Historic photo of hotel
Backstory and Context
Cassadaga is a
small town located in Volusia County and is known for its spiritual background
and founding. In 1875 a medium by the
name of George Colby of New York traveled to Florida to discover land from what
he claimed was being held for him by a congress of spirits (A Brief History, 2015). It wasn’t until 1894 that his vision became a
reality with the founding of the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting
Association was granted with thirty – five arches. In times since, it has expanded to fifty –
seven. With the expansion of the town,
in 1991 Cassadaga was also ranked on the National Register of Historic Places (The Cassadaga Hotel, 2008).
This self-governing land is currently known to be the home of over 50 mediums and psychics, not including the others it had been home to for more than 120 years (A Brief History, 2015) and along with the growing population came the need for the Cassadaga Hotel. The current building that stands today was built in 1928, but a building stood in its place since the 1800’s (The Cassadaga Hotel, 2008). The hotel is modest in its outside appearance and houses 40 rooms, keeping its welcoming mysterious ambiance of its earlier years. The hotel acts as a meeting place for the groups and welcomed visitors who wished to explore the area and the local interests. The Cassadaga hotel has become the central hub for this small town, for which is only over a mile in diameter and contains all the history to go along with it. During 1926 the hotel had been destroyed in a fire but was rebuilt to its former glory only a few years later. With its extensive history and mysterious environment have come equally mysterious stories. Not only is most of this town believed to be the center of spiritual activity but the hotel itself is known to be the most haunted on site, the owners advise that no children stay at the hotel for their safety, adding to the allure and mystery of the hotel. The location of this town itself has been described as a vortex to other dimensions to which the hotel is the center of.Many of the mediums, psychics as well as certified Reverends work within the Cassadaga Hotel and the Spiritualist Camp for the convenience of visitors staying there. Even though the surrounding area of Cassadaga is referred to as a Spiritualist “camp”, there is no such camp site in the town and is more of a term used to describe the gathering of the members in the community (About our Hotel, 2016). What makes this town so special for Florida history is that since its founding, it has been virtually untouched by mainstream corporations. Driving off of the busy I-4 interstate into a quiet town like Cassadaga is like going back in time and discovering what old Florida would have looked like. It keeps its small town charm regardless of the advancements of technology and the outside world. The founding of this unique piece of property was discovered in a very unconventional way, making it appropriate for its unconventional reputation.
A Brief History." Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. N.p., 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
The Cassadaga Hotel." Hauntedplacestogo.com. N.p., 2008. Web. 24 Sept. 2016.
About Our Hotel." Cassadaga Hotel. N.p., 2016. Web. 24 Sept. 2016.