Universityof West Florida Archivist Dean Deboltwill present “History of the Florida Chautauqua” for the January 7th First Tuesday Series program at the Crestview Public Library.
The Florida Chautauqua, held in DeFuniak Springs from 1885 to 1920, was the largest Southern Chautauqua in America and brought thousands of visitors to hear speakers and orators of the day and classes in the Chautauqua tradition. It was founded as "The Winter Assembly in the Land of Summer" following the success of the New York Chautauqua which began in 1874. Many of the homes built by Chautauqua visitors including the Hall of Brotherhood (1909) are still standing in DeFuniak Springs.
Debolt has published and spoken widely on the history of the Florida Chautauqua, as well as the American Chautauqua movement, and how DeFuniak Springs became the cultural center of Florida, propelling the state from the 19th Century into the 20th Century. He is a frequent speaker on topics of West Florida history and genealogical research.
The program begins at 10:30 a.m. with coffee and cookies served starting at 10 a.m. The library is located at 1445 Commerce Drive behind the Post Office in north Crestview. Call 682-4432.
The 2014 Florida Chautauqua Assembly will be held January 24-26 in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. For a complete schedule of speakers, go to www.florida-chautauqua-center.org.