Monday, January 22, 2018

The Koreshan Unity: A religious utopian community in early Florida history.

“Among the most interesting beliefs of Koreshanity was the cellular cosmogony, or the hollow earth.”
Image from the Florida Memory collection.

The State Library and Archives of Florida has fascinating documentation of the Koreshan Unity. They have links to pictures and documents about this religious group that no longer exists. Here is an excerpt:

     With its warm climate and seemingly endless coastline, Florida was a natural magnet for settlers from colder northern climates and all manner of pioneers. In the 1890s, Florida became home to one of the state’s most interesting and influential pioneering communities: the Koreshan Unity. [emphasis added]
     The Unity was a late-19th/early-20th century religious utopian community originally founded in upstate New York by Dr. Cyrus Teed and later headquartered in Chicago before finding its permanent home on a 320 acre plot of land in Estero south of Fort Myers, where Teed intended to found the “New Jerusalem.”
     Among the most interesting beliefs of Koreshanity was the cellular cosmogony, or the hollow earth. According to the cellular cosmogony, the earth was not a convex sphere but instead a hollow, concave cell containing the entire universe with the sun at its center and Earth's populace living on the inside surface of the hollow cell.

1 comment:

Russ said...

Worth a visit... we did as part of a vintage VW road trip two years ago. You might remember the signs: Explore Florida 1513-2013. As you might gather from his hollow earth beliefs, Teed was certifiable, but as with any good cult people followed. For awhile anyway, locals weren't crazy about their activities, and SW Florida at the turn of the century was a rough place. He died in 1908, the result of run in with the local marshal.