“Portrait of four girls and a man on a verandah,” Dubbo area, New South Wales, ca. 1915, by Edward Challis Kempe, via National Library of Australia Commons on flickr.
I wonder if those are scented geraniums in the planter on the left?
The Rev. E.C. Kempe was an amateur photographer and principal of the Brotherhood of the Good Shepherd at Dubbo from 1912 to 1915. The Good Shepherd was one of several “Bush Brotherhoods,” Anglican religious orders that sent traveling priests to thinly populated rural districts. “They were described as a ‘band of men’ who could ‘preach like Apostles’ and ‘ride like cowboys’,” according to Wikipedia. Kempe left behind an album of 157 photographs from his time in the bush.
“Tent house on Koreshan property in Estero, Florida,” 1895, via Koreshan Unity Collection, Florida Memory Commons on flickr (State Library and Archives of Florida).
The Koreshan Unity was a late 19th and early 20th century utopian community whose members believed in a god that was both male and female, as well as in reincarnation, celibacy, collectivism, equality of the sexes, and cellular cosmogony.* It was founded by Cyrus Teed in upstate New York in the 1870s, and later there were also followers in Chicago and San Francisco. In 1894, the community began moving to a donated 320-acre property in Estero, Florida. During the next decade, it purchased over 5,000 additional acres and began building a settlement that “included a sawmill, cement works, bakery, machine shop, general store, art gallery, symphony, theater troupe, plant nursery and more,” according to USA Today. Its population peaked at 250 residents between 1903 and 1908; the majority were well-educated middle-class women, seven of whom managed the day-to-day affairs of the commune.
When Teed died in 1908 — and his body was not resurrected as he had promised — the commune began to decline; there were 10 members left in 1948. The last Koreshans deeded the site of its village to the state of Florida in 1961. It is now a state park.
*”Among the most interesting beliefs of Koreshan Unity was the cellular cosmogony, or the hollow earth,” according to Florida Memory. “According to the cellular cosmogony, the earth was not a convex sphere but instead a hollow, concave cell containing the entire universe with the sun at its center and Earth’s populace living on the inside surface of the hollow cell.”
“Home of C.C. Dodson, Knoxville,” Tennessee, ca. 1899, via African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Dodson was a jeweler who owned a shop on West Vine Avenue in 1899. ‘Exuberant’ is the word I would use for his family’s front yard.
The photos collected by W.E.B. Du Bois for the 1900 Paris international exhibition particularly featured middle-class African Americans and their homes and institutions. “The photographs of affluent young African American men and women challenged the scientific ‘evidence’ and popular racist caricatures of the day that ridiculed and sought to diminish African American social and economic success,” according to the Library of Congress’s online catalogue.
In 2003, the Library of Congress published a book of 150 of the images, entitled A Small Nation of People. You can listen to a good NPR interview with its co-author, historian Deborah Willis, here.
Old farm bell as planter, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, May 1936, by L.D. Andrew, via Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Have a happy 2015!