Picture Courtesy of Liz Brown, Former Docent and Tour Guide
By Tour Guide and Docent, Roger Parlin
When the Koreshans moved from Chicago to the Estero area in the mid-1890s, they brought with them fifteen boxcars of goods and personal property, including what is now a rare Steinway piano. E. Bonnell, a teacher from Morristown, NJ, donated the piano when he joined the unity. The instrument has only eight-five keys rather than eighty-eight, which did not become the standard number for piano keys until 1890. Prior to 1890, pianos were made with keys that could number anywhere between sixty and eighty-plus, depending on what the customer wanted.
Steinway made the piano in Koreshan State Park’s Art Hall in 1885. It is one of only a few pianos they made with eight-five keys, and only a handful left in existence. STEINWAY & SONS was founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway in a Manhattan loft on Varick Street. Over the next thirty years, Henry and his sons developed the modern piano.
Your donations help Friends of Koreshan State Park maintain the piano and Koreshan State Park maintain the park. To learn more about the piano, Art Hall and the Koreshans, join one of our guided tours.
The Koreshan Unity Art Hall stage, c. 1911