Category Archives: Events

2017 Chautauquans: The Legendary Ladies ~ Helen Hunt Jackson

Helen Hunt (1830-1885) was already a critically acclaimed author when, at 43, she moved to Colorado Springs in hopes that the dry air would heal her lungs of consumption. She explored the mountains, married William Jackson, and wrote poems and stories about the West.  Inspired by Chief Standing Bear’s speech she heard in Omaha, Nebraska, she became caught up in the cause of helping the Indians and wrote Century of Dishonor. Named Special Commissioner to the Mission Indians in … Read More

2017 Chautauquans: The Legendary Ladies ~ Mary Rippon

Mary Rippon(1850-1935) was highly educated in spite of not coming from a background of wealth. Her father died when she was quite young and she inherited the farm; when the farm was sold, the proceeds of the sale were used to pay for her extensive education.  Mary was the first woman professor at the fledgling University of Colorado in 1878. She was a member of the original faculty. At that time, there were few women … Read More

2017 Chautauquans: The Legendary Ladies ~ Katharine Lee Bates

Thanks to a mother who valued education, Katharine Lee Bates grew up loving words and knowledge. She became a professor of literature at her alma mater, Wellesley College, and a prolific writer. In her quest for knowledge, she traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East. But it was her Grand Tour of America in 1893 that eventually sealed her name in the hearts of Americans. During her trip from the civilized East to the enchanting … Read More

2017 Chautauquans: The Legendary Ladies ~ Josie Bassett

Josie Bassett (1874-1964) was raised on a cattle ranch in Brown’s Park, CO.  Her mother taught her skills of riding, roping, shooting, raising cattle and a strong-willed independence.  The Bassetts lived in a world where the small ranchers battled the large cattle barons that had the political powers behind them. Josie learned at an early age that to survive, they must take beef with an outsider’s brand.  When lands near Jensen, UT opened up for … Read More

2017 Chautauquans: The Legendary Ladies ~ Announcer

The Legendary Ladies, Inc., a non-profit, educational performance organization, celebrated 25 years of living history in 2017. Originally named “The Shady Ladies of Central City,” members voted for a name change to The Legendary Ladies and focused more on historical performance. The group is comprised of about 18 women of all ages who not only portray over 40 characters, but also volunteer their time for research, script writing, rehearsal, and costume creation. In the program, … Read More

2017 Chautauquans: George Frein as Mark Twain

Mark Twain When Mark Twain married into high, back-East society in 1870 he gave up drinking and smoking and swearing. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t entirely successful.   Twain was a westerner by birth – Missouri was the western frontier in 1835. He was a westerner by occupation –  he piloted steamships on the Mississippi. He was a westerner by choice – he fled across the Great Plains and over the Rockies to escape being … Read More

2017 Chautauquans: Karen Vuranch as Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder When Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing the series of books chronicling her life, she had no way of knowing the tremendous popularity these books would enjoy. Fondly referred to as The Little House books, the stories of Laura’s experience homesteading in the American West have endured through the decades and continue to hold a place dear in the hearts of American readers. But, a further study of the life of Laura Ingalls … Read More

2017 Chautauquans: Nan Colton as Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986) was one of the first female American painters to achieve worldwide acclaim from critics and the general public. She is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.  During her marriage to Alfred Stieglitz (an internationally known photographer) Georgia lived and painted in New York while spending summers at his family’s retreat at Lake George, New York. Then in 1929 she discovered New Mexico. The magnificently colored landscapes … Read More

Two Rivers Chautauqua: “Western Voices” Event Schedule

Friday August 18 Community Presentations – Free to the Public Mesa County Libraries, Main Branch: 10:00 to 11:00 am Legendary Ladies: Straight Out of Colorado’s History, Announcer: Joyce Nelson Josie Bassett, Rancher & Rustler, Portrayed by Judie Hinton Helen Hunt Jackson, Indian Rights Advocate, Portrayed by Gretchen Payne Mary Rippon, University of Colorado’s first female professor, Portrayed by Charlene Pazar Katharine Lee Bates, Author of a Beloved American Song, Portrayed by Kyle Neidt    Colorado … Read More