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William Lyon Mackenzie King is perhaps best known to the public for his dabbling in spiritualism, a popular activity at the time. He spent much time with his intimate friends engaging in such activities as table rapping and seances with the aid of mediums. He was particularly eager to communicate with his mother who died in 1917.
William Lyon Mackenzie King’s guest books contain the signatures of notable figures such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Charles DeGaulle as well as celebrities including Shirley Temple, the Dionne Quintuplets and Charles Lindbergh.
The focal point of the library was an oil portrait of William Lyon Mackenzie King’s mother, Isabel Grace King, by the portrait artist J.W.L. Forster. In front of her portrait, King kept a vase of fresh flowers, a lamp which was always lit and a silver box containing a lock of her hair and her wedding band.