In August of 1882, a group of Spiritualists held a camp meeting in Tama,
Iowa. On November 17, 18, and 19, 1882, the Iowa Conference of
Spiritualists held an organizational meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa. The
Reverend Cora L. V. Richmond was one of the featured speakers and she
also delivered a number of poems from trance on subjects the congregation
would select just moments before they were to be given.
Following this meeting, a group of delegates formed the Mt. Pleasant Park
Stock Company and bought the land that is known as Mt. Pleasant Park,
Clinton, Iowa. Shares of stock were sold to members for $10.00 each, and
the funds were used to pay the mortgage.
The first Camp meeting was held in Tama, Iowa in August of 1882 and in
August 1883, in Clinton, Iowa. The meetings have been held in Clinton
annually ever since. This year marks the 124th Camp Season. The Camp
received Charter No. NS-66 from the National Association of Spiritualist
Churches on May 18, 1896. As far as is known, it is the oldest Spiritualist
Camp west of the Mississippi River.
The Camp became so popular and attracted so many people from such a
wide area that in 1885, the name was changed to the Mississippi Valley
A pavilion seating 2,000 people had been built by 1885, and a lodging hotel
was built in the early 1890's, which is still in use today. Later an open-air
type facility was erected which could seat an additional 1,000 people. An
"Annex" was also constructed to handle some of the sleeping arrangements
for the overflow. The pavilion and the annex no longer exist.
Some of our most famous pioneers have served as Mediums, among them:
Harrison D. Barrett, the Bang Sisters, Dr. Juliet Severance, Maggie Waite,
M.C. Cadwalder, E.W. Sprague, B.G. Austin, W.J. Colville, J.D.F. Gumbine,
Lyman C. Howe, Moses Hull, Professor William Lockwood, Professor J.S.
Loveland, H.W.B. Myrick, W.F. Peck, Dr. J.M. Peebles, Cora L.V. Richmond,
Will J. Erwood, Edgar W. Emerson, Elizabeth Harlow Goetz, Morris Pratt, J.
Frank Baxter, D. Mona Berry, Rev. Ernest Schoenfeld, Dr. Victoria Barnes,
Rev. H. Gordon Burroughs, Olive A Blodgett, Arthur Ford, Jenny Hagan
Brown, S. Augusta Armstrong, and others too numerous to mention.
Many of the officers of the NSAC served as officers of the Camp before
being elected to the National Board, including Olive A Blodgett and Dr.
George B. Warne.
The Mississippi Valley Spiritualist Association
Mississippi Valley Spiritualist Association