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Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Spiritualism in Hopedale: History, High Hopes, and Hoaxes

Hopedale founder Adin Ballou believed in temperance, abolition, and women’s rights. But when it came to other movements of the time, he was a skeptic. Surprisingly, when Ballou’s only surviving son, Adin Augustus died in 1852, he turned to Spiritualism to deal with his grief. During the commune period in Hopedale, the spiritualist movement was sweeping the country. People communicated with the dead through mediums and seances, and the spirits answered back with “rappings, writing, and tipping of tables.” While suffering through his great loss, Adin Ballou kept his skeptical eye.

Step back in time and learn about the history of Spiritualism in Hopedale, a town at the center of the movement to speak to the dead. This Saturday morning ranger walking tour, sponsored by the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park and co-hosted by local historian Linda Hixon, will focus on the people of the community who promoted spiritualism. The tour will begin at 10 a.m. in front of the statue at Adin Ballou Park at the corner of Peace and Hopedale streets, on Saturday October 28, 2023. The tour is free and open to all. 

For more information contact Ranger Allison Horrocks: cell - 401 318-4883 - email - [email protected].