Cyrus Reed Teed founded New Jerusalem for his new faith, Koreshanity, in 1894. During a period of unconsciousness after an accident Teed believed he was visited by a divine spirit who told him that he was the messiah. He vowed to apply his scientific knowledge to “redeem humanity.” He denounced the idea that the Earth revolved around the sun and instead pioneered his own theory of the Universe, known as the Cellular Cosmogony. According to this theory, human beings live on the inside of the planet, not the outside. Gravity thus does not exist, and humans are held in place due to centrifugal force. The sun is a giant battery-operated contraption, and the stars mere refractions of its light. Thus Estero was the center of the universe for a short while. Not surprisingly, the community thrived for little more than a decade.
During a recent visit to the Koreshan State Historical Site in Estero, Florida I was struck by the interesting textures and patterns on many of the old cypress sided buildings. After a century, the cypress had acquired a wonderful weathered patina that captured my lens’s attention. Some large machinery on display also made for some interesting shapes.