An exciting mixture of education and entertainment, Ohio Chautauqua will travel to four historic communities across the state this summer. The 2017 tour begins in the village of Burton (June 6-10). Burton was founded in 1798 and is Geauga County’s oldest settlement. Like many other early settlements in the Connecticut Western Reserve, Burton has a town square patterned after the village greens of New England. Historic homes and civic buildings surround the square. The village is home to Century Village Museum, an authentic representation of a Western Reserve Village from 1798 to the end of the 19th century.
Follow the program to the village of Clifton (June 13-17), which straddles the county line between Clark and Greene Counties. Clifton was a hub for early Ohio industry and travel. The natural geography of the area provided ideal conditions for the establishment of a variety of mills. Clifton was the site of a woolen mill that furnished material for the American army during the War of 1812; Davis Mill, established 1802 and in operation today as Clifton Mill, produced meal and flour for Civil War troops. A major stop on the stagecoach trail, The Accommodation Line, which ran from Springfield to Cincinnati from 1827 to 1840, the village bustled with the commotion of travelers.
Ohio Chautauqua is a community tradition in Warren, the third site for the tour (June 20-24). Warren first welcomed Ohio Chautauqua in 2004, and has hosted the event regularly since then in its beautiful downtown park, which is adjacent to its historic town square. The county seat of Trumbull County, Warren was founded in 1798 as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Many examples of late 19th– and early 20th-century architectural styles still stand in downtown Warren, including the Trumbull County Courthouse and the Trumbull County Carnegie Law Library, in addition to office buildings, banks, stores, and homes surrounding the Courthouse Square area.
The tour concludes in Milan (June 27-July 1). Part of the Firelands region of the Connecticut Western Reserve, Milan village was platted by in 1817 on the site of a previously abandoned a Moravian Indian mission village. The birthplace of the famous inventor Thomas Alva Edison, Milan boasts a history rich in progress and creativity. The New England-style village near Lake Erie has a bustling town square, historical museums, and distinctive architecture. The village sits on the county line between Erie and Huron Counties.
The program showcases historical figures who present diverse perspectives on the natural world, including:
Marie Skłodowska Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized French physicist and chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in both physics and chemistry for her pioneering research on radioactivity. Susan Marie Frontczak brings Madame Curie to life to share how this tenacious and brilliant scientist strove to understand the invisible force of nature we call radioactivity. Read more about Madame Curie here.
Chief Cornstalk (Shawnee: Hokoleskwa) (ca. 1720 – November 10, 1777) was a prominent leader of the Shawnee nation just prior to the American Revolution. Dan Cutler’s portrayal of Cornstalk reveals how Native American practices regarding the natural world changed in the face of European colonization.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus(1818). Susan Marie Frontczak’s presentation will illuminate Shelley’s relationship with the natural world, which for her variously represented healing, romance, adventure, inspiration, adventure, terror, and solace.
Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or TR, was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States, from 1901 to 1909. Gene Worthington’s Teddy Roosevelt introduces us to this “force of nature” who believed in both preserving wilderness and making use of its natural resources. Learn more about TR here.
Dian Fossey (January 16, 1932 – c. December 26, 1985) was an American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist whose 1983 book Gorillas in the Mist brought worldwide attention to her study of mountain gorilla groups in Rwanda and her battle to save the gorillas from extinction. Dianne Moran’s dramatic depiction of Fossey uncovers a life of passion and trust that challenged the accepted role of the scientist in the world of primates in the wild. Learn more about Fossey and mountain gorillas here.
Photo credit: Janet Adams Photo