(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
Lake Pleasant in Montague, Massachusetts, became a Spiritualist retreat in the 1870s and flourished into the 20th century. Thousands flocked there each summer to enjoy the water (said to have restorative properties) and to escape from the stressful effects of 19th century progress and industrialization. As in other campgrounds in this period, some residents began replacing their tents with small cottages like the one shown here. As a Spiritualist campground, Lake Pleasant attracted men and women whose reformist visions included the spiritual as well as the material world. They believed in the perfectibility of mankind, the full equality of the sexes, and in the possibility for communication between the living and the dead.