A little hamlet in New York State, in the township of Arcadia
30 miles east of Rochester, New York. Hydesville is considered
the birthplace of nineteenth-century Spiritualism. There—in
the house of John D. Fox, his wife Margaret, and their daughters—mysterious
rappings first took place on March 31, 1848.
The two Fox sisters, eventually joined by a third older sister living
in Rochester, asked questions to which the raps responded
intelligently. Various neighbors were called in and one displayed
great ingenuity in reciting letters of the alphabet and
eliciting responses by raps associated with letters. The raps
were a forerunner of the technique of ‘‘spirit communication’’
in the development of Spiritualism.
Hutin, Serge Roger Jean Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
In 1915 the old Fox house was purchased by B. F. Bartlett
of Cambridge, Pennsylvania, who had it dismantled and removed
to the Lily Dale Spiritualist camp in western New York.
In 1955 the building was totally destroyed by fire.
During the week of December 4–7, 1927, an International
Hydesville Memorial and Spiritualist Congress was held at
Rochester, and it was resolved to erect a 25-foot monument to
commemorate the advent of Spiritualism at Hydesville.
In 1948 a centennial celebration of the Hydesville events
was held at Lily Dale.
Cadwallader, M. E. Hydesville in History. Chicago Progressive
Thinker Publishing House, 1922.
The Centennial Memorial of Modern Spiritualism Records,
1848–1948. Lily Dale, N.Y. National Spiritualist Association of
the U.S.A., 1988.