Photo Record

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Title "Lake Pleasant, [MA,] Camp-Meeting."
Place Lake Pleasant, MA
Catalog Number noc004407
Accession number 1951.004407
Object Name Stereograph
Description In August 1879 North Family Elder Frederick Evans and Brother Emil Bretzner traveled to the Spiritualist Camp Meeting held at Lake Pleasant, near Greenfield, MA. The following August a much larger contingent of Shakers went to the meeting. Elder Giles Avery of the Mount Lebanon Ministry writes: "We [the Lebanon Ministry] are to start for Shirley, direct, tomorrow morning, the 17th inst., and, as a company of 30 Brethren & Sisters start out for holding a meeting at the Camp Council Grounds of the Spiritualists of many of the eastern states at 'Lake Pleasant' -- A station 6 miles east of Greenfield, Mass. On the Line of the Troy and Boston R. R. -- the Hoosic Tunnel route, and this is the most direct route to Shirley, we propose to accompany them, making 34 Shakers, we have chartered a car, -- We may stop at the meeting 2 half days and one night, then move on to Shirley." [OClWHi, Shaker Collection, mss. no. IC:A-44; letter from Avery to Elder Austin Buckingham, Watervliet, NY, August 17, 1880] At the meeing on Wednesday, August 18, "The Shakers were present in force, and conducted the exercises both morning and afternoon. Elder Evans, Elderess Doolittle, and other members of the party spoke. The singing was a novel portion of the exercises. elder Evans is a radical speaker, and some of his remarks were laudly applauded. The audiences were very large during the day." Source: Emma Hardinge Britten, "Spiritualist Camp Meetings," Nineteenth Century Miracles; or, Spirits and Their Work in Every Country of the Earth ... New York: William Britten, 1884, pp. 542-550.

Of note: The tent in front of which the Shakers were photographed belonged to Dr. Joseph Beals. Beals, a dentist who dabbled in photography, was one of the founders of the Camp Meetings at Lake Pleasant in 1874.

One of the interesting consequences of the Shakers assembling at Lake Pleasant was the development of a plan to found the "Gospel Grange," an organization to be comprised of Shakers and non-Shakers, managed by the Lebanon Ministry, for the purpose of raising money to build a new dwelling house for the Shakers at New Gloucester, Maine. The plan, described in a pamphlet written by Eldress Mary Ann Gillespie and Eldress Polly J. Reed (Richmond 722), appears to have failed because individual Shakers did not have money to contribute.
People Sears, Florinda (1825-1901)
Hazard, Mary (1811-1899)
Lapsley, Tabitha (1819-1900)
Photographer Frank Crosier
Provenance This stereograph was presented to the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon by Nora Mallory.
Collection Photography, Primary
Number of images 3
Year Range from 1879