For those who know it, Chautauqua Lake can get busy in both summer and winter, the water and ice providing a welcome medium for activities of many kinds. But rarely do those who know the lake see the kind of busy that Chautauqua Lake welcomed on Oct. 16, 1879.
Chautauqua County is one of the poorest in New York state. Since the demise of a once-healthy manufacturing and industrial base decades ago, the county has increasingly relied on tourism for revenue, with the Institution as one of its most important draws.
Hobnobbing with the Clintons, Jane Goodall and Tony Bennett were just regular days in the life of Winnie Lewellen. Winnie’s career as host of the Wensley House, Chautauqua Institution’s historic guest house, spanned three decades until her death in 2006. But Winnie’s daughter, Wendy, has preserved her mother’s legacy in ink.