Writing into the Light…

Finding my way with words…

July 4th in Ocean Park, Maine


One of the best days of the year, when you live by the sea in a town that originated as a Chautauqua in 1881 is July 4th.  Ocean Park, Maine is one of more than 350 assembly centers generated from the camp meeting movement in the late nineteenth century.  These assemblies were dedicated to self-improvement through religion, education, cultural enlightenment and entertainment and recreation. A few of these communities still exist across America.  While many of the original Chautauquas originated with a link to a specific religious group, those remaining are now non-denominational. One thing most of these assemblies have in common is that they were created near water, sitting within groves of trees and located along the railroad for ease in transportation.

The history of the Chautauqua Movement in America, and the story of those communities that have survived is fascinating.  Take a few minutes to explore this piece of Americana.  The mission of self-improvement and family values is still strong.  In Ocean Park generations come from all across America, Canada and Europe to spend time within the comfort of a town that seems, in many aspects, to be frozen in time.  It is a place that is still guided by a mission and by-laws that were created by a community dedicated to individual growth in education, culture and the examination of moral and ethical beliefs within a recreational environment.  Enjoy some scenes from our traditional Independence Day Parade!!  I hope you had a day full of community as well…

Photos courtesy of the Ocean Park Association.

Author: Carol R Craley

I am a former Philadelphia suburbanite who moved to Maine in 2002 ~ a former art educator ~ former school administrator ~former college and graduate school instructor ~ a writer ~an artist ~ and a photographer. I am currently mom to two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels named Emma and Sara and a rescued kitty from Georgia ~ so that is her name. I am inspired by nature, great music, art and great literature ~ that's what inspires me. I have recently made move the coast of Maine to the coast of South Carolina. I am intrigued by the differences in the history and culture of the south in America. I am learning much, and excited by all I still have to learn.

13 thoughts on “July 4th in Ocean Park, Maine

  1. I love Ocean Park, Carol, and am glad you are in such a lovely place. We had a great 4th of July in another original Chautauqua–Lake Naomi–in Pocono Pines, PA. Independence Day is such a great family holiday, wherever you happen to be in America. Thank you for the photos of your 4th of July parade!

  2. This makes me a bit homesick. I love and miss Ocean Park! But there was a fun parade here yesterday, too, that I enjoyed very much. Still, there’s no place like Maine in the summer!

    • You have left many footprints in the sandy beaches of Ocean Park… and in the hearts of those you met while a “Main-ah.” We miss you too. Thanks for introducing us “Easterners” to life on the west coast…

  3. Great discovery! We had a chance to whip together a float in Deer Isle and do the parade thing!
    Fireworks that night postponed due to fog.
    Great day!

    • Deer Isle is one spot on my “wish list.” I have traveled the coast of Maine to Bar Harbor, but have yet to visit Deer Isle. I will get there! Thanks for stopping by my blog, glad you had a great day on the 4th… it’s the small community traditions that make all the difference! Congrats on putting together a float!!

  4. Hey, Carol, Sorry I’m late getting over here. I’m behind in most things this summer, but having a good time. It looks like you are too. I’ve always wanted to explore Maine. Thanks for the virtual vacation.

  5. I didn’t know about the history behind Chautauquas, Carol, so thanks for the lesson. My Boston kids have just discovered Ogunquit after years of me telling them how sweet a little town it is. They have always loved the Cape, but it is too hard to get to because of traffic for them to take a day trip, but Ogunquit is less than an hour and a half away. I like thinking of them enjoying a place I have always lived. Maine is one of my favorite states. Loved your pictures! Aren’t small towns great!

    • I am sure your kids have discovered that the word “Ogunquit” means “beautiful place by the sea” and it truly is! Beautiful beach, breathtaking cliffs with pounding surf, great art, shopping and food. Then there is the Ogunquit Playhouse for summer theater. What more could one need?

  6. Susan, I have been to quite a few over the years, always a good time! Summer theater in southern Maine is wonderful – a tradition I am sure that started with the Ogunquit Playhouse. After your foot heals you will have to come to Maine for a visit. We can meet for a lobstah roll!! I’m only about a half hour from Ogunquit…

  7. Didn’t know! Thanks for the enlightening post!

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