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House of David (Religious society)



From The Isrealite House of David website The House of David was a religious society established in 1903 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, by Benjamin Purnell and his wife, Mary. The society was based on the writings and teachings espoused by Joanna Southcott in 1792. By 1906, the House owned about 1,000 acres, on which the colony harvested fruit from a dozen orchards and cultivated grain. The commune had its own cannery, carpenter shop, coach factory, dairy, tailor ship, and steam laundry. They also owned and operated their own electricity plant, providing lighting to the community. In 1913, the House of David began to play competitive baseball and they soon became famous as a barnstorming baseball team which toured rural America from the 1920s through the 1950s, playing amateur and semi-pro teams in exhibition games.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

House of David Collection

Identifier: RH-A-3689

This collection consists of .25 cubic feet and contains materials related to the House of David religious community, amusement park, and baseball team in Benton Harbor, Michigan. These items were purchased with funds from the Starring Endowment and were received by the Archives and Regional History Collection on March 15, 2014.

Dates: 2014

Willis Dunbar Collection

Identifier: RH-A-40
Scope and Contents Dunbar papers include information on his career as an educator, author, historian, radio programming director, and civic leader. Collection reflects Dunbar's varied interests in Kalamazoo and Michigan including files from his radio programs, ca. 1943-1951, material relating to the House of David, Benton Harbor, Michigan, American Expeditionary Forces (Polar Bears), correspondence regarding the Michigan Centennial Commission, Michigan Constitutional Convention material, 1961-1962, scrapbook...
Dates: 1929-1970