MARY'S CITY of DAVID - The Israelite House of David as reorganized by Mary Purnell

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1903 May 2003

1st ... From the time of John Wroe's ministry, 1822-1862, the first of May was considered New Year's Day. All dating of imprints uses the dates by month starting with May as the first month of a new year.

4th, 2002 ... Mary's City of David has an entry into the Grand Floral Parade for Blossomtime.

It is the first time that Mary Purnell's colony has ever put in an entry, and the first time that any Israelite entry has been in the parade since 1962. With the festival theme as "agriculture", the City of David entered its vintage 1954 Ford "stake" farm truck that has less than 5000 original miles of wear. The vehicle was restored and driven by R. James Taylor of the colony.

5th, 1939 ... Mary's House of David team splits a doubleheader at Golden, Colorado, playing against the Coors Brewers at Merchants Park. The first game saw the hairy nine walk away with a 10 to 3 victory; in the second match the Brewers had to rally to come back and beat the Benton Harbor "Whiskerinos", 4 to 3. George Anderson and Manager, John Tucker led the House of David bats and were defensively superb on the field.

7th, 1934 ... H.T. Dewhirst's House of David opens its latest business enterprise with a $150,000.00 cold storage building at the foot of Broad Street in Saint Joseph. It will hold a 50,000-bushel capacity and has the latest refrigeration equipment available. William Wright is the architect and Oscar Wade the construction engineer. The facility will later be converted into the Preserve Department, for jams and jellies, and managed by Wade, who will build the business into one of national recognition for its fine preserve products.

8th, 1934 ... Babe Didrikson has signed onto one of three House of David traveling base ball teams as a starting pitcher.

9th, 1930 ... The foundation is poured for Mary's new Shiloh administration building at 1158 E. Britain Avenue.

9th, 1932 ...  "Restaurant and auditorium being built". A News Palladium article focuses on two of the latest large construction projects going up at Mary Purnell's new House of David. The Vegetarian restaurant will seat 100 and the auditorium will seat 500. The article also comments on the extensive property beatification at Mary's and the number of new cottages that had been built as her new resort and community is growing by leaps and bounds to the amazement of the region gripped with economic depression.

9th, 1939 ... The House of David is a Sweepstakes winner in the Grand Floral parade. Frank Rosetta is the artisan/creator of some of Blossomtime's most magnificent creations.

10th-15th, 1954 ... George Anderson's House of David basketball team is enjoying its European Tour at Wembley Arena, in London this week. The David cagers are playing an exhibition series throughout Europe against the Harlem Globetrotters, and will also visit Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Rome before they return home. It will be the final traveling season for a House of David basketball team; Anderson is the only Israelite member on the squad, as a manager-player in relief.

11th, 1936 ... Covered with live flowers and plants, and accompanied by a water cascade, The House of David wins it all with a float, "breathtaking in its artistic beauty and perfection of workmanship". Frank Rosetta's yearly entries into the Grand Floral Parade take the standards of excellence to its historic pinnacle.

13th, 1940 ...  Once again Frank Rosetta has captured for the House of David, the Grand Prize winner in the Grand Floral Parade.

16th, 1927 ... The Circuit Court trial of House of David VS People of the State of Michigan begins in Saint Joseph, promising to be the most notorious litigation in county history.

16th, 1935 ... 35 new members join in with Mary's City of David. 35 of the Payne and Honicutt families from Missouri and Oklahoma have arrived to the colony, constituting the largest number to join in over 20 years.

20th and 21st, 2001 ... Mary's City of David, as a new member of Circle Michigan and also a member of several years with the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, is become an integral part in planning and hosting the Circle Michigan "MarketPlace" in SW Michigan.

The "MarketPlace" won great reviews from Circle Michigan attendees and the many tour operator/planners that attended. It was SW Michigan's first opportunity to showcase its diversity and quality of tourism products and properties of interest to the rest of Michigan delegates and national tour business representatives.

21st, 1912 ... John Schneider's return from Australia has brought to the House of David park zoo a new collection of 24 exotic birds, Kangaroos and 4 Emus. Amongst the birds are Golden Pheasants, Java Love Birds, Black Swans, and Solomon Island Corellas.

25th, 1925 ... Founding member, and automobile maker in Benton Harbor, Lewis Baushke dies at the House of David.

In May of 1907 a party of 60 arrive from London, England, that brings the number of members at the House of David to nearly 600.

In 1916 Benjamin Purnell's second volume of the "Rolling Ball of Fire" is published. Also in May of that year, the House of David published, "Eden's Paradisiacal Liberty" that promoted temperance over prohibition. The Israelite view had two main points: 1, that all men should have freedom to use alcohol moderately or medicinally if they so chose. 2, Prohibition would soon play into the hands of bootleggers, and become revenues for the underworld.

In May of 1930, Mary's first issue of her monthly, 8 page circular/newspaper, The New Shiloh Messenger was printed and sent out world wide announcing the front page headlines, "A New Beginning In Israel".

1903 June 2003

2nd, 1903 ... The first "Articles of Association" are filed in the Berrien County Circuit Court for the Israelite House of David.

3rd, 1929 ... The Michigan State Supreme Court overturns the lower trial court ruling of 1927, giving the House of David a final and complete victory. The "Decree" and "opinion" filed by Judge Louis Fead, in which receivership is provided, an exile imposed upon both Mary and Benjamin Purnell, and the organization found as a fraud and public nuisance, are all rescinded. It is a case that will be used in other like litigations in regards to religious societies/associations in view of property rights and management.

4th, 1935 ... The House of David (Dewhirst) team, bringing its lighting system (loaned from the Kansas City Monarchs), roll into Ebbets Field to play, the first ever night game at this historic field, against the Newark, Eagles.

6th, 1923 ... 12 officers and the Sheriff of Berrien County "raid" the House of David, spending the entire day searching for Benjamin Purnell, to serve a warrant for his arrest. The raid produces no Benjamin; colony members are extremely irritated and offended by the blatant and uncivil searches made into their personal quarters and homes.

6th, 1933 ... Judge H.T. Dewhirst today announced plans for a new stage theatre to replace the former auditorium building, and a "Beer Garden" in the House of David Park for this season's opening. Within several short years from Mary Purnell's departure from the House of David grounds, the judge has made major changes throughout the park, creating a southwestern Americana look instead of the former rustic appearance that was during Benjamin Purnell's administration.

9th, 1939 ... The House of David (Mary's) played in Madison, Wisconsin before 3500, in a match, called the best contest of the season, beating the Madison Blues, 5 to 4 in ten innings.

10th, 1934 ... The Vegetarian Cookbook from Mary's City of David is first published in conjunction with the new vegetarian restaurant on Britain Avenue.

11th, 1941 ... Mary's bearded nine defeated the Michigan City Cubs 1 to 0 before 2300 fans at Ames Field.

14th, 1920 ... Judge H.T. Dewhirst, his wife Christmas "Holly", and sons Robert and Thomas arrive from San Bernardino, California, spending summer months and returning to California. They will again return in 1921 to join the House of David and within 6 years become the ruling dynasty that will continue for 75 years.

18th, 1946 ... The House of David has installed a night lighting system at its base ball park, and enjoys its first game under lights.

19th, 1939 ... Dominick Zittella, is showcased for his spectacular plantation of rose gardens at the House of David, in particular is his display on the west lawn of the "Bethlehem" building.

26th, 1905 ... The newly formed House of David men's band made their first excursion to promote the colony in Chicago. The event is well received, and the band is accompanied by the Israelite preachers that give a short dissertation on the particulars of the new Israelite colony at Benton Harbor.

In June of 1912 Benjamin Purnell's now famous portrait of "Jesus, The Good Shepherd" is advertised with a visual imprint in the monthly paper. It is an image now highly collectible, and reveals how many facetted he was. Doctrinal volumes that attracted a world wide following, several books of poetry, 44 theatre "dialog" plays, invention patents, a dynamic entrepreneur, a charismatic presence with amazing organizational skills that successfully placed people in productive positions that lasted, in some cases, over 50 years.

In June of 1932, Mary Purnell's third "Comforter" was published in its second edition at the City of David. The first edition proved controversial, as Benjamin had it re-called and published a "criticism of the third Comforter". The Dewhirst faction used this action as a basis for their views that Mary had proven unfaithful and was no longer a part of the original "messenger". Mary's following viewed it as a trial upon the faithful to see who would stand with original doctrine and principles. The reading of the "Criticism" and page numbers given for references reveal a text of ambiguity and shallowness that was not typical of Benjamin Purnell's writings.

1903 July 2003

1st, 2001 ... Opening day at the historic Eastman Field at Mary's City of David. A crowd of over 300 watch the debut of the House of David Echoes Base Ball Club play the Berrien County Historical Association's Cranberry Boggers in a "match" of "vintage" base ball, using 1858 rules. It is now the third time that this property has been used as an athletic field, beginning in the late 1890s, which was then part of the Eastman Springs Company property, developed by Colonel Harry Eastman. Mary's City of David purchased the 54 acre property in 1945 from the Pugh family of Chicago that had previously bought the site from the Eastmans in 1920.

4th, 1933 ... Madame Schumann-Heinck, contralto, will be an early headliner to the newly opened , $75,000.00 House of David park theatre pavilion.

4th, 1938 ... The "Gate of Prayer" Synagogue has its opening ceremony, which includes Jewish patrons and Rabbis, and a musical performance by the young virtuoso, Israel Baker and City of David member, Frederick Taylor, both violinists. The Synagogue was built in conjunction with the newly constructed King David Hospital at the colony. The Synagogue would serve Jewish resort guests at Mary's until 1976.

5th, 1929 ... The last of the small remaining contingent at the High Island lumber camp in northern Lake Michigan have returned to Benton Harbor. Most of the former 150 residents on the island , just west of Beaver Island, and off the western coast from Charlevoix, would side in with Mary Purnell and become an integral part of her early success in building a whole new community beginning the following Spring.

5th, 1950 ... Robert Vieritz, manager of Mary's "Rocky" farm in Berrien Springs is awarded the Blue Ribbon for his Holstein cattle showing at the Berrien County Youth Fair competitions.

7th, 1992 ... "Two Hundred Years, 1792 through 1992, Joanna Southcott to the City of David", by colony secretary, R. James Taylor, is published. The book would be used to commemorate the newly organized archival library at the City of David and to distribute to the new enquiries into the faith and historical roots of the Israelite House of David. The meeting to "open the book" at Shiloh building was the first of many visible events that followed with the progress of restorations at Mary's City of David, beginning in March of 1991.

10th, 1935 ... "Chic" Bell of the House of David announces that every Thursday night will be "amateur night" showcasing area and regional performing talents as contestants. This feature of the House of David park history became the most renown and successful of all continuous draws to the pre-Disney park of mid-America.

13th, 2002 ... The House of David Echoes traveled to Midland to play a doubleheader against the Mighty River Hogs of Midland County. The Echoes won the first match 8 to 7 and the second match was an unresolved tie 9 apiece going into an extra inning.

21st, 2002 ... The House of David Echoes traveled to Schaumburg, Illinois to play the Chicago Salmon. In 97 degree heat, the Echoes beat the Salmon 12 to 10.

26th, 1935 ... 6000 attend one of the earliest "amateur nights" at the House of David park. This set the tone for many running years of success that tied the House of David park to local interests throughout.

In July, 1907, The Detroit Tribune would print an impressive and lovely article, "Berrien County Admires Israelites For Their Thrift and Gentleness". The article reviewed the colony history of progress over its first 4 years.

In the month of July, 1908, Eden Springs Park opens its gates to a crowd of about 5000. The House of David had bought the "Eden Springs" property from the Eastman family the year before and transformed a ravine into an attractive amusement park with a single miniature steam locomotive, a vegetarian restaurant, a zoological park, band stand, moving pictures theatre, refreshment and souvenir stands, along with the already famous ice cream and its perfect compliment, the waffled-sugar cone; invented at the House of David.

In July, 1996, the "Pictorial History of the Israelite House of David as reorganized by Mary Purnell", was published. Written as a "coffee-table" book of rare photographs with bites of information assembled from oral accounts collected over a period of 26 years by the colony secretary, R. James Taylor. The book was reviewed in a number of publications, including Michigan History Magazine, in which Clare Adkin heralds the collection as a much needed piece of the Israelite history that tells Mary's story, which has been neglected, until this recent printing.

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