Your Hometown: Spirit House in Georgetown
It's hard to believe that a small town in Southern Madison County could be the destination for thousands looking for a religious experience. However that was the case during the late 1800's. In this week's edition of Your Hometown, Photojournalist Jim Gibbons takes us to the Spirit House in Georgetown, New York.
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GEORGETOWN, N.Y. -- Spirit House is a nationally registered historic home; it is a marvel and an architectural delight. Spirit House has been called the "Wedding Cake House," it has been called "Brown's Temple" for Timothy Brown that constructed it in 1868. It was to serve as a meeting place for spiritualists during the hay-day of the spiritualist movement. Madis Senner, Spirit House Society founder, tells us the story.
He really had no basic carpenters skills, in fact people said that he was not skilled at all. But when he went to build Spirit House he testified that he was guided by spirits in its construction and its design. If you look at the design you can see right off the bat that it's an architectural marvel and he said and testified that when he went to put his hand up to chisel some place if it was in the wrong place he could not move his hand. If he put it correctly, his hand moved deftly.
He also said that he designed, as you can see the lattice or scalloped walls of sorts that are indented, things like that.
He said he was guided by spirits to do that to protect it from evil spirits. It was felt that the corners would prevent the movement of spirits and trap them there.
It was a very popular place and it served a great purpose in fostering the spiritualist religion. That became a big phenomenon, millions of converts came from all over the country and New York was particularly the hot bed, and this was one of the big places for it.
I would say this is a very spiritual place; it is a very special place. Certainly I can sense a lot of things when I go in there, but it's all very positive and loving. People go to sacred places like Lourdes, Fatima, or Chinmaya, Mecca for the spiritual experience. That same sort of spiritual experience is here.
Currently the Spirit House is for sale and the Spirit House Society is looking to raise money to purchase the home in hopes of returning it to its original purpose as a place of spiritual healing.
You can find out more information by visiting www.jubileeinitiative.org/spirithousesociety.html.