Chautauqua Being Recreated as Three-Day Festival

Last Updated on Apr 26, 2019 at 10:25am | Arts & Culture

Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican. Staff Reporter: Joseph Hauger. Submitted photo.
Historian Albert Feldstein will present a history of Mountain Lake Park during the upcoming 25th modern-day Maryland Chautauqua, a three-day celebration of local history July 5-7To celebrate the upcoming 25th modern-day Maryland Chautauqua, Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, with help from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Maryland Humanities and the town of Mountain Lake Park, will be returning to the historic district of Mountain Lake Park on July 5-7 with a three-day re-creation of events from Maryland’s earlier Mountain Chautauqua years.
This three-day celebration will include a schedule of daily lectures, living history presentations, musical presentations, plus many more exciting events during the day and into the evening hours.
Special event additions will include the opportunity to visit select homes in the Mountain Lake Park historic district and to share personal stories connected to the development of Mountain Lake Park.
Mountain Chautauqua, the first Chautauqua in Maryland, was designed to blend religious revivalism with cultural and educational activities. Beginning in 1881 with the purchase of 800 acres known as Hoye’s Big Pasture, the first camp meeting was held in the summer of 1882.
Soon the community saw the building of cottages, a tabernacle, an amphitheater, a lake, a boathouse, boarding houses and hotels. Lasting for nearly 60 years, Mountain Chautauqua brought thousands of visitors and summer residents by train to the region.
Two local historians will help to set the stage for this event.
Historian Albert Feldstein will present a history of Mountain Lake Park, incorporating old postcards from the 1900s. These include pictures of Mountain Lake Park hotels, residential streets, boarding houses, lakes, Chautauqua locations, railroad stations and more.
An award-winning public historian, Feldstein has since 1980 published more than 30 books, prints, videotapes and DVDs depicting the history of all three Western Maryland counties — Allegany, Garrett and Washington — as well as nearby West Virginia.
His works have focused on such varied subjects as historic postcards, newspapers, floods, gravesites, women’s history, African-American history, presidential campaigns, coal mining and railroads. A 2003 effort, a political history poster titled “Buttons of the Cause, 1960-2003,” was accepted for exhibit and sale at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., from 2005 through 2013.
Feldstein has also developed five educational websites, all initiated in collaboration with the Western Maryland Regional Library.
Historian Dr. John Rathgeb will present a lecture on Civil War medicine.
Rathgeb has served on the board of the Greater Oakland Business Association, the Garrett County Historical Society and the B&O Railroad Station Committee. He has also served as a docent at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Md., and has lectured around the country on Civil War medicine.
Garrett Lakes Arts Festival would like to thank and recognize the major donors for the 2019 Mountain Chautauqua Festival Project: the Town of Mountain Lake Park, FirstEnergy Foundation and Garrett College.
In addition, this project has been financed in part with state funds from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland. And it also has been made possible by a grant from Maryland Humanities through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maryland Historical Trust in the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.