Guest Blogger: Kelly Cecora, Marketing/Digital Communications Intern
In the 1900s, the Lakeside Chautauqua community built Epworth Lodge to create a gathering place for youth to experience the four pillars of Chautauqua – religion, education, arts and recreation.
More than 90 years later, this vision that Lakeside Chautauqua originally had for Epworth Lodge continues to flourish each year.
We sat down with the Director of Operations for the Lakeside Heritage Society, Gretchen S. Curtis, to talk about this piece of Lakeside history. She shared her knowledge of Epworth Lodge and even some fun facts that were hidden in the Archives.
Here are 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Epworth Lodge:
- Epworth Lodge was built in 1919 as the headquarters and dining hall for the Epworth League, a Methodist association of young adults. The building originally cost $5,000 to build.
- The original Epworth Lodge was not built with porches. Due to a shortage of funds, the verandas were added in 1921. The south veranda, which was going to serve as a screened-in dining facility, was never built.
- Throughout the years, Epworth Lodge has been home to a variety of activities including: a dining hall, overflow dormitory, square dancing hall, storage, Lakeside Heritage Society Labor Day auction house and the C. Kirk Rhein, Jr., Center for the Living Arts.
- In 1960, the Trustees of Lakeside made plans to tear down Epworth Lodge and construct ‘New Epworth Lodge’ on the site of the old building. The new structure would have included two large, winterized dining rooms. The plans even proposed to close Sixth Street between Central and Walnut Avenues to unite the area with South Auditorium Park, and construct a sheltered passage way from South Auditorium to Epworth Lodge.
- Throughout its history, Epworth Lodge has only changed colors a handful of times. Epworth Lodge was originally painted white. The building was then painted gray and finally the bright green it is today.
What are your favorite memories of Epworth Lodge? What other Lakeside landmarks would you like to learn more about? Share with us in the comments below.