Or an interesting afternoon to see and learn something new. The Museum displays the most complete document and pictorial record in the world for an educational view of the fascinating story of the Israelite House of David and its Reorganization of 1930.
The Museum is located in Mary's Auditorium and is filled with a vivid pictorial record and many artifacts from the community's history.
The gift shop is next door in the former bakery and features items from the past, hand-crafted wooden products, a large selection of photographic material from the Museum collection, postcards, baseball bats, literature on the history and faith (original imprints), and items unique to the City of David. Gift shop hours coincide with Museum hours.
The giftshop literature display includes printed materials covering the inspirational writings from Jane Leade's, Ascent to the Mount of Vision, 1699, through the most recent publications from England on the life of Joanna Southcott. The Panacean Society (Southcott, England), New and Latter House of Israel, (James Jezreel, England and Washington State), the Christian Israelite Church (John Wroe, Sydney), and the colony's printed materials are all available. Many publications are free pamphlets, while other selections are priced volumes. It represents the largest collection of published materials, inclusive of the most notable congregations of the Christian-Israelite movement, for sale in the world. Many tour groups that visit are amazed at the deep religious roots that span over 3 1/2 centuries and have influenced a number of renown religious congregations of today's Christianity.
Restorations to this historic site are still in progress, and each year there will be new features and exhibits to document and explore Southwestern Michigan's most famous historical presence, and one of America's oldest practicing Christian Communities.
Mary's City of David purchased EASTMAN SPRINGS in 1945, 54 acres of land adjoining the entire South colony border.
From the 1890s through 1920, when the Eastman family sold the property to a Chicago family, Eastman Springs was a popular resort for the SW Michigan area as well as northern Indiana and Chicago.
Colonel Harry Eastman had purchased the property in 1879-80 and began developing the numerous spring sites on the location. In all, the Colonel would develop 27, and would bottle and sell water from this location. Cases of bottled water went by boat over to Chicago and to Milwaukee where they found a market in fashionable hotels and restaurants, and were greatly preferred to lake water for serving glass table water.
The native Miami Indians had settled in the springs area for generations before white settlers came to the area, for much the same reason, the vast abundance of fresh drinking waters. It is recorded that Father Marquette had been taken to this location by the Miami's for the waters to be used towards the healing of an illness that he was afflicted with in one of his sojourns through the region. Colonel Eastman also found evidence of weapon and tool making sites in the springs ravine, and that there were numerous artifacts of these kinds in the area, indicating a large settlement at one time.
With sincere and gracious THANKS to Dr. Heather Van Wormer and the Michigan State University Anthropology Dept. The artifact collection associated with Eastman Springs has been identified, classified as to eras of civilization and now beautifully displayed in the Eastman Room. Artifacts from the Eastman Springs area now reflect definitively that the native Americans lived, worked and found this fresh water haven a continual site for over 4,000 years and perhaps longer, with consideration of several early Archaic pieces found within the collection. Also a sincere Thank You to Carol Bainbridge, Director of Fort Saint Joseph, and the City of Niles, Michigan, for the donation of a lovely glass display case (early 20th Century) that neatly accommodated all 82 pieces, as though it had been made for this particular collection. This collection now establishes the importance of the Eastman Springs "geologic wonder" as a draw to the earliest of the immediate area inhabitants.
Today the Israelite Community has undertaken a restoration project to bring back the springs area with nature trails leading through the beautiful woodland acres of the Eastman Estate.
None of the original dwellings are standing, and the forest has reclaimed the property, which has recreated the sense of its original picturesque beauty. Several trails wind through the springs with bridges that ford the creek bed in the ravine. 16 of the original 27 Springs have been found, 6 have been cleaned, and the Silver Queen has tested safe and a good quality drinking water. Psyche and the Colonel's Own have also been located along with Silver King, Golden Fountain, Saul, and King David.
Over the many years of the Israelite Communities in Benton Harbor (since 1903), there have been so many lives touched by visits and interaction with the House of David and Mary's City of David (since 1930). We, at the Museum and Tours in Mary's City of David, would be very pleased to receive any written memories of events and wonderful memories at either or both Israelite colonies. We have thought to assemble a collection book of stories and anecdotes from those that wish to share an interesting, unusual, or just plain nice 'ole story about a visit with us over the many years. It would be a very nice feature to exhibit and share with our Museum guests through the summer.
Also, we would be very pleased if anyone having souvenirs or artifacts from the colonies' past, and would like to share that with us - we would be very excited. We have had a number of very kind and generous donations to our Museum, which are now on display for the public and identified as to the donor, and our sincere appreciation for their support towards the preservation of this history, and their kindness in the wish to share it as part of this educational repository of Israelite culture.
From all of the Brothers and Sisters at Mary's City of David ... "We thank you for your support and interest".
Email | Teachings | Abraham | Museum | Present Day | Gift Shop | In The News | Royal Law