Spirit and Spa unearths the buried treasures of Lake Pleasant and its Spiritualist practitioners, then and now For almost a century-and-a-half the roots of Montague’s smallest and
youngest of five villages have been intertwined with the waxings and wanings of American Spiritualism. Lake Pleasant was founded in 1874 with formation of the
Massachusetts Spiritualist and Liberalist Association, which five years later incorporated as the New England Spiritualist Campmeeting Association. For two decades prior to 1900 and two more decades afterward, Lake Pleasant was the largest gathering place in the United States for Spiritualist believers in “continuity of life” and communication between human souls in the material world and immaterial souls, the “living-dead,” in the world of spirit. Although the New England Spiritualist Campmeeting Association disbanded in 1976, The National Spiritual Alliance -- based in Lake Pleasant since 1913 -- makes the community the oldest continuously-existing same-site Spiritualist center in the nation.
Spirit and Spa is an “olden-days and golden-ways” photographic and memoiristic portrait of the twin histories — sacred and secular — of the Lake Pleasant community and Modern Spiritualism as it has been practiced in the Village of Lake Pleasant in Franklin County of Western Massachusetts. The book was researched and written by the late-Louise Shattuck, a third generation Spiritualist, and her “apprentice” David James, now historian of The National Spiritual Alliance http://www.facebook.com/spiritualallianceusa/ and a resident of Lake Pleasant www.facebook.com/LakePleasantVillageAssociation. Spirit and Spa was published in 2003 by Delta House Press and is available on site at Thompson Memorial Temple, 2 Montague Avenue, across the street from the Lake Pleasant Post Office, as well as via internet from the TNSA Bookstore for $25, plus $4 for shipping and handling within the US, if necessary. A copy of Spirit and Spa signed by the lone Earthbound author is available for $35, plus $4 for shipping and handling, if necessary.