10¢ Chautauqua Tent
Issue Date: August 6, 1974
City: Chautauqua, NY
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
The Chautauqua Institution was founded in 1874 at Chautauqua Lake, New York, as an adult summer school. Tent Chautauquas were popular in rural towns in the early 1900s. They provided cultural entertainment in the form of lectures, concerts, and recitals.
The Chautauqua Institution
In 1874, Reverend John H. Vincent and Lewis Miller of Akron, Ohio, organized a training program for Methodist Sunday-school teachers. This school was held along the shores of Chautauqua Lake, New York, and called the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly program.
This summer-school program quickly moved from its original religious orientation to include music, art, and secular education, and offering credit and non-credit courses for adults. By the early 1900s, “Chautauqua” became a term for commercial traveling companies who pitched tents and presented lecturers, orators, and performing artists to rural areas.