Glen Echo Chautauqua and Glen Echo Park Company records
Collection Scope and Content
This collection contains financial records and press books. The material dates from 1889-1953. The collection includes records created by E & E Baltzley Realty Company, the National Chautauqua of Glen Echo, and Glen Echo Park Company.
- Creation: 1889-1953
- Cook, Richard (Person)
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research.
Restrictions on Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
Historical or Biographical Note
Glen Echo Park began in the late nineteenth century as a real estate enterprise and national Chautauqua, and subsequently grew into a major amusement park complex.
In 1888, Edward Baltzley purchased 516 acres in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 1889, he and his brother Edwin founded the E & E Baltzley Realty Company and began selling the property as residential lots. In 1891, they established the National Chautauqua of Glen Echo. Glen Echo was also home to Clara Barton and the headquarters of the American Red Cross in this period. In 1903, the Baltzleys lost their holdings in a foreclosure and the property was purchased by Washington Railway and Electric Company. In 1911, Washington Railway and Electric (under the name Glen Echo Park Company) decided to run their own amusement park on the site as a way to both boost weekend railway ticket sales and use surplus electricity.
Glen Echo Amusement Park was a segregated business. In response to the February 1960 Greensboro North Carolina sit-in protests, Howard University students formed the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG) to combat racism and segregation in Washington, DC and the adjacent states of Maryland and Virginia and On June 30, 1960, 13 protesters, both Black and White, headed to the carousel with pre-purchased tickets in hand. They mounted their animals, but the operator refused to start the ride. After a two-and-a- half-hour stand-off, five Black protesters were arrested for trespassing.
The NAG activists organized picketing using well-organized lines, with daily shifts from 3pm until the park closed at night. The protesters includded White supporters from the local neighborhood and labor union members. The picketing continued until September 11, the end of the 1960 season. The protesters vowed to return the following year, but the owners announced that the park would be open to all. Glen Echo Amusement Park was desegregated in 1961. Glen Echo Amusement Park was open to everyone for eight years. The park closed following the 1968 season. It was obtained by the National Park Service in 1971.
9 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Collection contains financial records and press books. The material dates from 1889-1953. The collection includes records created by E & E Baltzley Realty Company, the National Chautauqua of Glen Echo, and Glen Echo Park Company.
Organized into 2 series: Financial records and Press Books.
The collection was donated by Richard Cook in 2005.
- Guide to the Glen Echo Chautauqua and Glen Echo Park Company records, 1889-1953
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English