Southwest Florida is home to many well-known historical sites. We grew up admiring their beauty, climbing their trees and stomping around on their acres of grass. We cherish these memories and want to preserve the sites for our children to admire and learn from. Florida Public Archeology Network (FPAN), is looking for citizens to preserve these lands and buildings to ensure they are appreciated for generations to come. Content creator, Adam, and I decided to explore the grounds of Koreshan State Historic Site to admire the beauty of preservation.
We arrive at Koreshan State Park just before dark. After navigating through the thick woods, we find ourselves at Koreshan State Historic Site. With its well-manicured lawn and towering trees, the Koreshan grounds feel more like a movie set than a state park. The buildings are part of a communal utopia created by Cyrus Reed Teed as part of the Koreshanity movement started in Moravia, New York. The colony, known as the Koreshan Unity, was founded in 1894 on the belief that the world existed in a giant hollow sphere. Teed’s visionaries occupied the land until 1961 when the last four settlers decided to give it to the state of Florida.
As we walked through the park’s luminescent paths entirely made up of local seashells, I can’t help but admire the beauty of the eleven restored mansions lining the site grounds. Each house stands almost entirely intact, many of them decorated with preserved rocking chairs moving steadily with the breeze. We each took a seat on the Koreshan House’s rocking chair to admire the park from a new perspective. We are taken aback by the pristine condition of the grounds.
You can’t help but notice the native sea grape and avocado trees towering over the 305-acre property, many of them dating back to the days when Koreshan children roamed the grounds. I take a seat beneath one of the property’s Spanish moss covered oak trees. It feels like old Florida, the rare and gorgeous greenery stretches as far as the eye can see. What was once the backyard of nearly 200 Koreshan pioneers, now provides a learning experience for families and history lovers.
Our adventure made us realize that preservation is so much more than safeguarding a historic site; it’s about protecting this places that make Southwest Florida unique.
To learn more about how you can become a Citizen Scientist visit their website: http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/