The Koreshan Unity Bakery, c. 1900
By Roger Parlin, Docent, Tour Guide
Life was not easy for the Koreshans, certainly by modern-day standards. They worked hard to build the Unity and a home out of the Florida swamps.
But there were a few “perks”:
EQUAL PAY FOR EVERYONE AND EVERY JOB
All were paid equally in Koreshan Unity credits they could use to pay for goods and even to build their own homes.
Koreshan Unity Sewing Class and Seamstresses, c.1900
Unless the member’s job was housework, no one had to do housework because the Unity had a cleaning service comprised of Unity members.
No need to care for their own children because the Unity had a dorm and a school also comprised of Unity members. Although parents could interact with their children, Dr. Teed felt that all Unity members should love all children equally and discouraged members from showing favoritism to their own offspring, even at Christmas.
The Koreshan Unity Dining Hall and Children's Dormitory, c. 1900
NO COOKING OR DISHWASHING
Meals were prepared and served in the Koreshan dining hall by Unity members whose job was cooking and cleaning up afterwards. Evenings, members could return to their living quarters and relax, read, study the arts, music or pursue any endeavor they chose.
Dining Hall Interior, c. 1900
Anyone of any age could enroll in the Koreshan Pioneer University and learn useful skills. For women, Native Americans and other minorities, all frequent targets of discrimination, this was a great opportunity.
In addition, other than college and university for a select few (mostly white men), adult education was unheard of back then. The opportunity for adults to continue their education was a revolutionary concept, right up there with women's rights.
Koreshan Unity School , c. 1900
Want to learn more about this unique community and its members? Take a guided tour of their settlement or purchase a copy of Lyn Millner’s definitive book on the Koreshans, The Allure of Immortality.