benches-sunset.jpgThe Vineyard Gazette reported on April 18, 2016:


“In 1896, when the recently organized Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association needed chairs to augment the wooden benches in its grand new Tabernacle, members turned to the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue. Right there, on page 642, below the Sears tag line of the day, “Cheapest Supply House on Earth,” was a sturdy, plain wooden model, at a cost of 60 cents. They bought hundreds of them.


tabernacle_chairs_sears_ad source


Today most of those chairs are still at the historic Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, chipped, scratched, cracked and many times repaired. So are the benches.”

The application for funding stated:

“There are few items on the Island that have touched the lives of Islanders since 1846 and still exist today. The benches of the Tabernacle are one of those items. Few, if any, long-term residents of Martha’s Vineyard have not sat on those benches. Indeed, their grandparents and great grandparents have sat on those same benches at musicals, performances, graduations, community sings, national celebrations, and memorials.”



It would be less expensive to simply replace the chairs and benches, but that didn’t seem right to leaders at the camp meeting association. “When you’ve got something that old, yes it’s more expensive to repair,” said Ron MacLaren, outgoing executive director of association. “We have a tendency when we do that to lose part of that heritage. Once you replace them all with replicas, it’s not the same. It’s a replica.”


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Rick Huss, Co-Chair for the Tabernacle Restoration at Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, said he takes pride and pleasure in working on a part of history. “Historic is the way to go, but historic costs, the restoration project will include testing for lead paint, a complicated process that also adds to the cost.” Mr. Huss said.


How the Product Helped:

This is the Tabernacle restoration project that your product was used on, the project went well for the process used in the restoration of the historic benches that were treated with your exceptional product.

The benches have been around since 1845 and have been painted many times and I chose to use your product during the restoration to protect the safety of the people and environment. Thousands of people will be using and sitting on these benches for years to come. With all the people that will now be using the area I feel real confident that we as an organization have done what we can to protect the public from the exposure to lead paint dust, chips, etc. Thank you all for your help!

Rick Huss

Co-Chair-Tabernacle Restoration
Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association



The MV Times reported on June 14, 2017 that the benches at the Tabernacle are ready for events.

AFTER Tabernacle Benches 03

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