Statement issued Friday:
Rome City, IN: Families are encouraged to celebrate the birthday of Hoosier author, nature photographer and environmentalist Gene Stratton-Porter during Chautauqua Days on Aug. 14 – 15 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Visitors can sample treats made with herbs from Gene’s gardens, listen to Bluegrass Music, explore local wildlife with Bob Walton and his educational bat and hawk and stroll the 125-acre property including Gene’s formal gardens and the Pat Bolman Heritage Tree Trail. Activities for the weekend will vary by day but include wildlife rehabilitators, children’s craft activities, historical presentations and cake to celebrate Gene’s birthday of August 17. Admission is $3 per person.
Chautauquas played an important part in Gene Stratton-Porter’s life so it seems a fitting way to honor her birthday. The Chautauqua movement was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s, especially in rural farming communities such as Rome City, Indiana. This form of adult education was called “the most American thing about America” by President Theodore Roosevelt. All Chautauqua Days activities will be held at the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site on Sylvan Lake, 1205 Pleasant Point in Rome City. For an additional $3.50, visitors may take a guided tour of the Cabin at Wildflower Woods, Gene’s second home in Northern Indiana.
Gene Stratton-Porter is recognized as one of Indiana’s most famous and widely read authors. During her life, 1863 – 1924, she wrote magazine articles, novels, nature studies and poetry; pursued nature photography; and saw her novels become motion pictures, some through her own production company. Born in Lagro, Indiana and raised in Wabash, her first adult home in Indiana is now the Limberlost State Historic Site in Geneva. The Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site features the Cabin at Wildflower Woods where Gene lived from 1914 until her move to California in 1920.