The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

A Day Spent with Cynthia

Bob’s sister, Cynthia, was in town last week.  Cynthia spent the past week visiting with family members, and at least one friend, and doing genealogy research.   On one afternoon Cynthia delivered a painting by Esther Boyd of the Warren Train Station to the Warren Public Library for permanent display in the Wetmore Gallery, where it was first displayed in 1958.  Cynthia came into possession of the painting by purchasing it via an online auction.  The painting, which had been in storage on the west coast, was water damaged, had flaking paint, and was dirty.

painting1This is the condition of the painting, when Cynthia received it from auction.

painting2
This is what the painting looked like, after Cynthia had it restored by an art conservator and framed with archival materials.

Now that I have laid the groundwork for a day spent with Cynthia, I will move swiftly forward.

Bob and I accompanied Cynthia to Lily Dale, New York (official website) this past Saturday.  Lily Dale is located in Chautauqua County at the north end of Cassadaga Lake, next to the village of Cassadaga.  Lily Dale was established in 1879 and is a community dedicated to the religion of Spiritualism.  Lily Dale became the center of the Spiritualist movement when the childhood home of Kate and Margaret Fox was moved from Hydesville, New York to Lily Dale in 1916. This established Lily Dale as the home of Spiritualism in the United States.  Lily Dale is a place of pilgrimage for many Spiritualists and others interested in the paranormal. A large population of mediums and Spiritualist healers reside in Lily Dale.

LilyDaleMap
Here is a map of Lily Dale, which I snipped from the community’s official website.  If desired, you can view a larger-size map by clicking here.

Upon reaching Lily Dale, our first destination was the Leolyn Woods.

PB092847 4x6The Leolyn Woods is located in the southeast corner of Lily Dale.

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Found at the end of the Leolyn Woods is Inspiration Stump.

PB092850 4x6Cynthia at Inspiration Stump

Inspiration Stump is a spiritual retreat.  This stump dates from 1898 and is believed to be an energy vortex in the community.  According to Lily Dale’s official website, it “is not unusual to become more aware of the spiritual energies while in this open and receptive state at the Stump.”  Services are held here twice daily from late June to early September.  “Demonstrations of mediumship are presented by the mediums giving short messages to those in the audience…As well as possibly receiving a message of meaning at Inspiration Stump, you may well renew your own Spiritual energies.”  Participants in the services report that they feel an unusual power when sitting in the clearing around the stump, and that they have clearer visions and are able to meditate or commune with spirits much more easily here than anywhere else.  For the record, I didn’t feel any unusual power while at the stump.  I didn’t commune with any spirits.

Please note that Inspiration Stump stands surrounded by a metal gate.  This wasn’t the case in October 2007, when my stepdaughter Stacey and I visited Lily Dale.  That October day in 2007 was my first visit to Lily Dale.  Saturday’s visit was my second visit.

LilyDale200710_001Inspiration Stump, October 2007

After seeing Inspiration Stump, we drove through Lily Dale making a few stops along the way.

PB092865 4x6These stone structures are located next to the Bargain Shoppe at 14 East Street.  The plaque above the fireplace mantel reads: “For the communion of kindred souls”.  I attempted to find more information about these stone structures but to no avail.  Until I stepped near these stone structures, squirrels and blue jays were enjoying the peanuts and birdseed lying on top of the round stone.

PB092867 4x6A Facebook friend identified the design in this bird bath (?) as Celtic knots.  The bird bath is located on the grounds with the stone structures shown in the photograph displayed above.

Continuing on East Street we stopped at the Healing Temple.

PB092871 4x6Healing Temple

PB092872 4x6The Healing Temple dates from 1955. According to Lily Dale’s official website, it is “a place of peace for all those who come to renew their energies through  healing or quiet meditation and prayer… There is a sacredness to the energy of the Temple that many people feel just walking through the doors.”  On hindsight I wish I had determined whether or not it was possible to go inside the Temple.  I would have loved to have seen the stained glass windows from inside the Temple.

Located at the northeast corner of Lily Dale is the site of a memorial to the Fox family.  Earlier in this post I mentioned that Lily Dale became the center of the Spiritualist movement when the childhood home of Kate and Margaret Fox was moved from Hydesville, New York to Lily Dale. All that remains of the Fox home is a stone foundation upon which lies a memorial plaque.

PB092873 4x6Memorial to the Fox family

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I took a few photographs of the homes, most of which I believe are occupied by mediums, along Cleveland Avenue and Cottage Row.

PB092882 4x6PB092879 4x6

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At the northern end of Cottage Row is the Lily Dale Auditorium.

LilyDale200710_026I didn’t photograph the Lily Dale Auditorium during Saturday’s visit, so I will share with you this picture that I took in October 2007.  I did, however, photograph the mushroom-shaped gazebo shown in the foreground of this picture during Saturday’s visit.

PB092887 4x6I posted photographs from our Lily Dale visit first on Facebook and have received a few questions about Lily Dale and pictures of interest.  I trust that this blog post and the links provided herein will provide answers for all the questions from my Facebook friends.

5 Responses to “A Day Spent with Cynthia”

  1. Betsyfromtennessee

    Very interesting post. I did look at the FB photos –but didn’t know anything at all about the area. Have never heard of it… Looks intriguing…. Would be a nice place to go alone and talk with God… Looks peaceful!

    Sounds like you had fun with Cynthia.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    Reply
  2. Eileen

    Linda, what a pretty town. A lovely tour, I really like the houses you have posted. The pink/white house with the stained glass on the window is my favorite. Great series of photos.

    Reply
  3. seniorhiker

    I had not heard of Lily Dale before, but I found your pictures and the information you gave to be quite interesting. The town is very charming. The painting your sister-in-law gave to the library is beautiful.

    Reply
  4. Andrea

    Hello Linda, thank you so much for looking up for me, i certainly appreciate that. I am also touched by the pouring of concern and kind words in my post, even those who haven’t visited me before put comments. I am amazed also at my reaction because i haven’t shed some tears while watching actual footages on our local TV, but i did when reading comments from my blogger friends. Maybe because the comments are really personal, that it touched my heart. I actually posted that because i felt my blogger friends will be wondering about me.

    Regarding Lily Dale, thanks also for the information. I haven’t heard of that. I only know of the site of spiritualism to be in Arizona, where they hold big international conferences. I have some knowledge of these things too, and i laughed when you said you didn’t feel anything near their “vortex”. I guess there are people considered ‘energy-sensitive’ or those who has ESP or whose 3rd eye are open. I have some sensitivity to energies, so i somehow know, haha! Thanks and regards again Linda, God bless.

    Reply

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