Monday, January 23, 2017

Novella Sneak Peak & Prize Give-Away: A Chautauqua Setting

Anne here. Welcome to a sneak peak into the setting and times for my debut novella coming out in July this year with my fellow bloggers and five other authors! I just turned in edits this week and I'm getting excited to share it with all of you this summer and I want to share a favorite place with you. (no spoilers, I promise!)

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.



It's the Chautauqua formed at Northern Michigan's Methodist Bay View Association that is the setting for my upcoming novella. Bay View is a private community of over 400 cottages overlooking Little Traverse Bay on the north side of Petosky. Most of the cottages were built after the Victorian style between 1870's and 1900 and are still maintained today. This example of a Queen Anne style cottage sits in the center of Bay View's campus and I was able to visit there this summer with my parents while attending our family reunion. My mother grew in a town nearby and my grandfather used to open and close the cottages for the season, as well as doing odd jobs for cottagers through the summer season. There are family stories of my great grandmother peddling garden foods and freshly butchered chickens to the resort inns and cottagers.


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!!)



To enter the raffle: leave a comment on today's blog once you sign up for the newsletter on my website: anneloveauthor.com

Readers:
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?!)
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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
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24 comments:

  1. I had previously subscribed.
    I grew up Baptist and still am. My husband grew up in the Methodist church, but I converted him, LOL. He used to talk about going to camp meetings during the summer, is that the same thing you were talking about or entirely different?

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    1. I believe it would be very similar, Gail.

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  2. I live in MI and have had the pleasure of visiting those places! But, have never heard of Chautauqua before. Loved this post and seeing the fun pictures. Some of those cottages are just astonishingly beautiful!! (subscribed)

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    1. I sure had fun researching Chautauqua, Susan. I hope my readers have a fun time with this story and the collection. The cottages have enchanted me for decades. We used to drive past them on the way to my grandparent's home.

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  4. I just subscribed to your newsletter Anne!
    I'm loving the pictures of the historical houses, I've always dreamed of living in one :-) Imagining life "back when" is fun!
    I remember learning the Dewey Decimal system in school. Do they even teach that anymore?? Such a lost skill nowadays. Lots of things are, though.
    Thanks for the fun blog post, I learned something new :-)

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    1. I really don't know if they still teach DD system. Hmmm, might have to ask my daughter!

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  5. Just subscribed! Looking forward to reading your book!! I love historical houses and reading books set in that era. I remember the old card catalogs and Dewey decimal system! Computers have made it so much easier!! Can I bring the book into the office for an autograph?? LOL.

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  6. Subscribed. Anne, I love these photos. Thank you for this fascinating post!

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  7. Thanks, Caryl! I love old photos too!! :)

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  9. I love the old pictures and enjoyed reading the post. I subscribed to the newsletter. Looking forward to reading Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection - I love these types of books. I'm hoping Victoria comes to the library because I missed the first 3 shows and I really wanted to see it.

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    1. When we get closer to release date in July, I'll unlock my research Pinterest board. I love researching through images!

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  10. I love the old pictures and enjoyed reading the post. I subscribed to the newsletter. Looking forward to reading Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection - I love these types of books. I'm hoping Victoria comes to the library because I missed the first 3 shows and I really wanted to see it.

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  11. I've never been to Bay View or Petosky, neither had I previously heard of Chautauqua. What beautiful buildings - would love to tour the area. I lived in an apartment on a hill overlooking Lake Michigan for a year and love visiting the lake areas of Michigan as often as possible.

    Congrats, Anne - can't wait to read your novella!!

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie. I can't wait for you to read it! thanks for all your support!

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  12. I am a retired librarian so I am very familiar with the Dewey Decimal System. I have never been to a Chautauqua that you show in these pictures but each year our library offered a Chautauqua program for our patrons. It was a program centered on a historical event or a Kentucky person and it was for their enjoyment and enrichment. Congrats on your new novella!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Wonderful, Connie! My heroine is a Library assistant. Yes, enrichment is a foundational value of Chautauqua. Thanks for stopping by the blog, I hope you will get to read this story in July!

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