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  • Writer's pictureTami Fuller

Little's Little Journey to The Inn: The Path to the Appian

We are pleased to announce that the next Little Journey lecture in our returning Little Journey Speaker Series covers a topic of significant local interest: RALA’s storied Appian Way on the Historic Roycroft Campus.

Early RALA member, original Appian Way architect and RALA Patron Michael Starks will present The Path to the Appian on June 13, sharing with the public for the first time the origins of the Appian Way on South Grove. The Appian Way, originally constructed in 1908, was refurbished, rebuilt and rededicated by the Roycrofters at Large on June 19, 1999, bringing back this vital piece of East Aurora Roycroft community from disrepair. Since that time, it has served as a mainstay of the Campus and until last fall when stewardship was benevolently transferred to the safekeeping of the Roycroft Campus Corporation, was managed entirely by non-profit efforts by RALA and charitable donation by Roycroft Renaissance Patrons. 

Starks, Appian’s original creator, will share history, schematics, personal recollections and regale attendees with stories of both the early construction of the Appian and the restoration of our beloved campus at 31 S. Grove Street.

This presentation is scheduled to supplement the Historic Roycroft Campus Founders Day celebrations in the month of June and to acknowledge and honor the legacy of RALA visionary and founder Kitty Turgeon, as 2024 marks the 10th anniversary of Turgeon’s passing in 2014. Starks and his wife Sandra shared a close personal relationship with Kitty and were instrumental in early work to secure and safeguard the Roycroft Campus and establish the Roycroft Renaissance in 1976. They bring with them works and treasures from their personal collection and items from RALA archives, together with personal stories that connect us all.

Stark’s lecture will take place from 6pm - 7pm in the Salon of The Roycroft Inn. The Inn will host a relaxed start to the evening with a 5:00 PM - Happy Hour in the Lounge with cocktail and drink specials before the main event. The presentation will be followed by a period of informal conversation and socializing in the Lounge before dinner. Guests who attend Little Journeys receive 10% off of their dinner at The Roycroft Inn that evening beginning at 7:15 p.m. by mentioning Little Journeys when making a reservation. 

RALA’s Little Journeys connects Roycroft Artisans with the community by offering artist talks, demonstrations and lectures in the Masters’ mediums that educate and create opportunities for collectors and members of the Roycroft community to connect with the modern Roycroft artists, and serves as a homage to Elbert Hubbard’s original Little Journeys, small trips to artists of note that shared intimate glimpses behind their process and lives. For years, this series was an important part of RALA’s presence on South Grove, and offered “show and tell” by Masters and Artisans, Artisan Forums and visiting nationally known speakers. RALA is proud to bring this lecture series back to its birthplace at The Roycroft Inn with this powerful walk down East Aurora’s favorite memory lane as its third installment. 

For more information, see the official event on socials Here. Help us spread the word on social media by sharing. Thank for your support of the Little Journeys.

The next Little Journey on August 8 will be a joint presentation by Grace Meibohm of Meibohm Fine Arts and Artist Constance Payne. Meibohm and Payne will present a Little Journey to the World of Fournier under his murals in the Salon to celebrate Meibohm’s landmark exhibition of work by Fournier in the month of August. Additional collaborative programming by RALA, Meibohm and The Roycroft Inn will occur in August, and will be announced at a later date this summer.

Mark your calendars for the 48th Roycroft Summer Festival: This year's Summer Festival will be held on June 29 and 30 at the Classic Rink on Riley Street in East Aurora. This weekend also marks an unofficial festival of arts weekend for East Aurora; the Historic Roycroft Campus hosts its Campus Arts & Antiques Show on South Grove Street and the East Aurora Art Society holds their annual show at the East Aurora Middle School.

Follow the Roycrofters-At Large Association’s social media pages at Facebook and instagram, @roycroftartisans, for updates and information. 

Featured Image: The Appian Way and Print Shop at South Grove, Digital photograph, by Peter Potter.

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