This book is an early history of spiritualism and the beginning days at Lily Dale. Every outstanding activity of the growth of spiritualism and the beginning events at Lily Dale are highlighted including the “free thinker” philosophy and the Woman’s Suffrage movement. [many black and white photo’s, maps and playbills enhance the book]
My friend and mentor Joyce LaJudice had over 200,000 words of written and cataloged information of the early days of spiritualism and Lily Dale. I wanted Joyce and I to have it published in its entirety. She said it was not readable—meaning it was too long, uninteresting and dry. Joyce passed away in October 2005 and the Assembly Historians job was passed down to me. Joyce had been priming me for her historian’s position for several years. Now the responsibility was passed to me. I wanted to leave some legacy to Joyce’s memory and I pondered those 200,000 words. I needed to separate the mundane history and the most interesting—over and over again.
I needed to be able to connect with the average reader along with our many tourists and visitors and put together an interesting-readable history book. [Lily Dale receives almost 25,000 visitors a year] I cut 200,000 words down to 50,000 words and added black and white photo’s, maps and playbills. The “free thinker” philosophy and Woman’s Suffrage movement enhance the interest. I finally felt I had a readable history book and a tribute to my friend and mentor Joyce LaJudice. Another history book is in the works that will cover the middle years and the struggles at Lily Dale—but history and writing take time—and I have a lot of time!