Second in a Series; Written by Lori Youse
That first Maryland Chautauqua program was held in Mountain Lake Park in the summer of 1882, seventeen years after the end of The Civil War. The B&O Railroad, once instrumental in transporting Union troops and supplies, now proved valuable in helping to develop Mountain Lake Park and the Mountain Chautauqua. B&O trains soon ran several excursions a day as they transported folks traveling to this mountaintop retreat in search of cool mountain air and a blend of cultural, educational, and spiritual activities.
One of the early leaders during those beginning years was John F. Goucher, a Methodist minister whose influence was integral, not only to the immediate area and development of Mountain Lake Park and Mountain Chautauqua, but also to regions far beyond the borders of Garrett County.
At the same time that the population of summer residents and visitors to Mountain Chautauqua was changing the county’s economic and cultural landscape, in the surrounding regions, the coal mining industry was also playing a role in the economic and cultural development of the area. All of these impacts remain an important part of Garrett County history today.
During the July 5-7, 2019 celebration of the 25th modern day Chautauqua, slated for a return to its origins in Mountain Lake Park, visitors will be transported back in time to those early years of the Mountain Chautauqua as themes of the Civil War, early Chautauqua leadership, and impact of the coal mining industry will be explored
NcNeill’s Rangers and the Capture of Union Generals Crook and Kelley
February 21, 1865, 3 a.m., Cumberland, Maryland
A band of 65 Rebel horsemen silently makes its way down Greene Street. Thinking that the riders are disguised Union scouts, the few Union soldiers out that bitterly cold morning pay little attention to them. In the meantime, in and around the town, over 3,500 Yankees are peacefully asleep.
But within the next half-hour, the McNeill Rangers had taken Union generals George Crook and Benjamin Kelley from their hotel beds and spirited them out of town. Despite a determined effort by Union pursuers to intercept the raiders, by that evening they had reached safety deep in the South Fork River Valley, over 50 miles away. Not long afterward, these two Union generals became guests at Richmond’s Libby Prison. Southern General John B. Gordon later called the mission “one of the most thrilling incidents of the war.”
Steve French, author and nationally known expert on Confederate guerilla warfare, will present a lecture on McNeill’s Rangers and their role in the capture of Union Generals George Crook and Benjamin Kelley. The talk will focus on the events leading up to the raid, the operation itself, and its aftermath.
A Hedgesville, WV native, Steve French is the author of the multiple-award winning Imboden’s Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign along with Rebel Chronicles: Riders, Scouts and Train Robbers of the Upper-Potomac, and the recently released, critically acclaimed Phantoms of the South Fork: Captain McNeill and his Rangers. He is also the editor of Four Years Along the Tilhance: The Diary of Elisha Manor. The author of more than 100 historical articles, his stories have appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Times, Gettysburg Magazine, and Crossfire: The Magazine of the American Civil War Round Table U.K.
French’s writing awards include the 2008 Bachelder-Coddington Award, the 2009 Gettysburg Civil War Round Table Book Award, the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal, and the Hagerstown Civil War Round Table’s 2016 Henry Kyd Douglas Award. He was the 2014 recipient of Hedgesville High School’s Alumni of the Year.
Family History: A Treasure of Memory & Imagination
Professional storyteller Fanny Crawford will be presenting the story of her great grandfather, T.H. Barnes, as part of the Chautauqua 2019 program in Mountain Lake Park, MD. Fanny Crawford begins this presentation portraying her great-grandfather, T.H. Barnes, as he reminisces late in life on his experience as the son of an escaped African American slave, as an orphan educated in a religious community in New York City, as an apprentice barber in the small towns of upstate and western Pennsylvania, meeting and influenced by some of the great thinkers and orators of the late 19th and early 20th century and reaching eventual success as a businessman and community leader. Through audience interaction, first with the historic character and then with the performer herself, the session segues to ideas and strategies for sharing family stories, artifacts and historical & cross-cultural narratives. Fanny’s portrayal of her great-grandfather T.H. Barnes creates an iconic American epic based on historical background information, Barnes’ own words from the autobiography he left to his family and extensive interviews with family members. Participants will consider strategies used in developing characters, voice, language, setting, context, changing or emergent values, conflicting versions of a story or character – and the differences and commonalities of print versus oral traditions of storytelling.
Crawford grew up in Philadelphia PA, learning family stories and political and cultural history from an extended circle of storytelling relatives and friends – moving to Maryland nearly 50 years ago, finding inspiration and community one tale at a time. An undergrad degree from the University of Chicago in The History & Philosophy of Religion, and MS from Hood College led to a career with Maryland’s education and early childhood community, including 22 years with the Western MD Child Care Resource Center at APPLES for Children, 12 years as Executive Director. Most of that time she directed support services for thousands of children and early childhood staff, nursery schools, day care centers and “day care moms” in Maryland’s Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties.
Retiring six years ago, Fanny parleyed a life long passion for storytelling into a repertoire of historical narratives, stories from folk traditions around the world, tall tales and original stories adapted to a wide variety of audiences of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to the Barnes family saga, her repertoire includes stories set in 19th and early 20th century New York City from the Jewish side of her family, personal stories evoking specific historical events or periods, folk tales and derivatives of those tales – such as Jack Tales retold from a female point of view, and narratives of ordinary people who were witness to important events. She hosts a weekly internet radio/podcast storytelling program at talltales.enlightenradio.org and founded the monthly Stories In The Round series, coordinating more than 40 performances in Hagerstown alone, by regional and nationally renowned storytellers. Her teachers and mentors include national and regional story masters Adam Booth, Donald Davis, Ilene Evans, Susan Gordon, Andy Offutt Irwin and Ellouise Schoettler.
John Franklin Goucher
Marilyn Warshawsky, author of John Franklin Goucher: Citizen of the World, will present a lecture on the life and wide-reaching influence of Dr. John Franklin Goucher, early leader in the development of the Mountain Lake Park Chautauqua and the Mountain Lake Park Association.
John Franklin Goucher (1845-1922) believed that the only way to meet one’s responsibilities and honor obligations was by “living a life of helpfulness.” Known as a minister, devoted family man, philanthropist, church statesman, and intrepid world traveler, he was a champion of education for all, regardless of gender, race, religion, or social class. Dr. Goucher founded and supported schools, colleges, and universities in Baltimore and abroad, and his influence continues to be felt around the world by those who attend or know the institutions that are his living legacy. Modest about his accomplishments, he nevertheless received international recognition for his work, including a town named “Goucher” in North India and special decorations awarded by the Emperor of Japan and the President of China for service to their countries. He was ahead of his time on many important issues, and some of those he addressed during his lifetime are again in the forefront of today’s news.
A graduate of Goucher College, where she majored in Classics (Latin and Greek), Warshawsky taught at a private girls’ school in Baltimore before receiving a master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University. She later received a certificate from Goucher College in fundraising and development in its professional development program, leading to a job raising funds for the Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine. Now retired, Warshawsky has devoted her time to community volunteer work in Baltimore, including serving as a director and president of the board of Historic Hampton, Inc., a partnership group with the National Park Service; as a board member of the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies; and as a trustee of St. Paul’s School for Girls.
Since the 1990s, Warshawsky has been immersed in the college’s history and often finds herself called upon as an unofficial historian of the college. In 2002, while board chair, she was invited to visit and speak at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, an institution that credits Dr. Goucher in its founding and with longtime support. In preparation for her talk, she realized how little information there was about him. During her research she learned of Dr. Goucher’s extensive international involvement in education and missionary work, and her Tokyo presentation became the impetus for further research and writing about him. She has been invited twice to speak at institutions in South Korea that have associations with Dr. Goucher.
Warshawsky’s biography of John Franklin Goucher, published in 2016, covers both his domestic and international connections.
Coal Talk: Dialogs with People from Western Maryland Coal Communities
Dr. Gail Herman will use her storytelling skills to share regional stories based on the oral histories from “Coal Talk,” which are housed in the Garrett College Library from the 1990’s. Drawing upon transcripts of interviews with Garrett County residents, she will recreate their personal stories connected to the local coal mining industry, an industry vital to the county for many years, especially during the early years of the Mountain Lake Park Chautauqua. Following her stories, Dr. Herman will guide a question and answer period in which she will involve other community members in a discussion and memories of “Coal Talks.” New stories are welcome!
The Oral History Research Project, (Oakland, MD 1991-1993)
Thirty-seven oral history transcripts and tapes collected by trained community members are stored in the Garrett College Library Coal Talk Collection. An additional thirty-nine, collected by eighth grade students are also available. A number of events were planned and coordinated to share coal miners’ stories and occupational skills.
The “Coal Talk” project includes stories and memories from Western Maryland coal communities. In Maryland’s two westernmost counties, Garrett and Allegany, coal mining families evolved a culture linking life above and below ground in towns that are now sometimes hard to find on maps. The life and work underground stretched from Maryland into West Virginia.
A display of Coal Talk photographs and artifacts was exhibited in the Garrett College Art Gallery. Today, that display and the Coal Talk Project are housed in the Garrett College Library, McHenry, Maryland.
Presently Dr. Herman is on the board of The National Storytelling Network and has been a professional storyteller of over 40 years. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in Curriculum and Instruction: Talent Development, and Masters degrees in Speech-Theatre and Aesthetics in Education from UMASS. She performs for children and teachers in schools, libraries, civic organizations, and businesses. She has an award winning CD, has published stories in anthologies and performed throughout the US and on four continents, including Europe, Africa, and Asia. Besides teaching for public schools, Dr. Herman taught storytelling and kinesthetic learning for Lesley University for over 15 years, as well as, speech communication, education, G/T, and creative dance, acting & arts courses for five other colleges. Her students have published books, articles, and CD’s. Her research in oral history includes “Coal Talk,” which is housed at Garrett College, a college in Maryland’s coal mining district.
Dr. Herman has published stories: “The Four Wise People” in an anthology called Spinning Tales; Weaving Hope: published by New Society Publishers and “Juan Bobo and Sisi” in an anthology called Joining In: Audience Participation Stories and How to Tell Them published by Yellow Moon Press. Her book Sylvester and the Grumps was published by the Garrett County Head Start. She and her husband wrote and published Mischievous Martha, stories about her mother-in-law’s orphanage experiences.
Her CDs include Creatures of our Minds Eye (1986), Songs and Stories of Creative Creatures (2007), and Stories from the Tall Tale Liars’ Festival (1997).
Dr. Herman has also written stories, articles about creative storytelling, art, creative movement, and gifted students in such magazines as Better Homes & Gardens; Parenting For High Potential; The National Storytelling Journal; The Roeper Review; Teacher; Early Years; Gifted Child Today; and Art Teacher. She also wrote columns on the arts in Teaching for High Potential. Her chapters are found in the following books: Active Learning; Tales as Tools; Nurturing Gifts and Talents of Primary Grade Students, and Telling Stories to Children published by the National Storytelling Network. Dr. Herman is a contributing author for the book The Storytelling Classroom: Application Across the Curriculum published in 2006 by Libraries Unlimited.
During this three-day celebration visitors will have the opportunity to view homes in the Mountain Lake Park historic district on Saturday, July 6. Visitors are also invited to view a documentary entitled Chautauqua Stories and to share their own personal stories and connections to the Mountain Chautauqua. For more information, visit the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival website at www.artsandentertainment.org.