In 1894, something extraordinary was happening along the banks of Mosquito Creek in what is now known as Koreshan State Park. Dr. Cyrus Teed had sent down the first group of his followers from Chicago to clear land and begin building what would be the foundations of his vision of a religious-utopian community called the Koreshan Unity Settlement.
By 1900, over 200 of Dr. Teed’s followers, over 70% of which were women, had established roots in Estero, Florida along the re-named Estero River, where they remained until 1982 with the death of the last Koreshan.
During Women’s History Month, the park will share some of the real-life stories of these women, who led unusual and amazing lives in the closing years of the 19th century. Women at the Unity Settlement enjoyed a level of equality, leadership and self-empowerment long before women had even earned the right to vote.
Special tours, with select historical re-enactments, are offered on March 1, March 14, and March 22 at 10:45 am. Two special evening events will occur on March 12 and March 19 at 7:00 pm in the Art Hall; providing a further examination into what made the settlement so important from the historical perspective of women.
For more information on all March events and tours or to purchase tickets, please visit friendsofkoreshan.org. Every dollar raised by these special events will assist Koreshan State Park continue to tell the exceptional story of this religious-utopian community and its rich contribution to Florida history.