Temple Heights, Northport, ca. 1910
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Temple Heights in Northport is one of the longest continuously operating Spiritualist camps in the world. It was founded in 1879 by Dr. Ben Colson, a believer in natural and spiritual healing.
The camp purchased the Brown farm a half mile from Saturday Cove in 1883, established a tent ground, and sold lots for cottages. Guests arrived by steamboat at the new wharf below the camp.
In 1900 the Beacon Ethical Union, which was unaffiliated with Temple Heights Spiritualist Camp, constructed a hotel and sanitarium next to the wharf on the camp's grounds.
Early camp meetings, which lasted for a week, were held in a grove by the shore; later a chapel was built. Visitors paid 10 cents to listen to speakers or meet with mediums for a day or 50 cents for a season of services.
In 1927 the spiritualist camp built a lodge, which was doubled in size in 1960.
The old cottages were sold long ago as summer homes, and only Nikawa Lodge and the chapel remained in 2014. Temple Heights Spiritualist Camp has experienced a resurgence in recent years, with more than 2,000 participants a season.
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