The Koreshan Unity
was a new religious movement started by Cyrus Teed, based upon the belief that we all live inside
of a hollow earth, and that the sky and stars are an object at the nucleus of that sphere. During its Chicago phase in the 1890s, Editha Lolita Diss De Bar
and Frank Dutton Jackson
(known in G.D. circles as the Horoses
) were members. Jackson, in fact, was one of the first visitors to the land that would become their new commune in Estero, FL. Around 1898, Diss De Bar and Jackson later tried to discredit the Koreshans and drive them out of town, presumably to use the land to for their own fruititarian colony. This scheme, like so many others, failed; the Koreshans, on the other hand, did quite well for themselves. In the end, it was the Horoses who were driven out...until they reached Paris circa 1901 and found fresh game in the Golden Dawn
I recently did a self-guided walking tour of the Koreshan facility, which today now a state historic site. Here are a few of the photos I took.
Being founded before the advent of highways, most visitors would have arrived by way of the Estero River.Arriving at the Bamboo Landing, this stairway greeted visitors, leading them to Teed's office.
All the paths were "paved" in sea shells. Today, most are crushed and trodden into the ground. This photo was taken behind the old Art Hall, where people don't seem to walk very much.
The Planetary Court. Seven women--one for each of the seven classical astrological planets--were appointed to run the Koreshan community by committee. They had male counterparts for dealing with the public, who in the 1890's would not have accepted women in a position of authority.
This fountain is located behind the general store.
The community had its own electrical generator.
A machine shop was among the roughly two dozen buildings on the property. Others included a bakery, kitchen, art hall and various cottages for the members.