A Botanical Tour of Koreshan State Park

Koreshan State Park, the historic home of the Koreshan Unity, has many unique specimens throughout the remains of its once-famous botanical gardens, including several varieties of mango, lychee and other fruit-bearing trees, eucalyptus, Chinese bamboo and other flowering trees and plants from around the world. Some even from the Ford and Edison Winter estates in Fort Myers. Here are just a few:

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The Koreshan Unity Old and New Stores

The Old Store, built by the Koreshan Unity in 1902-1903, faced the Estero River, the best and likely only means of travel there. Going would have been slow. The fifteen-mile trip from Estero to Fort Myers on horseback would have taken all day, depending on the time of year. In the summer rainy season, the trail could be covered with water and muddy. During the dry winter, wagon wheels would sink in the sugar sand.

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What to Expect on an Historic Walking Tour

You can book your place on the next guided tour when you pay park admission at the entrance ranger station. Tours begin in the beautiful Art Hall still used for public concerts as it was in the days of the Koreshan Unity Settlement. The hall is filled with artwork created by former Koreshan members and Dr. Teed’s son, Douglas Arthur Teed, who became a well-known landscape and portrait artist in New York. The most remarkable exhibit is the globe which shows the world as we know it, but instead on the inner shell of the Earth’s outer atmosphere, as Dr. Teed believed it was.

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A Brief History of The Koreshans and Koreshan State Park

The Koreshan Unity began in the 1870s in New York, where, after God came to him in the form of a beautiful woman, Dr. Cyrus Teed began preaching equality and that “We Live Inside” a hollow Earth. He formed groups of followers in New York City and Moravia and later moved to Chicago Illinois. There, Teed and his followers established their first commune in 1888. Members also created communities in  Continue reading “A Brief History of The Koreshans and Koreshan State Park”