Chautauqua Serenade

Violinist Ruth Bowers on Tour 1910 - 1912

Ruth's Scrapbook: During her 1911 and 1912 tours, Ruth traveled with a camera and took numerous photos of the people and places involved in her performances. In addition she wrote numerous letters home and collected postcards and Chautauqua brochures related to her journeys, all of which she preserved carefully to remember this special time.
Grandson Jay Sherwood remembers: "Ruth had a photo album of her 1911 and 1912 chautauqua tours. Occasionally she would bring it out and talk about her experiences. The pictures of the crew boys always brought a smile to her lips and a twinkle to her eyes. It was a joyous time for her—the wonderful people that she met and the friendships she made; the opportunity to travel; and above all else, the chance to play her violin to audiences that were glad to hear live musical programs."
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Crew boys

Photo: The crew boys setting up a chautauqua tent.

 
Letter from Rock City Iowa

Letter: Ruth wrote to her mother from Rock City, Iowa, in January 1910 while on tour with the Ramos Spanish Orchestra.

 
Lincoln Park

Postcard: Lincoln Park, Kansas. Ruth noted there were 208 autos at the park on the day she performed in August 1912.

 
C Edward Clarke relaxing

Photo: C. Edward Clarke, the Canadian baritone, relaxing, while on tour during the summer of 1911. Ruth enjoyed her work with Clarke and learned much from this veteran performer, the co-leader of the Clarke-Bowers Company.

 
The Weatherwax Brothers

Photo: The Weatherwax Quartet (from left to right Asa, William, Lester, and Tommy) outside the small chautauqua tent where performers got ready for their programs. The four brothers from Iowa usually appeared in towns one day ahead of the Clarke-Bowers Company on the Redpath-Vawter tour of 1911.

 
Eugene Laurant

Photo: Eugene Laurant, the famous illusionist, with whom Ruth's company often shared the program during 1912. Laurant was considered by many to be chautauqua's best magician. He toured with chautauqua for about 20 years, and was elected to the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame.

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Author: Please send email to jaysherwood@RuthBowersMusic.ca Copyright Jay Sherwood 2015. All rights reserved.