Taste Traditions of Wisconsin: Spiritualism and the Morris Pratt Institute

  • 30 N. Carroll St.
  • Madison, WI 53703
  • Phone: (608) 264-6555

In the mid-1800s, the Spiritualist Movement swept the country with many feeling that science might help discover the truth about the soul, life after death and other spiritual questions. In late 1888, Morris Pratt, a practicing Spiritualist, built a large, three-story, Second Empire-style building near downtown Whitewater that he called the “Temple of Science.” From the beginning, his new institute for Spiritualism created quite a stir in the community.

Today, everyone who lives in Whitewater has heard of the so-called “witches” and supposed occult happenings in town. Fostered particularly by University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students, the myths of occult Whitewater are arguably a direct result of the existence of Morris Pratt’s Spiritualist institute. 80 years after the institute closed its doors and 55 years after the building was demolished, how these myths are related to the history of the institute and how they have evolved and are enthusiastically promoted today will be explored in this presentation by historian Carol Lohry Cartwright.

Get in the spirit of Halloween with a fall-themed buffet dinner provided by Blue Plate Catering before the presentation.

Advance registration required for this event. Visit shop.wisconsinhistory.org or call 608-264-6555 to register by Thursday, October 20.

  • Times: 6:00 PM to 8:45 PM
  • Admission: $30.00/person; WHS Members receive a 10% discount on ticket price