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

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 Placed upon the "National Register of Historic Places in America"
April 15, 2009 as a "Historic District"
inclusive of 81 buildings upon 140 acres ...
read more

Museum and Tours Living History

Historical Society of Michigan
Historical
Society of
Michigan

Berrien County Historical Association
Berrien Co
Historical
Association

Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council
Southwest
Michigan
Tourist Council

2015 Summer Season

Saturdays and Sundays 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
May 30th  -   September 6th

Walking Tours begin at 1:30PM
usually running 2 hours.

NOTE: Many Saturdays will not be available for a guided walking tour.
Please call ahead, to know if a tour is also available.

Special Interest Group Tours may be arranged outside
of the weekend hours ... a minimum of TEN Adults is required,
phone (269) 925-1601 or
Email us for more information.

MARY'S CITY of DAVID 2015 MUSEUM EVENTS

APRIL 26
The House of David Echoes will host their annual Blossomtime guests

    The Blossomtime Royals. 21 SW Michigan community Queens along with Mister Blossomtime and his Court will meet the Echoes on Eastman Field, 3:30PM, (following the "Blessing of the Blossoms") for a match of "vintage" base ball, 1858 style. There is no admission for this event; the concession stand will be open for refreshments; bring your own chairs and some sunny and mild Spring-Blossomtime weather with you.

MAY 30
OPENING DAY for the Museum, Tours and Eastman Springs nature trails.

    Come out and see what's new on tour, in the museum and in the museum gift shop.

    Opening at 1PM, this Saturday and following Sundays; guided walking tour begins at 1:30 from the museum.

    Call ahead for available tours on Saturday. Most Saturdays will not offer guided tour.

JUNE 7

    7 JUNE 2015
    Berrien County Historical Association, Mary’s City of David and Eden Springs Park
    PRESENTS:

    "PARK SPRINGS of EDEN"
    THE HOUSE of DAVID
    An Eden Place and Its Roots just East of Eden;
    One of Southwestern Michigan's most memorable Summer Places




    The program will begin at Mary's City of David Museum at 12:30PM.

    20 minutes will be given to look around the museum exhibits. You may return again after the tour or at another time in the season to see it all.

    The tour group departs by 1PM for the nearby "Mary's Vegetarian Restaurant" that operated from July, 1932 through the 1964 summer resort season.
    At the restaurant facility Ron Taylor will give a presentation, with numerous visuals, that will take us back into pre-recorded history of the properties of both Mary's City of David and the House of David.
    The story unfolds with the actual artifact record that spans almost 4000 years bringing us up to the inhabitants of the "Big Medicine" of the Miami Nation, which the earliest French explorers were very familiar with.
    The story continues into the late 19th century and the purchase of these properties by the retired Colonel Harry Eugene Eastman and his wife Elizabeth, in 1879.
    The visuals now become illuminating as the historic record comes to life in the establishment of the Eastman Springs Resort that "capitalized" on the numerous mineral water springs upon the properties that were developed and marketed successfully to the locals as well as Chicago and Milwaukee.
    The colonel and his family will name the properties, Eden Springs to the west and Eastman Springs, just east of Eden. By the mid 1880s the resort was flourishing and becoming a popular summer tourist draw to Benton Harbor and Saint Joseph.
    On Saint Patrick's Day,1903, Mary and Benjamin Purnell arrive in Benton Harbor with a party totaling seven with plans to establish a community that will house their rapidly growing, world wide following.
    The Israelite House of David's early success had attracted 300 members by December and soon expanded into agriculture covering 1000 acres of fruit plantations by 1906. 1907 found the organization needing more territory for which they petition the Eastman Company to buy the Eden Springs portion of their holdings. The deal is made and by July, 1908, the "Park Springs of Eden" opens to an estimated 5000 patrons. The presentation will follow Park history with its wealth of photo images.

    Following the history presentation the tour group will return to the museum area (all within the block) and have 15-20 minutes to look around the giftshop and its one-of-a-kind, unique collection of items, colony-made, artwork, including collectibles in "Your Gramma's Attic".

    The tour then departs to the Eden Springs Park facilities to get a train ride on a 1904, Cagney steam engine, pulling vintage, "Baushke-made at the House of David", railway carriages. The tour will get to walk through the several areas in vigorous restorations; which include the south train depot, Fountain in the gardens, miniature "midget autos" on their original track, numerous garden restorations and more.

    When arriving at the Eden Springs Park, the tour will divide into two or three groups. Smaller groups will allow for a more intimate and less congested tour of the several areas of interest.

    The entire tour will last most likely beyond 3PM. The Eden Springs portion of the tour is very open ended as to time. Tour guests are welcomed to stay as long as they want in viewing the grounds and its history.
    Both Mary's Museum and the Park close at 5PM.

    Admission for the entire program will be $20.00
    This is a 3-Way fund-raiser for the Berrien County Historical Association, Mary's City of David and The Eden Springs Park.

    RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED with payment in advance.
    The tour will be limited to 50.

    Contact the Berrien County Historical Association for reservations and payment 269 471-1202 www.berrienhistory.org

    Contact Mary's City of David for tour information and directions:
    269 925-1601 or rjtaylor@maryscityofdavid.org

THERE WILL BE NO GENERAL PUBLIC GUIDED WALKING TOUR ON JUNE 7th.

AUGUST 30
"Dining in the Colony, 1935" Vegetarian lunch (noon)

    80 years ago, you will be walking into a setting of rustic colony-made tables and a collection of chairs upon which is placed for you an array of unmatched dishware that might have come from a distant land, turned into the commonwealth by new arrivals to the community.

    The meal will feature a common daily menu from the colony kitchens for this season with fruits and vegetables from colony farms.

    The meal is $15.00 which will include a free pass to the museum that opens at 1 PM. The guided walking tour from the museum at 1:30 PM is an additional 4.00. If you are interested in the guided walking tour, it is suggested that you reserve space on the walking tour, which is also open to the general public on a first-come-first-serve basis. Space on the tour is limited. Reservations with pre-pay is required.

You may call for further information/directions:
(269) 925-1601; M-F; 1-5 PM.

Mary's Auditorium (Museum Location) Mary's City Of David - Photo #1

In 1997 Mary's City of David opened its historic properties for the public to view with a Museum/gift shop and Tours program.  Due to the urging of several Southwestern Michigan historical organizations and numerous friends, the Israelite community, decided to open its doors to the surrounding area communities and the region's tourism.

The basis for this decision was three fold - as it would continue the restoration progress within the City of David ...

Colony electrician working on the Star lighting at the Administration building, 1999.

Would initiate a new source of income for the community's preservation; and most importantly will serve as an educational opportunity for the curious as well as the serious (research in sociology/communal studies, and comparative religions).

Auto Mechanic and repair garage,center, was restored in the summer of 1999. Paint, new cedar shakes and weather proofing made it look like 1930 once again.

In its brief first year, the City of David membership felt a great success through the welcoming and supportive attitude displayed by most all of the many guests that came to view and learn, as well as reminisce in its once economic presence in Southwestern Michigan.

1891 Cast Bronze Bell in Shiloh Gardens, Mary’s City Of David

The Museum and Tours will be ongoing and expand to meet the demand and to more thoroughly represent the unique history of the community, its foundation at Benton Harbor in 1903, its previous history back through the six churches in England, beginning in 1792, and its roots in the Philadelphian Society, 1652.

Mary's City of David Museum and Tours are located 2 miles North of Interstate 94, Exit 28; go North to Britain Avenue (turn right); 3 1/2 blocks East to Eastman Avenue, then turn right and follow the signs. [Map]

Two motor coaches from Wheeling, IL, toured Mary's City of David on September 7, 2000.

Special Group Tours are available, call or Email us for reservations or for more information.

Walk down "Memory Lane"; a field day for scholars and students; a great hike through the lovely woodland setting of the famous Eastman Springs...

One of the nineteen Springs that have been found at the Eastman Springs Site; this one is a neighbor to the Colonel's Own Spring but is yet unidentified by name.

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.

Mary's Auditorium (Museum Location) Mary's City Of David - Photo #2

The Museum is located in Mary's Auditorium and is filled with a vivid pictorial record and many artifacts from the community's history.

Mary's Auditorium (Museum Location) Mary's City Of David - Photo #3

PRESENT DAY
~ Summer Events Calendar ~

The Museum Gift Shop is filled with an array of unique items from the Israelite community -- that you cannot find anywhere else.

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.

Your Grand Mother's Attic

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.

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.

The Benton Harbor Class of 1954 beginning a morning tour from the museum as part of their weekend 50th class reunion.

Tour sites will include the print shop and its mostly 1920s equipment...

Linotype Machine In the Printshop, Mary’s City Of David

Interior of Printshop, center is a folding machine, the press in the rear is from 1891.

1930 mechanics garage still in service today. 1940s John Deere tractor with nearby 1920s drill press.

1930 mechanics garage still in service today. 1940s John Deere tractor with nearby 1920s drill press.

1940s International Farmall tractor with fertilizer attachment and cultivators mounted. Fully restored.

1940s International Farmall tractor with fertilizer attachment and cultivators mounted. Fully restored.

In the service area of the garage with tour group.

In the service area of the garage with tour group.

1964 John Deere 1010C crawler/front loading attachment is in for maintenance schedule.

1964 John Deere 1010C crawler/front loading attachment is in for maintenance schedule.

The power house, in which the City of David generated its own electricity for about a decade, ending in 1942...

Walking Tour: Outside the Powerhouse/Cannery building.

The Fairbanks Morse diesel, 2 cylinder, electrical generator is in the colony powerhouse that is under reconstruction. The smaller back-up generator is being restored for active duty once again as in 1934.

A working carpenter shop...

Walking Tour: Inside the Carpenter Shop.

One of three working carpenter shops today at Mary's City of David. This was a later shop that has seen continuous service from the 1940s, and is part of the walking tour. Vintage tools and today's saw dust.

Potting bench with hand made tools including seeding  tools from the 1930s.

Potting bench with hand made tools including seeding  tools from the 1930s.

View down the exhibits in the old selling area of the 1935 green house.

View down the exhibits in the old selling area of the 1935 green house.

Shiloh gardens of the administration building...

Shiloh Administration Building

The Gate of Prayer Synagogue, built in 1937-38 for the Chicago Jewish resort guests at Mary's City of David; and the nature trail to the Silver Queen Spring at the famous Eastman Springs...

Volunteer day (local residents that have volunteered their services in aiding our restorations) in June 1998 at the Silver Queen Spring, developed in 1883 and still the best water in the region. It serves as or table water at our Vegetarian lunches.

Mary's City of David has special events during the season that will be in conjunction with the Museum/Tours.  Please visit our Present Day page, phone or Email us for more information.

Click here to review our Amenities  Amenities Policies  Click here to review our Amenities

Mary's City of David purchased EASTMAN SPRINGS in 1945, 54 acres of land adjoining the entire South colony border.

Israelite Brothers at Eastman Springs, 1945

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.

New bridge leading to the King David Spring that was restored in 2002-03.

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.

New construction of a bridge and trail to the Psyche Spring site. The Psyche Spring was cleaned and restored in 2003 along with the new trail and bridge.

Vegetarian Luncheon setting at the Gate of Prayer Synagogue, part of the special events at Mary's City of David. See Present Day Page for information and details.

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".

From all of the Brothers and Sisters at Mary's City of David ... We thank you for your support and interest.

 

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU
to the following DONORS to the City of David Museum collection:

Gordon Allan
West Sussex, England

Dr. Steven Balkin
Roosevelt Univ., Chicago

Benton Harbor Public Library
Fred Kirby, Director

Earl Boyersmith
Benton Harbor, MI

Chet Bush
DeFunik Springs, FL

Isabelle Fleck
New Castle upon Tyne, England

Pat & Ed Gerger
Benton Harbor, MI

Janet Hair
Indianapolis, IN

Keith & Leone Howard
Kalamazoo, MI

Don Johnson
Saint Joseph, MI

Ruth LaMore
Niles, MI

Ron Mahka
Saint Joseph, MI

Sara Mayer
Madison, WI

Gerry & Rothadelle Moore
La Rue, OH

Wallace Perrin
Vallejo, CA

Mary-Margaret Pierce/Lambert

Don Schultz
Benton Harbor, MI

Suzanne E. Snider
New York, NY

Judy & Bob Sutton
Benton Harbor, MI

George Anderson
Benton Harbor, MI

Beverly & William Bennit
Baroda, MI

Terry Bertolino
Union, MI

Wilma Burkholder & Sisters
Southwest Michigan

Lloyd Dalager
House of David
Benton Harbor, MI

Fort Miami Heritage Society
St. Joseph, MI

Rodney Gray
Sydney, Australia

Joel Hawkins
Des Plaines, IL

Paul Johnson
House of David
Benton Harbor, MI

Ron Kronewitter
South Bend, IN

Sylvia Lieberg
Saint Joseph, MI

Lucy Mayer
Benton Harbor, MI

Thomas Meldrim
Mattawan, MI

George & Vivian Neff
Watervliet, MI

Janie Peterson
Saint Joseph, MI

Donnie Robertson
Benton Harbor, MI

Alice Shingleton
Berrien Springs, MI

Wayne Stivers
Colorado

Dr. Heather Van Wormer
Grand Rapids, MI

Historical Society of Michigan
Historical
Society of
Michigan

Berrien County Historical Association
Berrien Co
Historical
Association

Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council
Southwest
Michigan
Tourist Council

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