Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight Hiram M. Chittenden Patsy Collins Gordon Hirabayashi Home William Boeing
Search Encyclopedia
Facebook
Advanced Search
Featured Eassy Sponsor of the Week Book Store Donate Now
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6852 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donate Subscribe

Shortcuts

Libraries
Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search

Features

Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Everett
Olympia
Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Chautauqua held in Auburn for six days, beginning on June 22, 1920.

HistoryLink.org Essay 3517 : Printer-Friendly Format

On June 22, 1920, one of the last Chautauquas in Puget Sound is held for six days in Auburn. Named after Chautauqua, New York, where it was founded in 1874, the movement is a summertime presentation of lectures, discussions, and cultural activities lasting several days to a week in a resort atmosphere.

Days before the event, an 80 X 100 foot tent was erected on the Central School grounds with permission of the school board. Support for the Chautauqua was widespread, with religious, business, and community leaders urging all to come see a fine slate of lecturers, humorists, entertainers, and musicians. Tickets sales kicked off sluggishly, but as word spread, seating came into in great demand.

One, Two, Three

On the morning of June 22, a procession of 50 children, “in costumes unique, ornate, and grotesque,” paraded through the streets of Auburn chanting, “One, two three! What are we? Chautauqua!” An auto parade followed soon after, leading people to the tent.

The day’s events began with an introduction by Committee Chairman M. E. Brewer, followed by a history of the Chautauqua movement. Then the real program began with a performance by the Ithican Male Quartet, a bunch of college fellows in natty summer clothes and full of pep. The quartet also performed in the evening, along with Elise Mae Gordon, who performed impersonations. The crowd enjoyed hearing her dialect stories, especially ones in her “down South negro brogue.”

The next day’s highlight was a speech by Mr. Wood Briggs, entitled “Playing the Game.” Briggs, a cultured gentleman from Kentucky, advocated a get-together spirit, and the combination of courage, strength, and a well trained mind need to play in the game of life. In the evening, the Davies Singers entertained all with a fanciful production of the light opera The Mikado.

Tolstoy and Powdered Wigs

Thursday saw entertainment by the Scott Highlanders, and a lecture by Mae Guthrie Tongiet entitled, “Shasta Daisies and Folks.” But the most notable speaker of the entire Chautauqua came that evening with a lecture by Count Ilya Tolstoy, son of noted writer Leo Tolstoy. Count Tolstoy, a fierce anti-Bolshevik, orated about life in Russia.

On Friday, concerts were held by the Old Colonial Band, a six-piece brass ensemble made up of men in powdered wigs and colonial-era garb. In the evening vocalist Loraine Lee accompanied them. On Saturday, The Spragues provided entertainment, and W. H. Nation gave a lecture on community problems entitled, “What I Think of Your Community.”

Thomas McClary spoke on Sunday in a talk entitled “The Mission of Mirth.” The six-day event closed with a performance by the St. Cecelia Singing Choir, which promoters assured Chautauqua-goers would not yield a “draggy minute” during the last night.

Throughout the week, the Junior Chautauqua kept youngsters busy with games, songs, and stories by the “Chautauqua Lady.” At the end of the week, promoters barely broke even, but a good time was had by those who bought tickets at $2.75 a pop ($1.10 for students). Chautauqua vanished from Puget Sound and from the nation during the 1920s, although there have been several small revivals since.

Sources:
“Chautauqua Grounds Chosen,” The Auburn Globe Republican, June 11, 1920, p. 1; “Chautauqua Talent Popular in Auburn,” The Auburn Globe Republican, June 25, 1920, p. 1; “Auburn Chautauqua,” The Auburn Globe Republican, June 4, 1920, p. 2.


Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Fairs & Festivals | Education | Organizations |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You


This essay made possible by:
Rivers-in-Time Project:
King County Landmarks & Heritage Commission


Main Street, Auburn, ca. 1920
Postcard


 
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org