Such a Delightful Evening – Estero…In the Beginning

The Planetary Court in the Koreshan Unity Historic Settlement made a charming backdrop for the exquisite evening this past March. This fundraising event allowed guests to enjoy wine, cheese, and fine entertainment while supporting Koreshan State Park. Thank you to our incredible sponsors: Hyatt Regency Resort, Meridian Medical Spa, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Estero River Outfitters, Sunshine Health, Dr. & Mrs. Frank Rudy, FineMark Bank, Donna Walker, JL Consulting and Jim & Pat Sheehy, Trader Joe’s and Aqua Systems.

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How Did the Koreshan Unity Settlement Become Koreshan State Park?

Following the death of the founder of the Koreshans, Dr. Cyrus (Koresh) Teed, the Koreshan Unity went into decline. Several groups split from the Unity. One, “The Order of Theocracy,” formed in 1910 and moved to nearby Fort Myers where they lasted until 1931. One of the tracts they published (above) shows how they differed from the beliefs of the Koreshan Unity.

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Koreshan Art Hall Theater in Estero

Art Hall performance circa 1900

by Mimi Straub, Special to the Banner, April 26, 2006

The first Art Festival in Estero was held by the Koreshans in 1905 when they opened their newly built Art Hall, complete with a stage capable of seating their 28-piece orchestra and served as a location where they could have concerts, plays, and religious services for their 250 residents. Nearby homesteaders and neighbors also attended their concerts and plays.

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The Koreshan World

by Roger Parlin, Volunteer, Docent, Tour Guide

Dr. Cyrus Teed’s vision of the world expressed in the sect he founded and called Koreshanity reflects his religious and scientific beliefs, much of which, according to Teed, was given to him in his “Illumination” in 1869. Foremost, and arguably the most outlandish of his beliefs, was that we lived inside a hollow earth. Teed was not alone; other notable scientists of the day also posited the earth was hollow.

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