Cool fall days are when people dream the unexpected and begin to plan for the spectacular. Most likely, one stays inside near a warm fire; a perfect place to dream on those chilly, fall days. Lakeside Chautauqua’s history began on one of those very days more than 140 years ago.

The community that emerged in the late 19th century was a pioneer of the Chautauqua Movement; one of the greatest spiritual and educational reform movements in American history. Established in 1873, Lakeside immediately drew thousands of people to the shores of Lake Erie each summer, who were seeking spiritual and cultural refreshment.

That same year, Lakesiders built the first seats and stands in Central Park, the first permanent home was built and the first 300’ dock was built to welcome those who, for years, would arrive by steamers.

Decades ago, the founders planned for the future of Lakeside Chautauqua. Today, we enter into planning for 2023, when Lakeside celebrates 150 years. For nearly a century and a half, Lakeside remains true to its original mission: To enrich the quality of life for all people, to foster tradition Christian values and nurture relationships through opportunities for renewal and growth – spiritual, intellectual, cultural and physical, while preserving Lakeside’s heritage.

We value your Lakeside story and how these sacred grounds have transformed your life, whether you are here for the first-time or have been coming your entire life. You are invited to submit your Lakeside story at, where you can also read countless other Stories from the Lake.

Throughout the next 24 months, Lakeside Chautauqua will be asking for your opinion and valuable insight through interviews, e-surveys, focus groups and a number of other formats. Your voice matters.

Visit for more information about this initiative.

Join The Front Porch conversation today! What does it mean to be a Lakesider? Tell us in the comments below.