Just a month ago, Trumbull County-based daily newspaper, the Tribune Chronicle celebrated its 200th anniversary of publication. During the Founders’ Day festivities, community members were able to partake in a bit of history – and become a bit of history – as they strolled through Courthouse Square enjoying locally-themed lectures, quilt-making exhibits, and the opportunity to view vehicles from “the olden days” all to the sounds of a “newsie” calling out the day’s headlines in old-fashioned style.
Now residents and visitors are once again invited back in time as the traveling historical group, Ohio Chautauqua, comes to town full of characters and stories of the earliest days of our state. The theme for Ohio Chautauqua 2012 is “When Ohio Was the Western Frontier” and the event will feature a week full of workshops, musical entertainment, and “living history” performances involving some of the key players in Ohio’s beginning formation.
The festivities started off on Tuesday, July 24th, with the inaugural workshop geared toward youth, “Becoming Johnny”, being presented by Hank Fincken who will portray Johnny Appleseed in his character performance at the close of the week. The first adult workshop, “Women on America’s Western Frontier”, was presented by Debra Conner who will represent Margaret Blennerhassett, a well-to-do European aristocrat with ambitions to build the biggest and most beautiful house at the farthest westernmost point of the United States: Ohio. Wednesday, July 25th, brought “Telling a Tall Tale” by Marvin Jefferson and “Three Perspectives on the Battle of Lake Erie” by Jeremy Meier. Each day features a workshop geared for the younger crowd at 11am, followed by a workshop for adults at 2pm. All workshops are held at the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library at 444 Mahoning Avenue. Then the scholars have a chance each evening to depict their well-researched characters – in full costume! – in various living history performances that will be held down the street in a big red-and-white-striped tent set up at the Kinsman House, 303 Mahoning Avenue. In addition to meeting Margaret Blennerhassett and Johnny Appleseed, us 21st-century folk can mingle with the likes of Oliver Hazard Perry, a brave Commodore in the U.S. Navy at the turn of the 19th century who became known as the Hero of Lake Erie; Chief John Logan, a Native American who befriended “the whites”; and York, a slave who eventually found freedom but not without great cost. Attendees can come early to enjoy era-appropriate musical performances starting at 6:30pm, and refreshments will be available for purchase from the Warren Kiwanis Club.
The remaining schedule is as follows:
Thursday, July 26th: Youth Workshop: A Star-Spangled Banner by Jeremy Meier (Perry); Adult Workshop: History in a Nutshell: The American Indian Perspective by Dan Cutler (Logan); Musical Performance: Bill Lewis on banjo; Living History Performance: Margaret Blennerhassett.
Friday, July 27th: Youth Workshop: Adopted by Indians by Dan Cutler; Adult Workshop: John & Johnny: Past, Present, and Future by Hank Fincken; Musical Performance: Hickory (bluegrass); Living History Performance: York
Saturday, July 28th: Youth Workshop: Inspired by Margaret Blennerhassett by Debra Conner; Adult Workshop: York, William Clark, Slavery and American History by Marvin Jefferson (York); Musical Performance: Karen Barker on violin: Living History Performance: Johnny Appleseed.
Sponsored by The Ohio Humanities Council, Ohio Chautauqua has been making its way through various historical points in the state since June 19th. Warren is the last stop on the 2012 tour, so don’t miss these exciting, entertaining, and educational experiences!