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Thoughts to Ponder
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Marilyn J. Awtry
Spirit Intermediary
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172nd Anniversary of
Modern American Spiritualism

1815: Dr Henry Hyde of Milton, VE purchased a farm near Lyons NY and founded the Hamlet of Hydeville. He construct the cottage at 1510 Hydeville Road. After moving there he found the community too sparce to support his medical practice. Thus, he opened businesses for the weary travelers passing through after leaving the Erie Canal.
1843: Rented to Mr & Mrs John C. Bell.
1845: Rented to the Mr & Mrs Michael Weekman
1847: Rented the cottage to Mr. & Mrs. John Fox, and daughters Margaretta (Maggie) 11 and Catherine (Katie) 9 on Dec 10th. Shortly after moving into the cottages, noises at varying degrees disturbed the family both day and night. 
1848: Weary from all the noises, on March 31, 1848, the family retired early and the rappings soon began, becoming stronger and stronger, causing the youngsters to move into their parents room. Little Katie sat up in bed and said: "Now do as I do" and snapped her fingers three times receiving the same. Maggie then said: "Now count to 10" clapping

her hands 10 times and received and identical response. Mrs. Fox then took control (she often sat in table tipping with her sisters) and began asking a series of various questions. Finally, she asked: "Are You a Spirit." Receiving an affirmative response, she continued learning the Spirit was a peddler who had been murdered in the cottage and his body entombed in the cellar. David Fox stated that in a table-tipping seance he was given the pedder's name as Charles B. Rosner.

Shortly thereafter, the men commenced digging but only found a few hairs and fragmented bones. Flooding ended their effort.

1904: Children playing in the cellar of the vacant cottage called attention to the elders. The Boston Newspaper, of Nov 4, 1904, headlines told of the east wall of the cellar caving in revealing the skeleton and a peddler's pack. Examination revealed it was the skeleton of the peddler who had serviced the area between 1843 and 1845 when the Bell family resided in the cottage.

Note 1: A book written by M.E. Cadwallader in 1917 entitled "Hydesville in History" provides an outline of the happenings. A book written by Marilyn J. Awtry in 2014 entitled Path of Light, Vol 1, outlines a factual history of each family member and the only accurately detailed Family Tree.

Note 2: Visit the Burial Place of the Fox Sisters in Cypress Hills Cemetery, Sec. 3, Lot 355, on Facebook. The stone was so badly washed out it could not be read. By my efforts, a fund was established to restore the stone and after negotiations were completed, the original stone was recarved (Wednesday, Sep 14,1917). View it on Facebook entering "The Fox Sisters Tombstone."

Note 3: Once the the Cypress Hill Administrator learned the story of the Fox Sisters and viewed the beautiful recarved Headstone, the Cemetery designated the site to be on the Tour of the Rich and Famous as Site #32 of the Tour.


Recent research led me to a letter written to Mr. & Mrs. Sprague (noted pioneers of Spiritualism) by Mrs. Fox’s grandson. This is an extremely important find as we now have the correct name of the Peddler. To preserve accurate history of Spiritualism, all previous documentation with the inaccurate name of Rosner must be corrected to Cresmer.

Yes. David Fox claimed he received Rosner in table-tipping séance, yet other pioneers of the day claim receiving the peddler’s name as follows:

          Eliab Wilkinson Capron in 1849 - Charles Rasme
          Henry Spicer in 1853 - Charles Rayn
          Robert Owen in 1860 – Charles Rosma
          Emma H. Britten in 1869 – Charles Rosna
          J.L. Pool in 1870 – Charles Rosemond

The grandson wrote “that Heschire Vanhoose, Dane Bredger, Henry Lowers and others went and got a Beautiful willow and as a bard had Ben Markle and lettered before-hand for this occasion, a grave was thrown up, Tombstone set, and with as olde men of straw stood weaping over the Peddler’s grave and this is what was the inscription:
Diseased by John Bell
Aged 31 Years
Beneath here lies a peddler Dear
Whose throat was cut from ear-to-ear
Reader step light on the sod,
For if he gasps, your gone by God!"