The original Chautauqua Institution was founded in 1874 on Lake Chautauqua in western New York state as a vacation school for Sunday school teachers. The idea of providing a retreat for improving religious and secular education for the general public spread rapidly throughout the nation in the 1880s, giving birth to independent Chautauquas that became platforms for discussion of the latest thinking in politics, economics, literature, science and religion. The first Florida Chautauqua convened on the banks of Lake DeFuniak in 1885. It was the second Chautauqua founded in America and was one of many nationwide that attracted noted educators and famous lecturers. The Hall of Brotherhood, containing an auditorium seating 4,000 people was completed in 1910 at a cost of $28,000. By the beginning of the 20th century the national Chautauqua movement had declined and the Florida Chautauqua closed in 1920. The Hall of Brotherhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, but in 1975 a hurricane destroyed the auditorium wing and severely damaged the rest of the structure. Since then, there has been an ongoing program to fully restore the building.