Since it first opened in 1874 Chautauqua Institution has been an important part of people’s lives, and that was true of the Alden family. We can’t know exactly when Isabella and Reverend Alden first became involved with Chautauqua, but we do know that within one year of the assembly’s opening, the Aldens owned a cottage on the grounds.
For the next twenty years, Isabella and her husband dedicated their summers to Chautauqua, teaching classes, organizing events, and working to promote Chautauqua’s ideals.
Just two years after Chautauqua first opened, Isabella published Four Girls at Chautauqua. That popular novel inspired generations of readers to experience Chautauqua for themselves, and attendance numbers bloomed.
Reverend Alden was also an active ambassador for Chautauqua. He was a member of the Minister’s Council and conducted training classes for his fellow ministers.
He worked where he was needed, which meant he sometimes taught classes or led Chautauquans in prayer at opening day ceremonies, as he did in 1894:
He also traveled with Rev. Jesse Hurlbut, one of Chautauqua’s founders. Together they visited smaller Chautauquas throughout the eastern United States to address attendees and reinforce Chautauqua’s guiding principles.
Today Chautauqua Institution is still thriving! The assembly will reopen on June 26 with a generous slate of classes, lectures, and events to fill summer days and evenings. You can click on the image below to learn more about his year’s schedule.