courses consist of around 30 hours of lecture, along with additional time spent in the laboratory, studying audio-visual media, or other activities. Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cornell operated on a calendar of 9 blocks per year, but switched to 8 blocks per year beginning in the fall of 2012. From its inception, Cornell has accepted women into all degree programs. In 1858, Cornell was host to Iowa's first female recipient of a baccalaureate degree, Mary Fellows, a member of the first graduating class from Cornell College.
She received a bachelor's degree in mathematics. In 1871, Harriette J. Cooke became the first female college professor in the United States to become a full professor with a salary equal to that of her male colleagues; the most recognizable building on Cornell's campus is King Chapel. The chapel is the site of the annual convocation at the commencement of the school year as well as the baccalaureate service in the spring for graduating students; the chapel contains a large organ and is the site of musical performances. Religious services are held in the nearby Allee Chapel. Old Sem, for a short while, was the only building of the original college and now houses administrative offices of the college. Cornell contains 9 academic buildings. College Hall, the second-oldest building of the college, houses classrooms and offices of several social science and humanities departments. South Hall a male dormitory, houses the Politics and Creative Writing Departments. Prall House contains classrooms of the Philosophy and Religion Departments.
The Merle West Science Center houses the Physics and Chemistry Departments. West Science contains one of the school's two stadium seating lecture-style classrooms, with a capacity around 100; the Norton Geology Center contains both an extensive museum and classrooms for geological sciences. Law Hall includes the Math, Computer Science, Psychology Departments, is the computing hub of the campus. McWethy Hall a gymnasium, was remodeled and now contains the studios and offices of the Art Department. Armstrong Hall and Youngker Hall are adjoining fine arts buildings. Armstrong Hall is the location of the Music Department, while Youngker Hall contains the Theatre Department, including Kimmel Theatre. In addition, the Small Sports Center and the Lytle House contain classrooms of the Kinesiology Department. Cole Library serves both the Mount Vernon community. Cornell has several residence halls. Pfeiffer Hall, Tarr Hall, Dows Hall together form the "Tri-Hall" area. Tarr now houses both males and females.
Dows, once an all-female residence hall, joins Pfeiffer and Tarr in providing co-ed for all years. Pfeiffer was extensively renovated in 2008. Bowman-Carter Hall is an all-female hall for upperclassmen. Pauley-Rorem Hall is a combination of two residence halls that are joined in the middle by a common set of stairs. Female first-years resided in Pauley, male first-years resided in Rorem until 2012-2013 when both residence halls became co-ed by floor. Pauley Hall was once home to the Pauley Academic Program, a community of male and female students with strong academic backgrounds; as early as 1986, Pauley Hall was co-ed by floor, in 1987-89, second floor Pauley was home to the Academic Program and was co-ed by room. Olin and Merner Hall are co-ed upper-class residence halls. New and Russell Hall were opened in 2005 and 2007 and offer suite-style living. Students may choose more independent living options in apartments at Wilch Apartments, 10th Avenue, Armstrong House, Harlan House, at the Sleep Inn.
Nearly all Cornell students are required to live on-campus or in campus apartments, so most students do not rent non-college housing. The Cornell campus is centered on a modest hill, the feature noted in the moniker "Hilltop Campus." Several campus buildings are grouped on the hilltop, while the athletic facilities and some residential buildings are located farther downhill on the campus's northwest side. Cornell College fields 19 intercollegiate athletic teams, all of which compete in NCAA Division III sports. A member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Cornell joined the Midwest Conference in the fall of 2012. Cornell has achieved its greatest success in wrestling. Cornell wrestlers have won eight individual national titles, in 1947, the wrestling team won the NCAA Division I and AAU national championships. Sixty-Two Cornell wrestlers have been named NCAA All-Americans
Emmet County, Michigan
Emmet County is a county located in the U. S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,694; the county seat is Petoskey. Emmet County is located at the top of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, bounded on the west by Lake Michigan and on the north by the Straits of Mackinac, its rural areas are habitat for several endangered species. Long a center of occupation by the Odawa people, today the county is the base for the federally recognized Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians; the county was created by the Michigan Legislature from Mackinac County. It was first named Tonedagana County and renamed Emmet County effective March 8, 1843. Emmet County remained attached to Mackinac County for administrative purposes until county government was organized in 1853. "Emmet" refers to the Irish nationalist Robert Emmet, who in 1803 was tried and executed for high treason against the British king for leading a rebellion in Dublin. Ottawa history records that Emmet County was thickly populated by indigenous peoples called the Mush-co-desh, which means "the prairie tribe".
They had an agrarian society and were said to have "shaped the land by making the woodland into prairie as they abandoned their old worn out gardens which formed grassy plains". Ottawa tradition claims that they slaughtered from forty to fifty thousand Mush-co-desh and drove the rest from the land after the Mush-co-desh insulted an Ottawa war party; the Odawa were important prior to European colonization for their trading network throughout the Great Lakes area. They retained this influence into the 18th century, as French traders relied on them to take furs east from tribes they traded with to the north and west; when French explorers first came to this area, they claimed it as part of New France, based in today's Quebec province. The Ottawa and Ojibwe tribes were the principal inhabitants of this area, extending across to Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario, Canada; the French established Fort Michilimackinac in about 1715. It was the basis of a multicultural settlement that developed around it.
Seasonally numerous native Americans of various tribes would come to trade there. During the Seven Years' War and French forces, together with Indian allies on each side, fought on the North American front in what became known in the British colonies as the French and Indian War; the British continued to use it as a trading post. In 1763, Ojibwe warriors took the fort as a part of Pontiac's Rebellion and held it for a year before the British retook it; the British abandoned the wooden fort in 1781 after building the limestone Fort Mackinac on nearby Mackinac Island. An Indian community on the lakeshore in the western part of the county continued to thrive after the British abandoned the fort. After the War of 1812, Mackinac Island and this area became part of the United States. In the 1840s, Odawa villages lined the Lake Michigan shore from present-day Harbor Springs to Cross Village; the area was reserved for native tribes by treaty provisions with the US federal government until 1875. In 1847, a group of Mormons settled on nearby Beaver Island and established a "kingdom" led by "King" James Jesse Strang.
There were bitter disputes between other white settlers. Strang, seeking to strengthen his position, gained election to the Michigan State House of Representatives. In January 1853, he pushed through legislation titled, "An act to organize the County of Emmet", which enlarged Emmet County by attaching the nearby Lake Michigan islands to the county, as well as a portion of Cheboygan County, it annexed the old Charlevoix County, named Keskkauko County and was as yet unorganized, as a township of Emmet County. Due to Strang's influence, Mormons came to dominate county government, causing an exodus of many non-Mormon settlers to neighboring areas. In 1855, the non-Mormon resistance succeeded in getting the Michigan Legislature to reorganize Emmet County; the islands, including Beaver Island and North and South Manitou Islands, were transferred into the separate Manitou County, which eliminated Mormons from Emmet County government. On April 27, 1857 an election selected Little Traverse as the county seat.
However, at about this time, investors were trying to promote development at Mackinaw City. Due to their influence, in February 1858, the State Legislature passed an act establishing Mackinaw City as the county seat; the Emmet County Board of Supervisors protested that the county seat had been established at Little Traverse, in 1861 the act was repealed as unconstitutional. In a contested election in 1867, residents voted to move the county seat to Charlevoix, upheld by a Circuit Court decision in 1868. However, in 1869, Charlevoix County was split from Emmet County, resulting in the county seat being in another county. No provisions for official relocation were authorized, although Harbor Springs served as the unofficial county seat until April 1902; the present county seat of Petoskey was selected at that time in a county-wide election. Charlevoix Township was organized in 1853 and included all of the nine townships in the southern half of the county. In the 1855 reorganization, four new townships were created by the State Legislature: La Croix Township Little Traverse Township Bear Creek Township Old Fort Mackinac In 1855, county supervisors established the townships of Arbour Croche and Utopia.
The state had inadvertently drawn boundaries for Little Traverse and Bear
Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio. Founded as the Oberlin Collegiate Institute in 1833 by John Jay Shipherd and Philo Stewart, it is the oldest coeducational liberal arts college in the United States and the second oldest continuously operating coeducational institute of higher learning in the world; the Oberlin Conservatory of Music is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. In 1835 Oberlin became one of the first colleges in the United States to admit African Americans, in 1837 the first to admit women; the College of Arts & Sciences offers more than 50 majors and concentrations. Oberlin is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association and the Five Colleges of Ohio consortium. Since its founding, Oberlin has graduated 16 Rhodes Scholars, 20 Truman Scholars, 3 Nobel laureates, 7 MacArthur fellows. Both the college and the town of Oberlin were founded in northern Ohio in 1833 by a pair of Presbyterian ministers, John Jay Shipherd and Philo Stewart.
The College was built on 500 acres of land donated by the previous owners, Titus Street, founder of Streetsboro and Samuel Hughes, who lived in Connecticut. Shipherd and Stewert named their project after Jean-Frédéric Oberlin, an Alsatian minister whom they both admired; the ministers' vision was for both school. Oberlin's founders bragged that "Oberlin is peculiar in that, good," and the college has long been associated with progressive causes. Asa Mahan accepted the position as first President of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute in 1835 serving as the chair of intellectual and moral philosophy and a professor of theology. Mahan's liberal views towards abolitionism and anti-slavery influenced the philosophy of the newly founded college; the college had some difficult beginnings, Rev. John Keep and William Dawes were sent to England to raise funds for the college in 1839–40. A nondenominational seminary, Oberlin's Graduate School of Theology, was established alongside the college in 1833. In 1965, the board of trustees voted to discontinue graduate instruction in theology at Oberlin, in September 1966, six faculty members and 22 students merged with the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University.
Oberlin's role as an educator of African-American students prior to the Civil War and thereafter is significant. In 1844, Oberlin College graduated its first black student, George Boyer Vashon, who became one of the founding professors at Howard University and the first black lawyer admitted to the Bar in New York State; the African Americans of Oberlin and those attending Oberlin College "have experienced intense challenges and immense accomplishments since their joint founding in 1833. Its African American and other students of color have used education and activism to influence the college, the town, beyond, their efforts have helped Oberlin remain committed to its values of freedom, social justice, service." The College's approach to African Americans was by no means perfect. Although intensely anti-slavery, including admitting black students from its founding, the school began segregating its black students by the 1880s with the fading of evangelical idealism. Nonetheless, Oberlin graduates accounted for a significant percentage of African-American college graduates by the end of the 19th century.
The college was listed as a National Historic Landmark on December 21, 1965, for its significance in admitting African Americans and women. Oberlin is the oldest coeducational institution in the United States, having admitted four women in 1837; these four women, who were the first to enter as full students, were Mary Kellogg, Mary Caroline Rudd, Mary Hosford, Elizabeth Prall. All but Kellogg graduated. Mary Jane Patterson graduated in 1862 as the first black woman to earn a B. A. degree. Soon women were integrated into the college, comprised from a third to half of the student body; the religious founders evangelical theologian Charles Grandison Finney, saw women as inherently morally superior to men. Oberlin stopped operating for seven months 1839 and 1840 due to lack of funds, making it the second oldest continuously operating coeducational liberal arts. Mahan, in conflict with faculty, resigned his position as president in 1850. In his place, famed abolitionist and preacher Charles Grandison Finney was made president, serving until 1866.
Under Finney's leadership, Oberlin's faculty and students increased their activity in the abolitionist movement. They participated together with people of the town in biracial efforts to help fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad, as well as to resist the Fugitive Slave Act. One historian called Oberlin "the town that started the Civil War" due to its reputation as a hotbed of abolitionism. In 1858, both students and faculty were involved in the controversial Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of a fugitive slave, which received national press coverage. Two participants in this raid, Lewis Sheridan Leary and John Anthony Copeland, along with another Oberlin resident, Shields Green participated in John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry; this heritage was commemorated on campus by the 1977 installation of sculptor Cameron Armstrong's "Underground Railroad Monument" and monuments to the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue and the Harper's Ferry Rai
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a mainline Protestant denomination and a major part of Methodism. In the 19th century, its main predecessor, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a leader in evangelicalism; the present denomination was founded in 1968 in Dallas, Texas, by union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley in England, as well as the Great Awakening in the United States; as such, the church's theological orientation is decidedly Wesleyan. It embraces both evangelical elements; the United Methodist Church has a connectional polity, a typical feature of a number of Methodist denominations. It is organized into conferences; the highest level is called the General Conference and is the only organization which may speak for the UMC. The church is a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, other religious associations. With at least 12 million members as of 2014, the UMC is the largest denomination within the wider Methodist movement of 80 million people across the world.
In the United States, the UMC ranks as the largest mainline Protestant denomination, the largest Protestant church after the Southern Baptist Convention, the third largest Christian denomination. In 2014, its worldwide membership was distributed as follows: 7 million in the United States, 4.4 million in Africa and Europe. In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 3.6 percent of the US population, or 9 million adult adherents, self-identify with the United Methodist Church revealing a much larger number of adherents than registered membership. The movement, which would become the United Methodist Church, began in the mid-18th century within the Church of England. A small group of students, including John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, met at Oxford University, they living a holy life. Other students mocked them, saying they were the "Holy Club" and "the Methodists", being methodical and exceptionally detailed in their Bible study and disciplined lifestyle; the so-called Methodists started individual societies or classes for members of the Church of England who wanted to live a more religious life.
In 1735, John and Charles Wesley went to America, hoping to teach the gospel to the American Indians in the colony of Georgia. Instead, John became vicar of the church in Savannah, his preaching was legalistic and full of harsh rules, the congregation rejected him. After two years in America, he returned to England dejected and confused. On his journey to America, he had been impressed with the faith of the German Moravians on board, when he returned to England he spent time with a German Moravian, passing through England, Peter Böhler. Peter believed a person is saved through the grace of God and not by works, John had many conversations with Peter about this topic. On May 25, 1738, after listening to a reading of Martin Luther's preface to Romans, John came to the understanding that his good works could not save him and he could rest in God's grace for salvation. For the first time in his life, he felt the assurance of salvation. In less than two years, the "Holy Club" disbanded. John Wesley met with a group of clergy.
He said "they appeared to be of one heart, as well as of one judgment, resolved to be Bible-Christians at all events. The ministers retained their membership in the Church of England. Though not always emphasized or appreciated in the Anglican churches of their day, their teaching emphasized salvation by God's grace, acquired through faith in Christ. Three teachings they saw as the foundation of Christian faith were: People are all by nature dead in sin and children of wrath, they are justified by faith alone. Faith produces outward holiness; these clergy became popular, attracting large congregations. The nickname students had used against the Wesleys was revived; the English preacher Francis Asbury arrived in America in 1771. He became a "circuit rider", taking the gospel to the furthest reaches of the new frontier as he had done as a preacher in England; the first official organization in the United States occurred in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1784, with the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the Christmas Conference with Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke as the leaders.
Though John Wesley wanted the Methodists to stay within the Church of England, the American Revolution decisively separated the Methodists in the American colonies from the life and sacraments of the Anglican Church. In 1784, after unsuccessful attempts to have the Church of England send a bishop to start a new church in the colonies, Wesley decisively appointed fellow priest Thomas Coke as superintendent to organize a separate Methodist Society. Together with Coke, Wesley sent a revision of the Anglican Prayerbook and the Articles of Religion which were received and adopted by the Baltimore Christmas Conference of 1784 establishing the Methodist Episcopal Church; the conference was held at the Lovely Lane Methodist Church, considered the Mother Church of American Methodism. The new church grew in the young country as it employed circuit riders, many of whom were laymen, to travel the rural nation by horseback to preach the Gospel and to establish churches until there was scarcely any village in the United States without a Methodist presence.
With 4,000 circuit riders by 1844, the Methodist Episcopal Church became the largest Protestant denomination in the
Ocean Grove, New Jersey
Ocean Grove is an unincorporated community and census-designated place located within Neptune Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. It had a population of 3,342 at the 2010 United States Census, it is located on the Atlantic Ocean's Jersey Shore, between Asbury Park to the north and Bradley Beach to the south. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ocean Grove is noted for its abundant examples of Victorian architecture and the Great Auditorium, acclaimed as "the state’s most wondrous wooden structure and sweeping, alive with the sound of music". Ocean Grove was founded in 1869 as an outgrowth of the camp meeting movement in the United States, when a group of Methodist clergymen, led by William B. Osborn and Ellwood H. Stokes, formed the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association to develop and operate a summer camp meeting site on the New Jersey seashore. By the early 20th century, the popular Christian meeting ground became known as the "Queen of Religious Resorts." The community's land is still owned by the camp meeting association and leased to individual homeowners and businesses.
Ocean Grove remains the longest-active camp meeting site in the United States. On July 31, 1869, Reverend W. B. Osborn, Reverend Stokes, other Methodist ministers camped at a shaded, well-drained spot on New Jersey's seashore and decided to establish a permanent Christian camp meeting community called "Ocean Grove." About twenty tents were pitched that summer. By the following year paths were being graded, lots were sold, plans were set in motion for a new town. In the summer of 1870, near the site of the first tabernacle, a well was dug to provide fresh water, it was named the "Beersheba" well, for an ancient well used by the Biblical patriarchs Abraham and Isaac, is still in existence. Drawing from the major population centers of New York City and Philadelphia, Ocean Grove soon became a popular destination during the growth of the camp meeting movement in post-Civil War America. Tents and an open-air wooden shelter, or tabernacle, were erected in the 1870s, for the trainloads of visitors arriving by the New York and Long Branch Railroad after 1875.
In 1877 alone, 710,000 railroad tickets were sold for the Ocean Grove-Asbury Park train station. A second, larger tabernacle was built in the 1880s, permanent structures began to be constructed. Streets were paved and some were given Biblical names, such as "Pilgrim Pathway" and "Mt. Tabor Way"; as Ocean Grove drew more and more visitors, the second tabernacle was outgrown, construction of the present Great Auditorium was completed in 1894. Designed to accommodate crowds of as many as 10,000 people, the subsequent installation of theater-style cushioned seating in many sections reduced seating capacity to 6,250, it remains the centerpiece of its summer programs. By the early 20th century, said The New York Times in 1986, it was called the "Queen of Religious Resorts... Visitors would travel miles to bask in the Victorian seaside splendor and to attend engaging, extroverted religious ceremonies. Millions of people and pilgrims both, made the trip to Ocean Grove every summer." The social disillusionment around 1920 following World War I had a profound effect on Ocean Grove and church going in general.
There was a decline in interest in camp meeting type activities and there was little in the way of new construction in the town after this time. One result was that Ocean Grove became a time capsule of late Victorian and early 20th century architecture; until Ocean Grove's municipal authority was folded into Neptune Township in 1981, it boasted a set of unique laws, including one that made it illegal on Sundays to have cars on the streets of Ocean Grove. This had a significant effect on the development of a close-knit community. People looking to get away for the weekend avoided the Grove; that meant the visitors were to be coming for a week-long visit or more. Most came to attend programs sponsored by the Camp Meeting. President Ulysses S. Grant visited Ocean Grove during his time in office and made his last public appearance in this town. Other presidents to speak on the grounds included: James Garfield, William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon. Heavyweight boxing champions James J. Corbett and Max Baer and department store magnate F.
W. Woolworth were among the celebrities of the day. In 1975, Ocean Grove was designated a State and National Historic District as a 19th-century planned, community, it has the most extensive collection of Victorian and early-20th century architecture in the United States. During the 1960s–1980s, the town declined along with much of the New Jersey seashore, was pejoratively called "Ocean Grave" due to the general air of decrepitude and the elderly population, but beginning in the 1990s, through 2006, Ocean Grove experienced a dramatic increase in property values and a considerable revival in fortune with the restoration of older hotel structures, many of which had deteriorated into single room occupancy quarters. – as part of this resurgence – a number of sidewalk cafés and shops along Main Avenue now cater to visitors and seasonal residents. Plans were announced in 2006 for a major new hotel and condominium development on property, vacant since the 1970s, when the old North End Hotel – once Ocean Grove's largest – was damaged by fire and subsequently demolished in 1980.
These plans have become controversial though, in January 2008 the Planning Board of Neptune stated the North End Redevelopment Proposal was "inconsistent with the town's Master Plan"