Special Events

Our programs are sponsored by Chautauqua Historical Society in collaboration with the New Piasa Chautauqua Program Committee.

All dates, times and locations are subject to change.  Check the weekly Channels for updates.

Events for Our 2022 Season

We had a great 2022 Season and thank everyone who volunteered to put these events together as well as everyone who attended.

June 12 – The 15th Annual Young Musicians Series

7:00 PM, Historic Kupferle Chapel

The 15th Annual Young Musicians Series will feature the Peccate Quartet.

The Peccate Quartet is a competition group of the Preparatory Program of the Community Music School of Webster University. Jointly sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis (CMSSL), the Peccate Quartet is comprised of:

  • Micaela Chyu, violin
  • Nathan Bronstein, violin
  • Delia Zacks, viola
  • Natalie Van Winkle, cello

All members are also seasoned participants in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The Peccate Quartet participated in the Midwest Young Artists National Chamber Music Competition earlier this year, and appeared in pre-concert Preludes for CMSSL, and a special concert series of their own. The individual members are excellent soloists as well, and winners of numerous St. Louis regional concerto competitions.

For their June 12th Chautauqua debut, the Peccate Quartet will perform great works of the string quartet repertoire, some duos and solos, and end with a big band medley under the stars. Featured works will be the effervescent “Sunrise” Quartet of Haydn, Schubert’s Quartetsatz, Shostakovich’s mesmerizing 8th quartet, and the energetic Dvorak “American” Allegro.

The Peccate Quartet will be assisted by Vera Parkin, Community School of Music.

Peccate Quartet

June 26 – Eighteenth Annual Platform Lecture

Stephen L. Kling, Jr.: The American Revolutionary War in St. Louis

7:00 PM, Auditorium

Stephen L. Kling, Jr., local attorney, author of several books on the American Revolutionary War in the West and co-curator of the recently opened American Revolutionary War in the West museum exhibit, will speak about Revolutionary War battles that took place in St. Louis and the surrounding area.

His 2017 book, The Battle of St. Louis was made into a historical documentary released late last year and won the St. Louis Filmmaker’s award and a Mid-America Emmy.

As a direct descendant of Joseph Robidoux, a member of the local St. Louis militia at the time of the St. Louis attack who later became a prominent fur trader and merchant, Kling speaks with both academic and personal interest in the history of the region.

The presentation will include some short videos on the museum exhibit and the documentary, and will cover some topics of local interest during the war.

His books and DVDs of the documentary will be available for purchase.

Museum Exhibit

July 8 – Chautauqua Night at the Dinky Exhibit

7:00 PM, Edward Amburg Museum and Visitor’s Center, 950 East Main Street, Grafton, IL 62037

Please join the Chautauqua Historical Society for a special evening at the new Dinky Exhibit in Grafton. We especially encourage Chautauquans with memories of riding the Dinky to attend and share their stories.

In the 1920s, prior to the existence of the River Road, the Illinois Central Railroad Company utilized a railbus that operated between Alton and Grafton with stops in Elsah and Chautauqua. The original engine was a city bus configured with wheels for railroad tracks. Locals dubbed it the “Dinky”.

Grafton has created a full-scale replica of the final version of the Dinky No. 206, which rode the rails from 1939 to 1953.

The original was donated to the National Museum of Transport in St. Louis in 1953, where it remains. (No. 206 was the third and last one built.)

The Dinky

July 10 – Alleen Betzenhauser, PhD, of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey presents “Corn, Clay, and Cahokian Communities”

7:00 PM, Town Hall

Dr. Betzenhauser will share recent research in the American Bottom region of Illinois stemming from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey’s excavations at the East St. Louis site from 2008–2012 for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

She will highlight new insights about corn processing and potting practices, and how they relate to community identity during the early Mississippian period (ca. AD 1050–1200) in and near Cahokia Mounds.

For more information about Dr. Betzenhauser, please see her bio here.

Alleen Betzenhauser

August 7 – Tim Tomlinson: “The West Point of the Air”: The Story of the US Air Force Academy and Its Connection to New Piasa Chautauqua

7:00 PM, Chautauqua Town Hall or Auditorium

Tim Tomlinson, long-time CHS president, will share the fascinating story of the US Air Force’s search for a location for their academy and the role that Chautauqua and Principia played in that search.