Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The Chautauqua and the Summer School Institute at Big Stone Lake combined to bring education and enlightenment to northeastern 3outh Dakota and western Minnesota. The Chautauqua programs drew people from varying fields and backgrounds. Those on the programs imparted new information to their audiences, including those attending the Summer School Institute. Together the activities played an important role in the history of the area. Both activities have passed, but their importance remains. The purpose of this study has been to compile a selective history of the Communicative and educational efforts of the Big Stone Lake Chautauqua and the Summer School Institute in developing the aforementioned history, answers to the following questions were sought: (1) What factors were influential in the beginning the Big Stone Lake Chautauqua ? (2) What was the organizational structure? a) How was the Big Stone Lake Chautauqua financed? b) What were the major decisions affecting the organization? (3) What were the physical facilities on the Chautauqua grounds? (4) What programs were presented at the Big Stone Lake Chautauqua? a) How were they received by their audiences? (5) What information diffusion function did the Big Stone Lake Chautauqua perform? (6) What was the Summer School Institute? a) Whom did it serve? b) What were the instructional programs? c) Who were the instructors? A history of this nature has the potential of preserving a part of the history of northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota. Beyond preserving general historical data, the study should provide a partial record of the educational and communicative environment of the era. Additionally, the study may be of' value when added to the historical literature of communication and education. As mentioned above, the Chautauqua movement was massive. The study should preserve a portion of that movement for future scholars in communication. It is also hope that the investigation will leave a definitive study for. those, like the author, who did not witness firsthand its beginning or end.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Big Stone Lake Chautauqua (S.D.)

Chautauquas -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University