Our Historical Markers across Nebraska highlight fascinating moments and places in our state’s past. Today we’re focusing on the largest Chautauqua Pavilion in Nebraska, which has hosted speakers like William Jennings Bryan and Robert F. Kennedy.
From the early 1900s through the mid-1920s, summer circuit Chautauquas brought culture and entertainment to communities across the U.S. The Hastings Chautauqua Association constructed this pavilion in 1907. Local architect C. W. Way designed it to resemble a large meeting tent. Seating 3,500, it was the largest pavilion in Nebraska. Notable speakers here included William Jennings Bryan and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The pavilion, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was partially destroyed by arson in 1992, but was rebuilt in 1993.
Black and white photographic print of a group of Native Americans performing a dance at a Chautauqua event in Hasting, Nebraska.