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.
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.