Tuesday, February 26, 2013 (Day 22)–Moving On, Utopia and Laundry

Storms were coming in to the Tierra Verde, FL area so I was trying to get out of there before the storm.  I left the campground just about 9:00am and it was starting to sprinkle just as I was leaving town.

A few miles south of town I went over the impressive Skyway Bridge….Dana you should remember that bridge…

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It was overcast and gusty all morning.  I stopped for lunch and then went into Wal-Mart for a few things. When I came out the sun had come out and it was like walking into an oven.  The humidity continues here today.  It is supposed to break tonight.

I drove about 120 miles to my overnight stop at Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero, FL.  This is a part of the Florida State Park system.  I took the 2:00pm tour of the historic settlement grounds.

Throughout its history, Florida has welcomed pioneers of all kinds. Cyrus Reed Teed was probably the most unusual, bringing followers to Estero in 1894 to build New Jerusalem for his new faith, Koreshanity. The colony, known as the Koreshan Unity, believed that the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere. The colony began fading after Teed´s death in 1908, and in 1961 the last four members deeded the land to the state.

The Koreshan Unity was a communal utopia formed by Cyrus Teed, who took the name “Koresh”, the Hebrew version of his name Cyrus (name). The Koreshans followed Teed’s beliefs, called Koreshanity.

The Koreshan Unity started in the 1870s in New York, where Teed started preaching his beliefs. He formed short-lived groups in New York City and Moravia. He later moved to Chicago. Teed’s followers formed a commune in Chicago in 1888 called Beth-Ophra. Some followers also formed a short-lived community in San Francisco (1891-2). Small church groups existed in other towns.

Eventually, Teed took his followers to Estero, Florida, to form his “New Jerusalem” in 1894. The community was at its peak 1903-1908, when it had over 250 residents. There were apparently another 4,000 believers around the country. Teed had a vision in which he was to establish a utopian city of 10,000,000 with streets up to 400 feet (120 m) wide. Membership declined following his death in 1908.

It built extensively, establishing a bakery, printing house (publishing their newspaper and other publications), the “World College of Life“, a general store, concrete works, power plant (supplying power to the surrounding area years before it was available elsewhere in the region) and more. The colony was extensively landscaped. There has been work to document and preserve the grounds in Estero (a Florida State Park.)[1]

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Then I parked in my spot for the night………

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I then did three loads of laundry in the campground laundry.

All afternoon it was hot, humid, sweaty, hot……while at home I hear that you got 10 inches of snow and may get more tonight.

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