Ron Nagy's Blog

Historian • Author • Spiritualism

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The Spirits of Lily Dale

a new book, by Ron Nagy with Joyce LaJudice.

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

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Mrs. Matteson–Psychic Clairvoyant Remedies

Mrs. Matteson—Psychic Clairvoyant RemediesMatteson advertisment
Recently Vincent Martonis, Hanover Historian visited our museum and donated three medicine bottles from Mrs. Matteson and her daughter Mrs. Nellie Whitcom.
Mrs. Matteson had a summer residence here at Lily Dale at the corner of Cleveland and Marion Streets, #16—currently owned by B. Anne Gehman. Mrs. Matteson resided there in the 1890’s. I was aware of this but not knowing how prominent a woman she was I did some research and found a lot of information about her. I found an obituary that follows that tells more about her life. Much more has been discovered about her life although with space permitting I only entered the highlights.

“The Illustrated Buffalo Express” [Buffalo, Erie Co., NY], Nov 1913 [no dateline], p. 10: Read more…

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Body Located… “a psychic reading”

I am often asked what were readings like in the “old days” – the beginning. I found this article from the Jamestown Sun March 31-April 9th 1890 in one of my old files. A reporter went to Maggie Turner who lived just on the edge of Cassadaga NY on what is now Dale Drive. I felt this may be of interest and also because it made the front-page news.


Miss Lillian Peterson a young woman from Jamestown, N.Y. went missing the last week of March 1890. A diligent search with drag and explosives failed to reveal the body of the girl in the inlet. Detective Wilber stated that the lapse of time we can hope the girl will be found alive and well. A young lady who worked beside her in the mill stated Miss Peterson’s home life was one of unusual serenity after rumors circulated she had suffered a cruel home life. Theories and rumors having all came to naught; the Jamestown Sun was induced to contact clairvoyants. Read more…

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BLESSINGS TO ONE AND ALL…another season has come and gone

gate house extensions 2The Religious Society of “Free Thinkers,” originally based in Laona, New York, came to the shores of Cassadaga Lake in 1871 to hold picnics in a place called Alden’s Grove.  Alden’s Grove has now been renamed Leolyn Woods, a protected woodland on the grounds of the Lily Dale Assembly.

Through a progression of events, which only God and Spirit could provide, summer meetings, and eventually an entire camp season, were held on the shores of the lake.  Finally, in 1879, “The Cassadaga Lake Free Association” negotiated a purchase of land on the lake, preparations began, and the first official season at the new site ran for a few weeks in 1880.  By 1893 a hotel, auditorium, library, school, post office, and assembly hall were in place along with over 200 cottages; 40 families resided on the grounds year round.  During that time of growth, such notables as Susan B. Anthony began to make regular visits to the grounds.  Anthony came to Lily Dale to speak when difficulties arose with her appearance at Chautauqua, and she was so pleased she returned time and again. Read more…

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Western New York’s most unusual destination celebrates 135 years

LILY DALE, N.Y. (WKBW) – Lily Dale is a one of a kind destination that thousands of folks find their way to every year.

Sandy Eppinger grew up there and she comes back every year. She says, “It was the most fabulous place to live as a child.”

Some people visit Lilly Dale to communicate with their “dearly departed” through spirit mediums. Ron Nagy, town historian and curator of the museum, says that strange things sometimes happen here but he’s used to it now. He’s been a Lily Dale resident for 15 years.

In the museum, Ron says he’s seen objects move and even been “nudged” by one of his favorite, now deceased mediums. One of Ron’s talents is the ability to unconsciously bend spoons. He teaches a workshop on how to do it. The next one is coming up August 20.

Lily Dale is open daily and you can find out more about their day to programs at their website


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