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Defuniak Springs, Florida Chautauqua Program

Chautauqua hall of Brotherhood

For More information on the Florida Chautauqua program, visit these websites:

Two Chautauqua Events are held annually:

The Florida Chautauqua program, in operation from 1885 to 1922, provided education to hundreds of thousands of people. The programs were held initially in tents and buildings near the lake. This continued to be true until 1909, when the Chautauqua Auditorium was built, at a cost of $28,000.

The program from 1910 refers to "The new Hall of Brotherhood, which has just been completed, containing the 'Yale Hall,' 'Washington Hall' and 'Hall of Scottish History and Literature,' fills a long felt need in the daily life of the Chautauqua. This will be the regular meeting-place for the morning devotional hour and for the regular afternoon lectures other deliberative bodies not desiring the use of the large auditorium. It will also be found very convenient for class work along various lines."

A 1926 program provides even more background on the landmark: "The Auditorium, the largest Chautauqua amphitheater in the Southland, is fitted with modern conveniences and fully equipped with electrical lights with dissolving color effects and foot lights for the presentation of plays and grand concerts. The seating capacity is near four thousand, the stage alone is capable of accommodating one hundred actors."

The late Hon. Wallace Bruce, for many years President of Florida Chautauqua, was instrumental in erecting the present auditorium knows as the Hall of Brotherhood."

"The Dome was dedicated to the Soldiers and Sailors of the Republic, the lantern above the Dome to the Light of Christian Truty and the columns on the outside of the building represent the Presidents of the United States."

At the dedication of this building the following eloquent words by the late General John B. Gordon, as he laid the corner stone, are most appropriate: "The Hall of Brotherhood tells the story. Every beam and timber, each brick and stone that shall complete its structure, from this supporting cornerstone now laid to its finished turret, will speak to coming generations of the sentiment that suggested it. American brotherhood, a reunited country, on which depends not only the life and perpetuity of the Republic, but the welfare of universal humanity, are the glorious realities which this Hall is to represent. In the name, therefore, of every state in this Union, and of our priceless freedom, invoking Heaven's blessing upon it, I dedicate this spot where the Hall of Brotherhood is to stand a holy invocation to the everlasting fraternity of the American People."

A large portion of the auditorium was severely damaged during a hurricane in 1975 and was subsequently removed. But remaining portions of the building have been restored and continue to serve as a focal point of the community, being used for a variety of activities. Please click here if you would like rental information



For More Information regarding accommodations or Dining call: 850-951-2233

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