The mission and purpose of the Chautauqua Historical Society is the preservation and enhancement of the historic traditions and culture of New Piasa Chautauqua, Chautauqua, Illinois, the encouragement of historical research on the Chautauqua community and nearby historic districts, the publication of historical brochures, pamphlets, and other written material on New Piasa Chautauqua, remaining permanent assemblies and Chautauquas in other parts of the United States and the national Chautauqua movement, and the establishment of an educational program to inform the Chautauqua community and the general public of the historical and educational value of New Piasa Chautauqua.
New Piasa Chautauqua has been a functioning summer resort community since 1885, when it was organized as the Piasa Bluffs Assembly. The Assembly was patterned after the New York Chautauqua, organized in 1874. At Piasa Bluffs, the mission included an emphasis on religion, education, and wholesome family life and recreation. When the original venture failed for financial reasons in 1908, it was reorganized as New Piasa Chautauqua in 1909. The mission of the community remained the same. New Piasa Chautauqua was placed on The National Register of Historic Districts in 1982.
Chautauqua Historical Society is a member operated organization that relies on its volunteers to accomplish its goals and execute its activities.
CHS is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who works closely with organization members to determine the plans and goals for the group. The current Board of Directors can be found here.
CHS is also fortunate to have a Tomlinson-Hurd Archival Intern each season. More information on this role can be found here.