United Methodist House History

History and Growth

The United Methodist House was dedicated in 1888 by the two men who had been the 1874 founders of Chautauqua, Methodist Bishop John Heyl Vincent and Methodist layman Lewis Miller. A chapel was added in 1950 and the interior was renovated in 1988 for the centennial anniversary.

As the House marked its 125th anniversary in 2013, a series of events brought out supporters and friends in 18th and 19th century attire, including impersonators of John Wesley, founder of Methodism, and his mother Susanna. There was also much to eat and much talk about the House's growing programs. Space in the House is also sometimes made available to other Chautauqua groups, such as the Catholic Community, which uses the Chapel for two noon-hour lectures each week during the summer season, and the Men's Club, which has weekly presentations.

The present form of the house dates from 1999, the year the Chautauqua Institution itself marked its 125th birthday. Extensive renovations for that year included construction of four entirely new bedrooms as well as the refurbishing of the existing accommodations across the original front wing. Since then, work has continued to improve the facilities, brighten the exterior and interior, and preserve the House's historic fabric.