The Koreshans brought culture and industry to Southwest Florida. They owned and operated many businesses in the Historic Settlement, including a machine shop, general store, bakery, post office and school.
For more than a quarter century, Koreshan State Park and Friends of Koreshan have offered guests a view of the life and times of Dr. Cyrus Teed, their founder, and the Koreshans with the theatrical production, Ghost Walk. In each one-hour performance, volunteers in period costumes guide you through a historical journey along the candlelit shell paths of the Historic Unity Settlement.
You will stroll past restored buildings from a bygone era and watch Koreshan reenactors scenes from their lives before, during, and after they settled in Southwest Florida.
In the first scene, you will witness the tension between Dr. Teed and Gustav Damkohler, the German homesteader who, while grieving for his recently deceased wife and children, had sold Teed 300 acres of land along the Estero River for the Koreshan Unity, and now regrets that decision.
In scene two, join prospective members of the Unity as Professor Eleanor Castle gives them an orientation on Koreshan beliefs. The Koreshans were unique, promoting racial and gender equality in a time where racism and gender inequality were rampant. At least one prospect finds some of their beliefs a bit too much to bear.
In scene three, we visit some Unity men and learn about their work, personal lives and sacrifices they endured in following Dr. Teed and his utopian vision—and the epic mistake one of them made.
While the charismatic Dr. Teed traveled, evangelizing and promoting Unity membership, the women of the Planetary Court ran the community. Despite the Koreshans’ belief in equality, in scene four, which features some of these women, you will learn that some Unity members were “more equal than others.”
In scene five, the women of the Planetary Court mourn Dr. Teed’s death and ponder the future of the Koreshan Unity.
Enjoy treats made from Koreshan recipes at the restored Bakery in scene six, and get a glimpse into the lives of the bakers who were not only responsible for feeding the Unity, but also meeting a growing demand for their “risin’ bread” from the outside community.
In scene seven, join Vesta Newcomb and an old friend as they reminisce about their early life in the Unity, and how they—and the Unity are adapting to the changing times.
In scene eight, volunteers crank up the 1925 Fairbanks Morse engine that powers the Westinghouse generator and provided the “miracle of light” for the settlement.
Ghost Walk 2020 showtimes are at 6:45, 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 and 8:00 PM on Jan 31st & Feb 1st, Feb 7th and 8th 2020. Tickets are $25.00.