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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Believe It or Not…

By Mona Meyer, Archives and Special Collections Metadata Librarian, David L. Rice Library, University of Southern Indiana. Reprinted here with permission. To learn more about the Koreshans, take a guided historic tour of the Historic Settlement at Koreshan State Park.

You probably recognize that tagline from the many Ripley’s Believe It or Not! attractions, and the phrase has come into common parlance. I’m going to introduce you to the former Koreshan Unity society, and you’ll soon see why I chose this title.

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