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A Day at Koreshan Unity (in) the Early 1940s

22 Apr 2022 11:59 AM | Anonymous

by Evelyn Luettich Horne, Koreshan Unity Member, 1922 - 2007

Koreshan Unity members at the 1941 Solar Festival at Bamboo Landing

Early rising (at) 6:00 a.m. to get ready for the day.  (30 members) No running water, you had to carry water to your bedroom, for bath, shaving, shampoo and drinking, from the Unity flowing artesian well. 150 ft. deep. Let the water stand overnight to lose the sulfur smell and taste.

Breakfast bell rings at 7:00 a.m. You can see people coming, hurrying from each and all paths and roads. The dining room was the family meeting place. Breakfast took about 1 hr.

The heads of staff greeted the members with a Monday morning prayer. There was a prayer for 3 times a day for 7 days a week, written by Dr Cyrus R Teed, the (Unity) founder.

The secretary, Etta Silverfriend, read any mail from friends up north, or any business mail concerning the members.

The breakfast menu consisted of:

Fruits in season from the gardens; citrus in winter season, in summer melons and mangoes from the summer garden. Koreshan breads from their oven bakery. Honey from the Apiary. Jams and jellies from the tropical fruits found on the grounds. Hot cereals: oatmeal and Cream of Wheat. Milk and butter from their own cows. Eggs and omelettes from their own chickens. Tea & coffee.

The Koreshans always had a hearty breakfast to start their day of work -

Off to work: Whatever may be your job: Print shop for a long day of running the presses. Ladies doing proof reading, cutting paper, book binding, mailing (Koreshan publications) The American Eagle and The Flaming Sword. Job printing, between Fort Myers and Miami, Fort Myers north to Tampa.

The Guiding Star print shop was their biggest industry.

The truck farming. The bee industry. The  boat building. The shoe repair. The machine shop. The Riverview Inn. Post office, the filling station: Standard Oil,  the laundry, the dining room & kitchen.

Car & truck drivers to Ft. Myers daily for business, banks, P.O.'s, doctors, dentist, optometrist, building supplies, repairs.

Electric power plant. Florida Power & Light came to Estero May 1946.

After a morning of hard work, the dinner bell rings at 11:30 a.m. A good hot lunch would be: Fresh vegetables from the garden, green beans, new red potatoes, beet greens and red beets. Meat loaf or beef stew. Koreshan baked brown bread; Fruit pies: maybe mulberry or green apple, mango, surinam cherry. Hot coffee or Tea.

Back to work for a long afternoon.

Supper bell rings at 5 p.m. Koreshans always had a light supper. Bowl of hot soup, cup of fresh fruit, slice of pound cake, tea or coffee.

After supper: Chores at home. Chickens and cows to tend. Music practice in the Art Hall. Fruit from the gardens to pick. A quiet time at home. Maybe letter writing to family & friends up north.  Sewing - maybe only a button or designing a new summer dress. Reading - Dr Teed's religious works, Bible or even a good novel. Listening to your own radio. Lectures in the Art Hall Sundays and Wednesdays.

Sunday afternoons: homemade ice cream parties at the Dining Hall, served with Ida Fisher's coconut cake. Visiting in the neighborhood to Koreshans. The Boomer Estate. The Campbell & Trebell groves or to Anna Lewis' house for bridge parties.

Click here for some pictures of the Koreshan Unity in the 1940s and 50s .

To learn more about Koreshanity and the life and times of Cyrus Teed and his followers, click here to register for a guided tour of the Historic Settlement in Koreshan State Park.

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