The 1873 Summer Season
We know something of the 1873 Summer season. The New York Times reported on July 18 that the new camp meeting at the Prospect Grove had opened.
"Well known and wealthy churchmen and businessmen of Brooklyn compose the association, for the most part... No liquor saloons or other objectionable institutions are permitted to locate here... Six frame cottages have been put up for those attending camp meetings, and 20 more are to be directly. A rostrum and pulpit in a beautiful spacious Grove, with comfortable seats all about in the open air, for the religious meetings.
"A commodious Chapel has been built for the same purpose when the weather will not permit outdoor Services, and other improvements are being made by the association, such as laying out walks, carriage roads, building bath houses, steamboat Wharf, etc... There are beautiful walks and drives in the vicinity, over the undulating hills, and the views from the hill tops are ever-changing in the loveliness of the winding shores of the innumerable little bays and inlets made by the irregular shape of the island...
"The camp meeting opened yesterday afternoon. The attendance is as yet rather small. Four hundred and fifty [people] have arrived including those at the hotel, but before the expiration during which the camp will last, at least double this number will probably visit. About 20 tents have been erected, all of which are engaged, and nearly all are occupied... Hospitality toward strangers, and universal good feeling and sociability seemed to prevail everywhere in the camp, and one would be a churl, indeed, not to feel softened and kindly toward his fellows amid the beautiful surroundings of this Grove."
By the end of 1873, the Association had sold 147 lots for a total of more than $32,000