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Koreshan State Historic Site is the former home of a unique group of late 19th century pioneers. The founder of the community, Dr. Cyrus Teed served as a surgeon in the Civil War. After the war he received much attention with his strong beliefs in the equality of men and women, celibacy and communal living. He changed his name to Koresh, which is Hebrew for Cyrus. He founded the Koreshan Unity in Chicago. As membership grew he chose Lee County as the location for his utopian dream. In 1893 he and other followers known as Koreshans began construction of the settlement that was to become a large communal city, a "New Jerusalem," on the banks of the Estero River in southwest Florida. They generated their own electricity, had a boat works, general store and other businesses. In 1961 the last 4 members of the Koreshan Unity donated the land to the state of Florida to become a park. And, today the park preserves 11 of the original buildings.
This photo-album was produced by the Preserve's staff in collaboration with the Southwest Florida Library Network (SWFLN) in a project funded by the State of Florida's Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants program. Additional assistance was provided by the Digital Library Center at the University of Florida and the Florida Center for Library Automation.