The Koreshan Unity was a religious utopian community founded by Cyrus Teed in the 1870s. It first started in New York before Teed moved the headquarters to Chicago and then tried his hand at expanding to San Francisco as well as other smaller cities.
Eventually, Teed and over 250 Koreshan followers moved to Estero, Florida where they established and incorporated a 320-acre tract they called “New Jerusalem” in 1894. They lived by the theory of cellular cosmogony, according to the Koreshan State Historic Site, “the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere.” Koreshans also believed in a biune God (one that was both male and female), reincarnation and gender equality. Often they mixed religion and science which garnered than a bit of attention – even from Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Teed’s death in late 1908 just about crippled the community. Membership sharply decreased, however, loyal followers and members kept it afloat through the early 1960s. Their land was then given to the state of Florida to be preserved. In 1982, Hedwig Michel (known as “The Last Koreshan”) died. He was the last official person admitted to Koreshan membership and the last to live on the “New Jerusalem” site.