Our Story 1852 to Now165 Years and Onward
“Sometime around 1850, a Spiritualist Bookstore was created in New York City, NY USA. I According to records, it was the very first totally spiritualist and occult bookstore in this country.
Such people as Andrew Jackson Davis and Helena Blavatsky sold their books here and came to talk with other people. Some few remnants remain of that 1st incarnation of this shop: a book by Andrew Jackson Davis, and a signed carte-de visite photo of Mary Lincoln, who did most of her shopping in New Yrok City. Here’s an autographed carte de visite photo signed by Mary Lincoln — obviously she came here and we do know that she was a spiritualist. Then at some point, before World War I, it was taken over by some new people and renamed The North Node. At this point, Aleister Crowley came there with books and friends. By this time The North Node was a meeting place for friends, and for contacts.Rachel Welch, co-designer of the pentagon building, and a former student of Aleister Crowley and others. Rachel once said: “t Crowley just wasn’t that popular. “
During the end times of The Great Depression, I did buy a signed copy of his Konx Om Pax to Rachel Welch his student, but that was about it. When I bought the store I changed the name to where we are now.The Gateway Book Shop, 30 East 60th Street, NYC, NY, ELdorabo 5-7383” – (Mary Gorham then owner of the bookshop. Interviewed by Caiyros Arlen Strang during the early 1960s)
When Mary died, her business was ended and her books were sold – mainly to myself and to Donald Weiser who ran (Samuel Weiser Booksellers, founded 1926). I did find a few books that dated back to the 1850s, and have kept them as original titles from this “store’s birth.
Previously in the autumn of 1967, I had begun the tiny back alley bookstore off South Main Street in New Hope, PA in the fascinating world of Bucks County. I the bookstore was named Terrapin Booksellers. I used the symbol as I had heard a story that the ancient Chinese would place a polished Terrapin Shell on the ground in the moonlight and by looking at the moonlight dancing in the shell’s grooves, would discern various words and ideas from the characters that flashed into focus in front of their eyes.
Mary Gorham had said that Rachel Welch, Georgetown DC, then owned and ran The Georgetown Press,that printed mystical, philosophic, and psychological books. Before Mary had died she told Rachel that she wanted to give the bookstore to Rachel and to either merge it or give it away, as she wanted to retire to Upper Black Eddy in Bucks County, PA, but Mary died before any legal work was done. So Rachel said that she was passing on to me all the implied & stated rights for a new continuance of the book store and a publishing company. I wholly accepted this offer.
To my knowledge it became the first occult bookstore in all of Pennsylvania and probably one of less than 10 occult bookstores in the United States (as I was in touch with that many other sellers, and could not locate any others.
At the Terrapin we had many interesting customers, from locals like James Michener, Rachel Welch, Peter Hurkos, Gerald Heard, Hal Just, Harry Smith, Allen Ginsberg. and a large crowd of new people.
After 7 years, The Terrapin evolved into a mail order business and then went into low gear, changed its name to Azaca Mars, selling mystical and haunted antiques, rare books, and art.
In 2008, a new idea was born: a way to rebuild this business into a new and much more contemporary existence. The name Leautremont Mars was chosen, and so, existing in the here & now, we keep alive the continuum and the direct path that was started about 151 years ago and has created and still continues to create complex crossroads that include Weird Science, Visionary Works, Unfettered Spirituality, Psychology, as well as Earth-Planet and Outer Space Artifacts, Art, Books, Seriousness, & Fun.
Now, we have changed our business format to successfully meet the changing business formulations of our 21st century. At the same time we are continuing, and expanding the original Pioneering 1850s Vision. So we have our several shop-divisions and, instead of place within a wrestling match of competition, we welcome other sellers of related items and services, to join the mall, and thus, as we move towards our 200th year, we believe it most important, to expand the entire market,with greater old forms of business, and the new forms of communication, and welcoming newcomers into this aspect of our world.
One note to make clear. All of these times and places mentioned are in the New York City Archives and telephone archives (during the latter periods) and I have a photo of The Terrapin & myself taken in 1967. And we are very proud to have known these great people, and to learned from them.
We send out words of welcome to your all. Coming this Nalloween October 30th, 2016, we will have finished completely, our our new growth pattern “The Triangle of 3: LeautremontMars, Occult-Metaphysical, & Children of the Night Lugoss.
For Fun, Protection, and “2-way” Knowledge, Some of the oldest covens that we know, and the one that I am in, will all create and and use-in-process our skills to protect and advertise The 3 Triangles! You are welcome to positively join in, wherever in the world you may be, and take a look at our expansions (there is more than one!)
You are invited! Cheers!