Thus began the “Community Current Events” column in the December 1925 issue of the Flaming Sword, the monthly journal of the Koreshan Unity. What were they talking about? Perhaps the entry of the Unity into the 20th century, the opening of the “electric light plant” which provided electric light for many of the buildings in the settlement. The Archives has a photocopy of a list of ‘supplies’ that were purchased before and after the opening of the electric plant. You can view this by clicking on the image at the right.
Here is the way it was described:
THE PLANT HAS BLOSSOMED!
WE HAVE HAD occasions in times past to refer to the progress made in the construction of our new electric light plant, but with this issue of THE SWORD we have the pleasure to announce that the plant is now an accomplished fact, and that the eighty horsepower Fairbanks-Morse engine is giving complete satisfaction. The fifty kilowatt Westinghouse generator is giving all the electric power we need.
We hoped to have the plant in operation by the Eighteenth of October, but the representative of the Fairbanks-Morse Company could not be here until later. It then required the better part of a week to get the proper alignment and the final engine adjustments, but by October 25 all was ready. It was a thrilling sight to see this massive piece of machinery start for the first time. The Unity has waited long to complete this plant, and now we have something that should prove to be of great satisfaction.
The impetus to our new power plant was first given by Messrs. Peter Campbell and Claude Rahn; but our remarks would be incomplete did we fail to mention the fact that Brother Allen Andrews has been the prime factor in pushing it to its completion. He has consummated a number of successful real estate sales, the proceeds from which he has devoted to the lighting plant. Brother Stephen Chislett, our master mechanic, with Brothers Theodore Naeselius and William Fischer did a fine job on the concrete foundation, and Brother Alfred Christensen did everything possible to push the work from the beginning
The dining hall and Art Hall have been supplied with electric lights for several years, but our new store was handicapped for the lack of them. Now, however, with its dome lights, the store is as bright as day. We also have several large street lights on the county road, extending from the bridge over Estero River to the Art Hall, which adds considerable cheer to the surroundings.
It is a great comfort to our people to have electric lights in their rooms after using oil lamps so many years. The dormitory, with its three stories lighted up at night, is a sight worth while to those who have been accustomed so many years to the darkness. Brother Alfred is also placing various lights in the park.
Work is now being pushed in providing electricity for the Estero Inn and the residences of neighbors who desire it. Motors have been ordered for use in the various departments of the Unity, and when these are installed we can then dispense with. the many small units now in operation.