#12 – The Auditorium
Across the road and a little south, you will find Marker #12, and the premier gathering spot for the resort.
Begun in early May of 1894, the Auditorium, like the Hotel, was completed in time for the first day of the first summer program on July 18th. From its earliest days, it has been the home for worship, educational programs, music, drama, the infamous Variety Shows showcasing Epworth talent, and various other entertainments.
The picture below on the left shows the stage and some of the original chairs, which could be arranged to accommodate as many as a thousand people. When the chairs were replaced by the current seating, they were sold to interested parties. Many a cottage has a few of them still in use. The picture on the right was taken in 1896 at the annual Recognition Day. Clothing has certainly moved in a more comfortable direction since then!
Over the decades, landscaping has changed, the parking area has been paved, and lighting and sound systems have been added and then improved. A recent addition is the arrangement of engraved bricks in the patio outside the entrance, each a record of Epworthians who have cheerfully donated to maintain this historic structure and others on the grounds. But by and large, the Auditorium looks much the same as it did for its inaugural season, both inside and out. It remains a cornerstone of the Epworth mission and experience.