Ann Stevens, a wealthy native of New York state and a winter resident of Florida, built the Inn in 1895 as a winter cottage.
Stevens first visited Cassadaga in 1892 and became involved with George P. Colby’s Cassadaga Association, which was organized in 1894. Colby’s Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Meeting Camp Association was founded as an outgrowth of the camp meeting movement in the United States. The purpose of the camp was twofold: to develop and operate a permanent winter camp meeting site to serve as an educational center for Spiritualism; and to establish a health resort – a city of winter homes for those seeking to escape the rigors of northern winters. The camp meeting site was located on thirty-four acres of land donated by Colby.
Stevens helped Colby during that period to organize the Association and finance his traveling lecture series on Spiritualism across the country. In 1895, she acquired property from Colby, and the house was completed later that year. Stevens served as a director for the Association for several years and rented out rooms to Spiritualists who visited Cassadaga and Lake Helen during the winter months.
Stevens Street, the main street in the Cassadaga historic district is named for her. Two nearby streets are named for her brother Emerson Bedell (Bedell Avenue) and her brother-in-law George Webster (Webster Street) who was Colby’s neighbor. In 1898, his son, Dr. O. B. (Bert) Webster, built the Hotel Webster behind The Ann Stevens House.
In her will, Stevens left the house to Bedell. He used the house as his residence from 1908 until the early 1920s, when it was converted into apartments.
Today, The Ann Stevens House offers ten elegant guest rooms. We provide a relaxing environment amid beautiful gardens bordered by a forested park with paved walking trails.
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