Stories

THE ASSEMBLY TIMELINE

1873 Crystal Lake lowered (the event is now celebrated. Check here - Archibald Jones Day)
1900 Oct. 22 Cleveland Conference authorized study for establishing summer Bible College.
1901 Chagrin Falls, OH: Cleveland Conference approved operating statement, “There ought to be some place...”
1902 May 14 — Ohio Conference of Congregational Churches approved operating statement.
1902 Volume 1 of “Assembly News” published - present format adopted c. 1913.
1902 Aug. 20-31 - First session of Bible College at Lakeside, OH.
1903 Aug. 15—Sep. 1 - Second session held at Potawatomi Point, New Buffalo, MI. Name became Congregational Summer Assembly

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1904 Aug. 7-21 First meeting in Frankfort, Michigan.
1904 Aug. 20 - Articles of Incorporation signed. State of Michigan Public Act 39, 1889 shares of stock issued.
1904 Sept. 10 -Rev. J.H. Hull obtained 90 day option on Crane tract (land east of M 22).
1904 Dec. 10 - Mrs. Crane issued indenture to Hull.
1905 John J. Hubbell, Jr. surveyed CSA property.
1905 May 6 - Contract signed for acquisition of Ann Arbor Railroad tract (larger part of land west of M-22).
1905 Aug. 16 - Rev. Hull issued a warranty deed to CSA for Crane tract.
1905 Nov. 14 - Crystalia plat (smaller part of land west of M-22) given to Assembly by court order.
1906 spring - Lodge built - first sessions at Crystal Lake that summer. Watch a short video clip about it here.

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1907 First appearance at the Assembly of the Fisk Jubilee Quartet - see their story here - The Legacy of John Work II and His Fisk Jubilee Quartet

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1908 First tennis courts (grass) constructed about this time; changed to clay later.

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1909 June 19 - Rev. Hull, CSA Secretary and Manager, wrote President of Ann Arbor Railroad informing him the Assembly had met all requirements of contract and requested a title by warranty deed be granted to the Assembly at the earliest possible convenience.
1910 Apr. 11 - Warranty deed issued to Assembly by Ann Arbor Railroad - recorded Apr. 22, 1910.
1910 Ladies’ Auxiliary (Women’s Association) formed.
1910 First automobile arrived at Assembly - Judge Washburn, owner.

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1912 Dining Hall and Bennett Auditorium opened.

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1912 July 14 - First church service held in Bennett Auditorium.

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1913 First wedding ceremony at Assembly.
1913 First reference to “Lover’s Lane” in records.
1913 August - First live theater at the Assembly. (Glen Eyrie people came across Crystal Lake by boat to reenact on the shore the “First Landing of the Pilgrims.”)

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1920 Lodge is electrified.
1923 June 20 - Post Office opened, Leslie W. Chatham, CSA Manager, is Postmaster. “Pilgrim” selected as name.
1925 About this time, Dining Hall remodeled and enlarged.
1926 Syndicate of CSA bought Larsen farm and began operation of Crystalia (Frankfort) Golf Course.

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1926 July 20 - Ladies’ Auxiliary became Women’s Association.
1929 Modern concrete highway to Frankfort (M-22) opened.
1930 During this decade, CSA Little Theatre Group did many plays.
1931 First children’s operetta performed.
1932 CSA re-incorporated as nonprofit organization.
1945 Aug. 15 - Service of Thanksgiving marked end of WWII.
1949 Polka Dot opened on lake side of Olsen’s gas station.

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1952 “Pilgrim’s Progress” a 50th Anniversary Pageant.
1954 Concrete floor added to Bennett Auditorium.
1958 Polka Dot razed; Crystal View coffee shop built on same site.
1959 February - Bennett Auditorium roof collapsed.
1959 “The Summer Outside,” it never rained on Sunday.

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1959 Final year of Lodge.
1959 Last year of full meal service at Dining Hall.
1960 Last year of partial meal service at Dining Hall.
1960 Rebuilt and redesigned Meeting House ready for use.
1961 Gilbert & Sullivan first performed - “Pirates of Penzance.”
1961 Assembly purchases Olsen property.
1962 winter ‘61-62 - Meeting House roof collapsed again.
1962 Second rebuilding of Meeting House is completed.
1966 Aug. 20 - Pilgrim Fund authorized; approved by I.R.S. in 1969.
1972 Olsen station is closed; torn down in 1977.
1974 Approximate year Pilgrim Post Office closed.
1975 First year for CSA Staff sweatshirts

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1977 “Gondoliers” began annual series of adult operettas.
1978 Educator in Residence (Gibson Series) began about this time.
1985 Endowment Fund (formerly Capital Fund) established.
1990 Ecology Committee established.
1992 Education Fund established.
2001 Centennial Celebration - A history of the first century of the Congregational Summer Assembly There Ought To Be A Place written by Russell Freeburg and performance of "There Ought to be a Place", a CSA History Musical written by Eileen Rauschert.
2006 July 14 - 1st CSA Website live at summerassembly.org.
2016 Arts Committee established.