Marion Ballou Fisk Papers
Scope and Contents
Charles Leon Fisk trained as a minister. While a student, during summers, he performed with the Hesperian Quartet on the Redpath Chautauqua circuit. A few years later, when he became ill and his recovery period was uncertain, his wife, Marion Ballou Fisk, polished her drawing and public speaking skills and developed a career as "Cartoonist - Lecturer - Entertainer," offering lecture programs such as "Americans in the Making," "American Beauties," "New England Folks," and "Cap'n Tommy," an illustrated sermon. She was an active tour performer from 1908 until 1926.
The present collection, presented by her grandson Walter Fisk Giersbach, offers paricularly rich insights into the work of a Chautauqua performer. Mrs. Fisk's letters to her family are full of detail, and the records include photographs, promotional brochures, notes from which she developed some of her lectures, a published article and pamphlet, and programs. Making use of transcriptions begun in the 1970s by his mother (who also performed briefly on the circuits), Mr. Giersbach transcribed much of the material in the collection, and it has thus been possible to link the full content, in digital format, of many items to this page. The original artifacts, of course, reside only in the Libraries.
Ballou Fisk was a performer on the Chautauqua circuits, 1906-1926.
- Fisk, Marion Ballou (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.
0.50 Linear Feet
Photographs in Boxes 1 and 2. other_unmapped
Language of Materials
About 1909, Marion Ballou Fisk polished her drawing and public speaking skills and developed a career as Cartoonist-Lecturer-Entertainer on the Chautauqua circuits. She continued to appear through the 1926 season, becoming a popular and sought after performer. This collection includes her letters to her family, photographs and promotional materials, and a group of her original pastel drawings. The collection also includes a few items related to her husband, Charles Leon Fisk (1868-1933), who was also briefly on the circuits as a member of the Hesperian Quartet.
Method of Acquisition
The Fisk Papers were the gift of Walter Fisk Giersbach, grandson of Marion Ballou and Charles Leon Fisk, in 2003.
- Sid Huttner
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note