Just Who Were The Koreshans of Estero
Posted by Mark Washburn on Monday, November 24, 2014 at 10:42:09 AM By Mark Washburn / November 24, 2014 Comment
The Koreshan Unity was a communal utopia founded by Cyrus Teed who adopted the Persian form of his name, Koresh. Started in the 1870’s, Teed’s followers formed a commune first in Chicago and later Teed brought his followers to Estero, Florida in 1894. Teed went to Estero, south of Fort Myers to build “New Jerusalem” for his faith Koreshanity that peaked in 1903-1908 with 250 residents. He wanted to establish a utopian city, and built a general store, printing house, concrete works, and power plant. Later, the colony was landscaped. The colony slowly faded away after Teed’s death in 1908. In 1961, the last 4 members deeded the land to the state. Now the colony is a Florida State Park. The College of Life Foundation, once the Koreshan Unity Foundations, is now the owner and caretaker of the Koreshan land and archives. Visitors today can picnic, fish, boat, and hike on this site. There is a boat ramp, canoe rentals, and Ranger-guided tours. Located at US 41 at Corkscrew Road, there are numerous wildlife to see and recreational opportunities. Campers can stay over night at a full-facility campground. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
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