The Pennsylvania Chautauqua EST 1892
Pennsylvania Chautauqua 125th

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Chautauqua!

For over 125 years the Pennsylvania Chautauqua has been a quite retreat where art, culture, spiritualism, nature and community come together.
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua is located in the borough of Mount Gretna, a small Victorian community founded in the late 1800’s as a summer resort. Initially the only way for residents to reach their cottages in the tree-covered rolling hills of south central Pennsylvania was to travel by train. Mount Gretna was a stop along the Cornwall/Lebanon line that has since become the Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails. Our streets were footpaths until automobiles became the mode of travel. Many of the original cottages surround an open-air playhouse where numerous cultural events are held. Our quaint atmosphere attracts many visitors every summer for music, theater, a visit to the local ice cream shop and lake, or just a walk in the woods. While we enjoy our quiet winters, we welcome with open arms the visitors who come to experience Chautauqua, stroll the tree lined streets, admire the historical buildings and participate in the variety of programs we offer to fulfill our mission.

Explore our website, check out our programming schedule, and come visit.

To support our mission please donate to the Foundation

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This Week in Mt. Gretna

What Is A Chautauqua?

Chautauqua was founded as an outdoor educational experience for Sunday school teachers by John Heyl Vincent, a Methodist Minister and Lewis Miller, a local businessman on Lake Chautauqua, New York in 1874. The summer camp format proved to be popular with families - thus began The Chautauqua Institute. After its inception the movement spread rapidly through the United States, bringing education, culture, physical and religious activities as well as entertainment to rural America. There were over two hundred Chautauquas at the height of the movement. The advent of the automobile, the radio and movie theaters caused the demise of most of the Chautauquas.

Chautauqua today is organized around its four pillars:  Arts, Education, Religion, and Recreation.  Each area is woven into the schedules of the Chautauquas. 

If you are interested in learning more about the programming offered by the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, view our Summer Programs

You can learn more about Chautauquas by visiting one of the 17 existing Chautauquas that comprise the Chautauqua Trail and by visiting the following web site. http://www.chautauquatrail.com

What makes the Chautauqua special
Quiet Time

Chautauquans treasure the peace and tranquility of our community. For many residents, relaxing, reading, reflecting, and rocking on porches is the highlight of the summer. Neighborly consideration encourages that noisy outside projects
be done September thru May, leaving the summer months and Sundays “quiet” for everyone’s enjoyment.

This Week In Mount Gretna


Phone Info
  • General Inquiries: 717-964-3270
  • Hall of Philosophy Rental: 717-507-0085
  • Summer Programs: 717-964-1830
  • Worship Services: 717-737-8133 or 717-964-3050

Mail Info
The Pennsylvania Chautauqua
PO Box 637
Mount Gretna, PA 17064

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Saving Soldiers Field
On Friday, July 20th, the stockholders of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua voted to approve the Agreement of Sale to purchase eighteen acres of Soldiers Field. What an amazing experience this has been for us to see folks from our entire area come together to support this project.
As lovers of Mount Gretna, we understand and appreciate the rich and profound history of Soldiers Field. This is our moment, our opportunity, perhaps our last chance to protect this tract of land. Preservation of Soldiers Field for the sake of our children, grandchildren and for generations beyond is a gift worth giving. Please be part of this conservation effort.

A dream becomes a reality when commitments are made… The sale price for Soldiers Field is $975,000.00 ($1,036,000.00 including closing costs). While this amount may appear overwhelming, it is achievable. To date, through funds from the Pennsylvania Chautauqua and the PA Chautauqua Foundation, plus pledges from lead givers from all areas of our community and beyond, donations total $850,067.52.
Currently, the amount collected in fulfillment of first year pledges totals $679,933.85 out of $680,033.85.

Additional monies may be realized through several grants which have been submitted. The balance of  needed requires commitments and pledges.
Our fundraiser held at the Timbers Restaurant on July 7th raised over $16,000!!

Donate Online

Please fill in the pledge card even if you are paying online

Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show