4 Tented Classrooms

information panel in front of wooded area

GPS: 1162 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435.  Panel located directly across Circle Drive from the property.

The following is exact wording on interpretive panel #4 of the self-guided walking tour of the Florida Chautauqua Resort/Campus grounds opened in 1885 in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. This panel displays the history of tented classrooms on the grounds.

This is one of the earliest known photographs of the Florida Chautauqua resort/campus grounds before many of the buildings were complete. Tents were first erected for classrooms and accommodations. When leaders first opened the campus grounds for these tented classroom experiences, they called this “The Gulf Chautauqua,” and later renamed the annual Assembly “The Florida Chautauqua.” Despite the first classrooms being tents they were still considered “luxurious,” and the grounds were marketed as a resort as early as the first year of operations in 1885, about the time this photograph was taken.

This location is not known but local historians believe the photograph to be taken somewhere between the Chautauqua train depot and the edge of Lake DeFuniak.

Proceed to interpretive panel #5.

  • By Christopher Mitchell
  • Historical Research by Robert Daniel
  • Grant funding by the Florida Division of Historical Resources