What is a Cottager?

Cottagers: An Historic Boulder Community

History

The Colorado Chautauqua was founded in 1898 and was a collaborative effort between The Texas State Board of Education and the City of Boulder.

Mission

The Mission of the Colorado Chautauqua Association is to preserve, perpetuate and improve the site and spirit of the historic Chautauqua by enhancing its community and values through cultural, educational, social and recreational experiences.

Arnold Sunday School

Agnes Arnold (Mrs. Henry Arnold, Sr.) started Arnold Sunday School sometime before 1922. For over 100 summers, Cottagers, their friends, guests, and Boulder community members have gathered…

History

The Colorado Chautauqua was founded in 1898 and was a collaborative effort between The Texas State Board of Education and the City of Boulder. The Texas Board of Education was eager to find an area where teachers could further develop their professional skills in the summer, without enduring the punishing Texas heat, and it was no secret that many Texans escaped to Colorado to enjoy milder temperatures and healthy, outdoor activities. After a series of visits to Colorado, The Texas Board of Education decided upon Boulder to locate a teachers’ summer school Chautauqua. Boulder City Council was not blind to the economic advantages that such an institution would bring to the community and embraced the idea. A park system did not exist in Boulder at that time, so money to buy the necessary acreage could only be secured by selling bonds with the approval of the voters. The bond election was held on April 5, 1898, and was passed resoundingly by Boulder voters.
Chautauqua was built on the former Bachelder Ranch site; its first season started with an auditorium (without walls initially), the Dining Hall, and a tent city to “house” the occupants. These tents were in use until 1916 although houses began to replace tents in 1899.
Chautauqua today is a National Historic Landmark and continues to provide educational and entertainment programs for its community and for countless visitors.

ABOVE: 1924 map compiled by the Department of Public Service, Parks Division. Courtesy the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection; used with permission. RIGHT: Chautauqua Auditorium; used with permission, courtesy Western History and Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library. All others courtesy the Carnegie Library for Local History, Boulder via the Boulder Historical Society/Museum of Boulder.

Arnold Sunday School

Agnes Arnold (Mrs. Henry Arnold, Sr.) started Arnold Sunday School sometime before 1922. For over 100 summers, Cottagers, their friends, guests, and Boulder community members have gathered at The Community House at 9:30 on Sunday mornings for worship and fellowship. Occurring several weeks each summer, members of the community participate in the service as moderators, greeters, bellringers, children’s Sunday School teachers; others may collect the offering and give benediction. Although it is a non-denominational Christian service, people of all faiths are welcome. The guest speakers aim to provide an uplifting message that will appeal to and inspire everyone in attendance.

Governance

Statement of Values

The Chautauqua experience is based on lifelong learning, love of nature, voluntary simplicity, and music, oration and the arts. Historic significance, traditions, cultural relevance, respite and enrichment are among the community benefits provided by the Colorado Chautauqua. The Corporation seeks to:

    • Foster community and fellowship among the residents, lodgers, and visitors to the Colorado Chautauqua
    • Preserve the residential cultural heritage and historic spirit of the Colorado Chautauqua
    • Develop a mutual interest in the life of the Colorado Chautauqua with the community of Boulder

Officers

The Colorado Chautauqua Cottagers Inc Board of Directors is composed of the following officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Corporation also has a representative, known as the Cottagers Representative, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chautauqua Association.

Officers of The Cottager Board serve terms of three years after which they may retire from the Board or run for re-election. The President of the Board asks for nominations for any open positions from all members in good standing, i.e., members who have paid their annual dues. Officers are elected by a vote of the membership.

Meetings

The Chautauqua corporation hosts an annual meeting for all its members during the summer of each calendar year. Current members shall receive notice of the annual meeting and other meetings of the membership through email notification, and through this website’s calendar of events.

Board of Directors

Margaret Ryder

President

Margaret is a lifelong Chautauquan, and her family has owned Cottage 4, Tehosa Lodge, for four generations. She is the owner of Kane & Co, a studio specializing in bespoke events and interior design. Margaret splits her time between Dallas and Boulder. She loves hiking, gardening, cooking, entertaining and playing games on the screen porch at Tehosa.

Susan Duncan

Vice President

Susan and her husband Baker moved to Chautauqua on a full-time basis in January 2021 from Fort Worth, Texas. Baker grew up coming to Cottage 12 in the summers, and always dreamed of retiring here someday. Susan has lived in many different places across the United States and in Europe and is very happy to settle down in beautiful Boulder. Susan loves hiking, gardening, cooking, playing the piano, and riding her horse, Petra.

Georgia Chamberlain

Treasurer

Georgia lives in Carbondale, Colorado with her husband John Foulkrod, and their black lab. Before retiring she was the Garfield County Treasurer for 28 years. Seven generations of Georgia’s family have been coming to Chautauqua since the summer of 1898, staying in the Alamo Cottage (#2) which was built by her great-grandfather Edwin Chamberlain in 1899. Georgia and John’s daughter Olivia, and grandchildren Cici and Max, lived in the cottage year-round until recently, when they moved to Gunbarrel.

Scott Simmons

Secretary

Scott Simmons is a fourth generation summer resident of Chautauqua who, as an owner of cottage 313, will be celebrating 100 years of rich family history in 2023. Scott is married to Norma, and they have one son, Ian, and daughter-in-law, Brie. A native of Texas, Scott has resided in Lawrence, Kansas since attending the University of Kansas in the 1970’s. He is retired from the Kansas Neurological Institute. Scott’s favorite activities include sailing, snow skiing, cycling, and hiking.

Jason Ochs

Jason Ochs is the current Cottager representative on the board for the Colorado Chautauqua Association. Jason is a third generation Chautauquan. His grandmother, Alice Stufflebeme, started coming to Chautauqua in 1917 and only missed one summer during WWII. Jason has continued the tradition, introducing his wife and two boys to the magic of Chautauqua where they reside full time in the summer. A resident of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Jason is a trial lawyer and principal managing partner of the Ochs Law Firm, where he practices product and injury litigation across the country.