After our visit to the Baha’i center in Wilmette on the North Shore of Chicago, we drove across town to Wheaton, Illinois, a small town approximately 30 miles west of downtown. Wheaton is home to the Theosophical Society of America, a spiritual organization founded in 1875 in New York City. Theosophy is a precursor to many New Age religions and beliefs, and has members throughout the whole world, the international headquarters being in Adyar, India.
The purpose of our visit (besides visiting a cool place) was to ascertain whether the Theosophical headquarters kept records of various TS chapters and membership lists from the past. Dr. Walter Guy was a member of the Theosophical Society in Boston, Massachusetts before he moved to Florida. Due to miscommunication with the librarian, we did not have access to any meaningful archival material, but we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon at the Olcott Library and Research Center and walked around the grounds. The TS has an impressive physical setting and buildings and has its own publishing company, Quest Books, which we were also able to visit.
Here is Laurence in front of the main building.
And a closer in view.
We spent a good bit of time in their wonderful, extensive library.
We also were fortunate to hear some fine tunes played on the grand piano.
Here is Laurence in the stacks. Where’s Handly? (Taking the pictures)
Altogether this was a very successful trip–and we got to eat Chicago-style pizza in Chicago. You may notice that many of the pictures of the Baha’i Temple and the outside of the Theosophical Society are kind of overcast. It was cold most of the time and we experienced snow flurries the first day. A few days later we were back in Florida and poring over the new material.