Ron Nagy's Blog

Historian • Author • Spiritualism

Purchase Books Direct from Ron Nagy

The Spirits of Lily Dale

a new book, by Ron Nagy with Joyce LaJudice.

Available now. Direct from the Author. All autograph requests honored.

Read more…

posted by tlink211 in History Topics and have No Comments

The Roof Tree…Leolyn Inn 1915

THE ROOF TREE—Leolyn Inn, Lily Dale, New York, July 1915

Published sporadically by Fred G. Andrews and Gertrude Nelson Andrews

Editors, Publishers and Proprietors “The Leolyn Inn”

Auntie Pierce is here, settled in her cottage for the summer, and hard at work on her quilts. She has two beautiful silk creations, which she pieced this past winter. The fortunate ones who secure them will be sure of health and happiness under their cover, for Auntie Pierce puts a goodwill thought with each stitch. She has now eighty-five years of stored commonsense vigor. Here are some of the things she said to me: “It isn’t years that makes you old: it’s havin’ back-numbered ideas about things.” “Some folks is more interested in being Methodists than in being Christians.” “A wedding ring and a batch of fruit cakes ain’t all there is to getting’ married.” “I don’t waste any time trying to locate hidden cussedness in my neighbors, I take’em as I find’em, If they ain’t what they ought to be, then they’re the losers.” “If some folks would give their tongues a rest, and keep their hearts busier we wouldn’t need any Billy Sundays.”

We’ve moved our print shop. The Leolyn Press has occupied a warm corner of our sunny kitchen all winter. It now has a cozy and delightful home of its own in the boathouse down by the landing. We can see the shy muskellunge beckoning us now from our door.



The old Leolyn Inn is spic and span, and ready to smile a glad motherly “howdy” to you when you come. The many rooms are cool and dreamy, and filled with the sweet odors of June roses. Wood scented breezes softly stir the curtains. Through the windows there drifts the love songs of birds. The big old porch with its many rockers waits in happy expectancy for the visits of its homecoming friends. The lawn beyond is trying to look its greenest and smell its sweetest. Across the road is Mr. Andrews garden—a most wonderful garden, as you will discover. Out in the lake “Broad water-lilies lay tremulos.” And above it all the Old Ghost pine sways its hoary boughs in an indolent reflectiveness. The new bathhouses and bathing beach at the end of the grove are complete. A new rustic and shaded pier is built, with seats where you may sit and read, or sew, or dream. A rustic covered porch has been added to the Wigwam. It all invites you to come and “lose in a summer dream all your cares.” Read more…

posted by Ron Nagy in History Topics and have No Comments

Miss Evans

I call this fine lady Miss Evans because I don’t know exactly what her first name was. She was an identical twin of her sister and very seldom were they each identified in any photographs. Their great grand-father A.H. R. Curtis was one of the founders of Cassadaga Lake Free Association, the first name of the Lily Dale Assembly. They were Alice and Agnes and have a long history of the family starting with their Uncle Albert who was in the American Civil War and was captured and died at the infamous Andersonville Prison Camp. Albert kept a War  Miss Evansdiary even after he became a prisoner at Andersonville. A copy of that diary is on display at the museum.  One sister was a nurse and one was a school teacher. They had a house in Lily Dale and stayed for the summer camp seasons. One lived in Florida and one in California. Both were never married and lived long lives. When they passed over they willed their house and contents which included a collection of memorabilia to the Lily Dale Assembly. A lot of their fine artifacts are at the museum and are now on display and can be seen off season by appointment or starting Memorial Day the museum is open Saturdays 11-2, the museum is open during season the last Friday in June to the day before Labor Day–open 7 days 11–4. After season the museum is also open Saturdays 11–2 until the third week of October.

posted by Ron Nagy in History Topics and have Comment (1)

Fox Cottage purchased by Mr. B.F. Bartlett 1915

1915…Bartlet and fox CottageThe Fox Cottage, the birthplace of Modern Spiritualism was purchased by Mr. B.F. Bartlett and moved to Lily Dale as a matter of preservation and a memorial to Spiritualism and the Fox Sisters. The Cottage was taken apart and shipped across Lake Ontario to Buffalo then trucked to Lily Dale where it was reassembled.
The Cottage was dedicated in 1916.
The 1916 Assembly program booklet states: An added attraction this season is the Hydesville Cottage, the birthplace of Modern Spiritualism, has been purchased and removed to Lily Dale, by Mr. B.F. Bartlett of Cambridge Springs, Pa. This will be a great boon to the thousands of Spiritualist and visitors who yearly come to our Assembly as heretofore the difficulty of reaching this cottage has prevented many from visiting it. Many relics and objects of interest will be on exhibition in the cottage and Miss Floy Cottrell, the most wonderful Rapping Medium in the ranks of Spiritualism will be there to demonstrate the phenomena which marked the beginning of Modern Spiritualism, as these tiny rappings came sixty-eight years ago through the mediumship of the Fox Sisters. Tragically the cottage burned to the ground in 1955.

posted by Ron Nagy in History Topics and have No Comments

Precipitated Spirit Portrait Discovered

Mr James Stone

I received an e-mail from a Librarian at Conneautville, Pa a small Western Pennsylvania town. The e-mail goes something like this: We have a newspaper article from 1993, from our director at the time that was more familiar with this then I am. We have a portrait of our Libraries founder Mr. James A. Stone. The story of the portrait is not only interesting but his eyes follow you where ever you go in the Library. The newspaper article states a séance was conducted in 1914 at Lily Dale but it could not have been that late because Mr. Stone passed away in 1900 and his wife in 1902[?] and his wife was the one who participated in the séance. So it had to have been before 1900 when Mr. Stone was still alive. Read more…

posted by Ron Nagy in History Topics and have No Comments