Koreshan State Park
Koreshan Park is a state park in Lee County, Florida. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 1976. It is the site of a religious colony, the Kordeshian Unity. Its last member deeded the property to the state of Florida in 1961.Informational Sign The Koreshan Unity was a religious communal utopia. Its founder was Cyrus Teed, a medical d8 from Utica, New York. The community started in New York in the 1870’s. He moved to Chicago where his followers formed a commune in 1888 called Beth Ophra. The community relo6 to Estero, Florida to form the New JerusalemPlanetary Court The Planetary Court Building was constructed in 1904. Seven women comprised the Planetary Chamber which was the governing council of the Koreshan Unity. These women lived in this three story building. Each had her own room. The exterior of the building was covered in heavy kraft paper to eliminate drafts in the winter and to protect against insects. Furniture in the building originally came from Chicago. Day to day business of the settlement was conducted by the sisters of the Planetary Court. Art Hall The Art Hall was built in 1905 by professors and students of the Koreshan Pioneer University . The Hall served as the cultural, social, educational and religious center for the Koreshan Settlement. Theatrical productions, lectures and musical events were part of the life of the community. Public events drew large crowds Inside the building are paintings of Douglas Arthur Teed (founder’s son) as well as other Koreshans. Original scientific exhibits and musical instruments are on displayFounder’s House This two story house was built in 1896. It was also known as the Teed House and the Children’s School It is the oldest surviving structure on the settlement built by the Koreshans. This is the first building which used milled pine siding instead of logs. This building has had many renovations and additions The 1909 renovations included installation of masonry veneer to the existing structure and a plan to double its size.Hedwig Michel Memorial
Hedwig Michel was the last Koreshan to live at the Settlement. She died in 1982. Under her leadership the Koreshans donated 305 acres to the state of Florida in 1961. This property would become the Koreshan State Historic Site and Mound Key Archaeological State Park.Bamboo Landing The Bamboo Landing was built in 1894. Its site on the Estero River was important for providing a means of transportation to the outside world. It was used for passengers and freight. It provided a framed entrance to the Koreshan Community. The bamboo used in the construction is said to have come from the Ford Estate in Fort Myers. There were four mounds constructed in 1904-1905. They were four feet high and ten feet in diameter The Koreshan bakery was built in 1903. It is a two story building located to the west of the dining hall. The bakers produced 500 to 600 loaves bread a day. The second floor of the building had four dormitory rooms. Originally, the bake ovens connected to the south side of the building. The Conrad Schlender Cottage dates t the 1903. The style of the building is Florida Wood Frame Vernacular. The vertically pitched roof is designed to shed rain quickly The vertical siding allows for rain runoff. The Vesta Newcomb Cottage was originally located on Imokalee Road. It was owned by Lou Staton. It was moved in 1937 to the north of the Koreshan Unity Library. Staton used the building as his residence and barbershop. In 1940, there was another move into the Koreshan Unity Settlement. Vesta moved into the cottage. This building was constructed in the early 1900’s. It eventually housed electric generating for the community
The large machine shop was built in 1904. It was built to contain the steam power machinery that served the adjacent laundry .
The line shaft mounted in the ceiling provided power to the laundry and various machinery. Several special tools and machinery were designed here.
The Small Machine Shop was built in 1905. In this building machine parts and kitchen items were fabricated. Time pieces and shoes were repaired.