Written by: Lori Youse
The first Mountain Chautauqua was held in Mountain Lake Park in 1882, and the blend of academic, cultural, and spiritual events soon made this mountain resort a popular destination for many. During the nearly sixty years of the Mountain Chautauqua program, Mountain Lake Park had its fair share of notable visitors, many of them transported here by way of the B&O Railroad under the leadership of its president, John Work Garrett.
Those early Chautauqua years were set against the backdrop of great social and political change. One growing movement involved the acceptance of voting rights for women. By 1878, with women still not granted the right to vote, Elizabeth Cady Stanton had become one of the leaders in the Women’s Suffrage movement.
Those early years also saw the arrival of special speakers. In August of 1911, President William Howard Taft, traveled in his own special rail car to attend the Mountain Chautauqua where he delivered a speech to a sold out crowd in the Bashford Amphitheatre. Another notable visitor was the famous and dynamic evangelist Billy Sunday who came to Mountain Chautauqua to deliver sermons.
Technological advances were also creating change in the local community, one of these happening in 1883 when Alexander Graham Bell set up the first telephone line between the B&O’s Deer Park and Oakland Hotels.
At the July 5-7, 2019 celebration of the 25th modern day Chautauqua, re-enactors and scholars will assemble in historic Mountain Lake Park to portray the historical characters of President William H. Taft, evangelist Billy Sunday, B&O President John Work Garrett, and Woman Suffrage leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Also featured will be a lecture focusing on what Mountain Lake Park summers were like. In addition, a creative and fictional conversation between Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Nicola Tesla will be presented by the GaCo (Garrett County) Robotics Team.
“The Life and Times of John Work Garrett:
From College Dropout to B & O Railroad President”
Local actor John Wilson will bring to life the historical B & O Railroad President John W. Garrett, highlighting the growth of his leadership in the B & O Railroad, Confederate attacks on his railroad during the Civil War, his friendship with President Lincoln, and the legacy of being the county’s namesake.
John Wilson came to Garrett County in 1995 following thirty-six years with the Corporate Labor Relations Department of Chrysler Corporation where he was a department manager and senior labor contract negotiator. He has been acting and singing since age ten and was a primary soloist with the American Boychoir. A graduate of The College of Wooster (BA) and The University of Chicago (MBA), Wilson now lives in Mountain Lake Park with his wife Louise. John and Louise recently celebrated sixty-one years of marriage.
“Elizabeth Cady Stanton – Equality for All”
Mary Ann Jung will bring to life the historical character of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a woman who became known for her work as a women’s rights activist, abolitionist, feminist, editor, and writer.
An award-winning actress and Smithsonian Scholar who has appeared on CNN, the Today Show and Good Morning America, Mary Ann Jung has been the Director of Renaissance History and Shakespearean Language, the lead actress at the Maryland Renaissance Festival for 40 years, and directed and performed at the Florida Renaissance Festival for 10 years. The Director of Street Theater and Family Performances at ArtScape for 10 years, she was awarded a citation by the Mayor of Baltimore for her work there.
Mary Ann has performed her shows about amazing women in history many times for Chautauquas in MD, Delaware and Nevada. The Smithsonian flew her around the country for years to perform for their Teaching American History conferences. She also appears at many of their family events at the various museums including the American History Museum and both National Air and Space Museums in Washington DC and Virginia. She appears at the National Archives yearly for their Night at the Museum events.
Mary Ann has performed her lively interactive programs for 40 years for historical societies, schools, libraries and corporate events. In 2002 she won top honors for her Clara Barton Civil War show as Solo Theatrical Performance by the MD State Arts Council. She researches and writes her own scripts and performs in the authentic costumes, accents, and attitudes for her characters’ eras. Her amazing portraits of famous ladies encourage a love of history, drama, and literature in young and old alike!
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, born on November 12, 1815, in Johnstown, New York, was the daughter of Judge and Senator Daniel Cady. Lizzie learned at a young age in her father’s office that women were Not equal before the law. After graduating from Emma Willard’s Troy Female Seminary in 1832, she became drawn to the anti-slavery movement thanks to her cousin Gerrit Smith, an abolitionist and reformer.
Shortly after Elizabeth married Henry Stanton in 1840, the newlyweds traveled together to the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London where Elizabeth met Mrs Lucretia Mott. They agreed they should some time in the future work together for woman’s rights. Following their return to the United States, the Stantons had seven children and eventually settled in the village of Seneca Falls, New York. It was there that Stanton joined Lucretia Mott and several other women to hold the famous Seneca Falls Convention in July 1848. The attendees of this meeting drew up the “Declaration of Sentiments” and proposed that women be given the right to vote. News of their demands outraged many around the nation. In 1851 she met her lifelong friend Susan B. Anthony and they joined forces to fight for Woman’s Suffrage. They eventually called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women voting rights.
During the Civil War, which Stanton supported, she focused on the fight to abolish slavery. Afterwards she again continued as an outspoken advocate for woman’s suffrage, better education, and law reforms. She became the first president of the National Woman Suffrage Association until it merged with another group to become the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She then served for two years as the president of the new organization.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton died in1902, 18 years before women finally got the right to vote.
“A Presidential Visit to Mountain Chautauqua:
President William Howard Taft and his Unique World View”
For the July 2019 Chautauqua: Then and Now, William Grant will be re-enacting President William Howard’s Taft famous visit to Mountain Lake Park where he spoke to a crowd of over 5,000 people in the park’s historic Bashford Amphitheater.
A graduate from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a bachelor’s degree in history, Grant went on to Duquesne University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor and also served on the Duquesne Law Review. Recently retired, Grant was the chairman and CEO of First United Bank & Trust for over 19 years and had a banking career that spanned nearly four decades.
He provides services to many local organizations, including the Maryland Regulatory Reform Commission, past chairman of The Greater Cumberland Committee, vice president of the Southern Garrett High School Alumni Association, West Virginia Wesleyan College board of trustees, Community Trust Foundation, chairman of the Garrett Regional Medical Center Foundation, president of the Garrett Choral Society, Southern Garrett High School Improvement Team, past chairman of Leadership Maryland, board of directors of University System of Maryland Foundation, member of the Mountain-Lake Park Lions Club and many more. He has been a volunteer with the Garrett Mentors Program for the past 11 years and also volunteers at HART for Animals.
During the July 2017 Garrett County Chautauqua, Grant provided a pre-show re-enactment of Sergeant Alvin York, one of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I.
“Billy Sunday: From Baseball Playing Sinner to Crusader for Family Values”
Chautauqua re-enactor Doug A. Mishler will portray famous evangelist Billy Sunday, the dynamic and flamboyant ex-professional baseball player, as he tells the story of how he wrestled his own demons and came out of the battle dedicated to fighting society’s demons. Sunday left baseball to preach at the YMCA before moving to work with two traveling evangelists, eventually being invited to conduct a revival in Garner, Iowa. His first campaigns were held in mid-western towns. After World War I, Sunday began preaching in major cities such as Boston and New York.
Much of Sunday’s preaching was considered unorthodox. His use of rough vocabulary and his mastery of the one-liner made him famous. One of his most famous one-liners: “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.” He concluded his sermons with an invitation to “walk the sawdust trail.” Unusual for American evangelists was Sunday’s addressing of social issues. He was in support of women’s suffrage, called for an end to child labor, and included blacks in his revivals. Sunday also supported Roman Catholics and Jews.
He was, however, against card playing, movie attendance, and Roaring ‘20s fashions. Railing against the drinking of alcohol, his preaching was instrumental in getting Prohibition passed.
Since 1993 Chautauqua performer Doug Mishler has been nationally recognized for bringing history to life. A 1994 graduate of the University of Nevada with a PH.D in U.S. Cultural History 1800-1930, U.S. Social and Intellectual 1800-1930, U.S. 19th Century, Mishler has worked in a variety of academic and theatrical settings and as an artistic director for both the High Plains Chautauqua and the Nevada Chautauqua. He has also served as Administrator of the Nevada State Division of Museums and History, Department of Museums, Library, and Arts, as a program coordinator for the Nevada Humanities Committee, as a creative and research consultant, and as a Chautauqua Scholar.
Mishler has presented figures that include Nikita Krushchev, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernie Pyle, and P.T. Barnum. He has made over 800 first person presentations of over 20 historical figures, including Stonewall Jackson, Henry Ford, Issac Parker, and General Jack Pershing. He is also the founder & Managing Artistic Director of Restless Artists’ Theatre and teaches history at the University of Nevada. Like his idol T.R., Mishler believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a “real job” – but later!
“Mountain Lake Park: What Summers Were Like”
Galen Menne will present a lecture that includes a PowerPoint presentation, a display of historical postcards and photos, and a discussion of topics including events leading up to the development of the Mountain Chautauqua, travel to and from Mountain Lake Park, transportation and lodging, and methods of event promotion.
The Reverend Galen Menne is a retired pastor in the United Methodist Church, having served for 40 years. He has taught a local history class at Prince George’s Community College, is a member of the Committee on Archives and History of the Baltimore Conference of The United Methodist Church, is founder of the Savage Historical Society in Savage, Maryland, and is currently leading a History Travel Group from St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Bowie, Md.
“When Inventors Talk: A Conversation between Tesla, Edison, and Bell”
The Garrett County Robotics (GaCo) team helps the audience travel back to an imaginary point in time to 1883 when Alexander Graham Bell set up the first telephone line between the B&O’s Deer Park and Oakland Hotels.
Time travel, with a small dose of artistic and historical license, begins as Bell welcomes and encourages members to listen in to Tesla and Edison, an occasional visitor to Garrett County in the early 1900’s, as they converse over that hotel phone line. Following this fictional conversation, Tesla, Edison, and Bell will move to center stage where they will provide a brief talk followed by a question and answer session.
The Garrett County Robotics Team
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 1629, the Garrett Coalition (GaCo) is comprised of students from Southern and Northern Garrett High Schools. The team is based in Accident, Maryland, at a facility owned by Garrett County Government known as GEARS. Since its rookie year in 2005, our team has gained much recognition through our participation in the FRC program as well as our schools and community. We have a clear vision and mission that guides our many initiatives and activities. Our methods or strategies include strength through partnerships, making connections, and LEGO – our tool for engaging youth.
The Vision is for STEM Ready Kids…To have every young person in and about Garrett County achieve that “ah-ah” moment that develops his or her potential and success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM.)
The Mission is To advocate and practice STEM in and about Garrett County and be an effective leader in STEM education in Garrett County Public Schools and the FIRST Community.
• Affect our youth and community in and about Garrett County for STEM through research-based and effective initiatives.
• Strive to be competitive in all aspects of the FIRST Robotics Competition program.
• Provide the opportunity for team members to develop into STEM professionals and become leaders in STEM education.
During this three-day celebration visitors will also 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 complete schedule, click here: https://artsandentertainment.org/wp-content/uploads/chautauqua_schedule_web.pdf