Who put the “culture” in agriculture? Chautauqua did, in a manner of speaking. The traveling Redpath Circuit Chautauquas inspired rural inhabitants of many stripes. But there is a special link between the Circuit Chautauquas and agriculture institutes, a link that Professor Gary Moore of North Carolina State University will discuss at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ. Moore’s presentation is part of the Oliver Archives Heritage Lecture Series.Continue reading
The Chautauquan Daily introduced the 1957 Season as it does all seasons: with familiar optimism and joy. W. Walter Braham, Chautauqua Institution president at the time, and Ralph McCallister, the vice president in charge of program and education at the Institution, outlined why they anticipated a “Summer Assembly Of ‘Extraordinary Success.’ ” There would be a full religious program and a gala event heralding the art association’s opening.
“Dr. Kershaw, Of TV Fame, Speaks Today,” a front-page headline announced. The article went on to explain that A.L. Kershaw was an Episcopal minister “who attained national prominence on the $64,000 Question TV program” and “will return to the Chautauqua platform today at 10:45 A.M. when he inaugurates the morning lecture series in the Amphitheater.” [CLICK "READ MORE" BELOW OR THE HEADLINE ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO]Continue reading
On Aug. 5, 1887, a group of Chautauquan Methodists, including Chautauqua co-founders Lewis Miller and Bishop John Heyl Vincent, met to discuss the feasibility of building a house to serve as the Assembly’s Methodist Episcopal Headquarters. If there was any debate, it was brief. Miller and Vincent each donated $100 to the cause. They urged others to contribute, on the spot — the fundraising tradition of the time. Money in hand, they bought the Allegheny College lot on Pratt Avenue. On Aug. 7, 1888, almost exactly a year later, they dedicated the Methodist Episcopal Headquarters.Continue reading
At its inception in 1874, Chautauqua was one of a number of venues for adult education, with roots in the Lyceum movement, mechanics’ institutes and agricultural organizations. In the wake of such educational efforts came the Open Forum lecture movement, the history of which has been nearly forgotten.Continue reading
History repeats itself — but literature, too, fosters its own kind of repetition. That being said, a literary tradition is not as neatly traceable or as clear-cut as a historical motif. Literature tends to regurgitate its themes in ways ambiguous and elusive, particular to its time, place and author.Continue reading
A bystander on Chautauqua Lake in 1913 — already familiar with the sights and sounds of steamers and trains transporting people to vacation destinations — might have witnessed a new sound and sight: the airplane, flown by early aviator Al Engel.Continue reading
To read The Chautauquan Daily in July 1956, a little bit here, a little bit there, might unfold something like this: “Last month was the wettest June since 1951, according to City Weather Bureau reports. A total of 4.44 inches of rain fell.” [CLICK "READ MORE" BELOW OR THE HEADLINE ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO]Continue reading
In the posterior of Chautauqua Institution’s Oliver Archives Center is a worn, maroon tome. Its cover, thick and self-effacing, reveals little. Inside is the inscription “Chautauqua Scrapbook, Volume I: From 1874 to 1887 Inclusive,” as prepared by a Mrs. Adelaide L. Westcott.
Therein, among a number of old records and photos beyond counting, are the writings of Theodore L. Flood.
In August 1875, Flood — who would become the first editor of The Chautauqua Assembly Herald the following year — was serving as co-founder John Heyl Vincent’s personal assistant. In an attempt to make the second New York Chautauqua Assembly greater than the first, Vincent sought to invite a high-profile guest to the grounds.Continue reading