Before the days of social media and Google search, there was a national educational movement that started in a tent revival site in Chautauqua, New York in 1874. The Methodist Church used the camp grounds after the tent meetings were finished for summer sessions to educate Sunday School teachers. It was dubbed Chautauqua Institution and soon spread across the nation as an ideal. Chautauqua became known not as a place but as a national movement of summer education where families spent the summers away from the coal polluted smog of the inner cities learning about culture, religion, music, politics, while enjoying the great outdoors.
In the height of the popularity of Chautauqua, Bay View published a nationally read magazine, and opened an academy that boasted more than 700 students at one point. The magazine was used to study places and people, and was used for reading discussion groups. Thus, Chautauqua was somewhat the predecessor of modern day social media and Google searches--it was a place to meet people and learn things!
The setting overlooking the bay brought many northward on steamships and on the railways for summers full of lectures, classes, outdoor activities, and an annual music festival.
The ideals that formed it were popular enough to draw well known singing groups, circuit speakers, the Custer family, the Hemingway family, vice presidents, suffragettes, and many more northward for the summer.
Can you imagine the center of campus filled with families in 1896? On our walking tour it was amazing to see all the cottages, large and small.
I can't wait to take my readers on a fictional tour of Bay View's Chautauqua in 1896! Hop over to my author page to watch for updates and more tidbits before release day in July.
Sign up at my website for my newsletter between now and Valentine's Day and win a chance to own a copy of BBC's DVD of Victoria! You can also pre-order copies of Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection from the website. Since Queen Victoria is a topic of discussion between my heroine and my hero, I couldn't wait to share this with readers, plus I'm watching this season one week at a time on my DVR this winter! (holding myself back from gushing over this Gilded Age gem!!)
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Have you been to Bay View, Michigan or Petosky?
Have you ever heard of Chautauqua before?
Did you notice one of the top pics shows students learning about Dewy Decimal System--who remembers what that is?! (thank the Lord for Google search, right?!)
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots.Nurse Practitioner by day.Wife, mother, writer by night.Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me at: www.anneloveauthor.com