Lily Dale Assembly: Home of America’s Oldest Pet Cemetery

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Lily Dale Pet Cemetery cat angelLily Dale Assembly, a Spiritualist community in Western New York, is home to the oldest known cemetery devoted to companion animals in the United States. It sits in the beautiful Leolyn Woods, an old-growth forest, at the back of the Assembly grounds. Spiritualists believe that mediums can communicate with people who’ve passed on to the afterlife. Just as people remember the friends and family they’ve loved, many also seek a way to memorialize animal companions who have given them so much comfort and joy in life. The pet cemetery serves as the final resting place for the pets of many Lily Dale residents, as well as memorializing other animals that have passed on to spirit.  Continue reading

Lily Dale Assembly: How the World’s Largest Spiritualist Center Came to Be

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Lily Dale signHave you ever sought spiritual guidance? Desired to receive the wisdom and reassurance of those who have passed to the afterlife? Lily Dale Assembly in Western New York creates a beautiful setting for those seeking connection with the spirit world. As the world’s largest spiritualist community, Lily Dale is a site of historical, cultural, and spiritual significance.

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The Other Fox Sisters and the Spiritualist Movement

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excerpt from A Fox Family History by Kevin A. Fox:

The Fox Sisters and the Birth of Spiritualism

There seems to be in the Fox family a strength and peculiar ability … an innate something which attracts and inspires.
—Mariam Buckner Pond, 1947

Introduction

The cottage where Margaret and Katie Fox first communicated with spirits.

The cottage where Margaret and Katie Fox first communicated with spirits.

My children grew up in Fredonia, New York, just five miles north of Lily Dale Assembly, which bills itself as “The World’s Largest Center for the Science, Philosophy and Religion of Spiritualism.” During the summer months it is the largest community of “spiritualists” in the US. The Fox sisters of Hydesville, New York are still celebrated worldwide as key figures in establishing the Spiritualism movement in the US and Europe in the mid-nineteenth century (Putnam, 2003). They are still spoken of reverently in Lily Dale, where one can see various monuments to their work—the Lily Dale Museum is filled with documents and relics relating to their lives. While I remain a curious skeptic, my daughters and their friends have more directly investigated the possibility of communication with spirits by having occasional “readings” by resident “mediums.” When they tell me the results of their readings I am often at a loss to explain how the “counselors” come by the information they seem to possess. If you travel to Western New York, I urge you to schedule a personal reading with any of the celebrated “mediums” at Lily Dale and make your own determination.

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