a revival of the annual summer cultural gatherings
The Palmer Lake Historical Society and the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District
Rocky Mountain Chautauqua Assembly
The Palmer Lake Historical Society is proud to present the 2018 Return of the Rocky Mountain Chautauqua in our historic town of Palmer Lake, nestled at the foot of Rampart Range 20 miles north of Colorado Springs and four miles west of Monument.
The original Chautauqua Assembly came to Palmer Lake in 1886 and was an annual summer event for more than two decades. Palmer Lake hosted one of the first Chautauqua Assemblies in the Rocky Mountain West.
The purpose of the Chautauqua Assembly was to provide entertainment, education, inspiration and outdoor recreation to enrich people’s lives. The Chautauqua Movement flourished in the U.S. from 1874 into the 1920s. At its peak, over 400 locations around the country held an annual summer Chautauqua Assembly.
The Rocky Mountain Chautauqua Assembly made Palmer Lake a destination point for many. People from Colorado Springs and Denver, as well as elsewhere in Colorado and Midwestern states, arrived on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.
Palmer Lake’s Chautauqua took place in Glen Park centered around an auditorium built on what we now know as Chautauqua Avenue. Chautauqua activities included lectures, debates, concerts, campfire gatherings and burro excursions up to the reservoirs.
Many homes in “The Glen” neighborhood began as rustic tent cottages, where Chautauqua-goers stayed for the six-week long assembly. Several Chautauqua cottages eventually evolved into permanent homes where some descendants still live today.
Due to changing times, the Chautauqua eventually faded away by 1910. However, in August 2008, the Palmer Lake Historical Society sponsored a one-day event to revive the Chautauqua Assembly, followed in August 2009, by a three-date event, 2009 Return of the Rocky Mountain Chautauqua. This event included a Vaudeville show, dinner theater, old-fashioned baseball game, historical walk, nature walk, ice cream social, church service in the Pinecrest Church, Model A and T cars, box lunches and much more. The Chautauqua was also held in 2010 through 2017.
This 2018 Chautauqua will be held August 11, 2018, builds on last year’s success, which drew hundreds of people to Palmer Lake to watch and participate in activities. History-related events this year will include more interactive activities for the entire family.
So mark your calendars and get ready to enjoy history!
PALMER LAKE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Palmer Lake Historical Society/Lucretia Vaile Museum
66 Lower Glenway, P. O. Box 662
Palmer Lake CO 80133
719-559-0837 (Leave Msg)