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Encyclopedia > House of David

House of David was a religious commune founded in 1902. The group was founded by Benjamin Purnell. Based in and around Benton Harbor, Michigan and High Island (Michigan), the commune required its members to refrain from sex, haircuts, shaving, and the eating of meat. Starting around 1907 the community ran "The Springs of Eden Park" which became a popular Michigan vacation spot in the 1930s. A Commune is a kind of intentional community where most resources are shared and there is little or no personal property. ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Benton Harbor is a city in Berrien County in the U.S. State of Michigan. ... High Island is an island in Lake Michigan and is part of the Beaver Island archipelago. ... Year 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ...


The House of David operated a famous barnstorming baseball team, which toured small town America from the 1920s to the 1950s Playing major and minor teams and exhibition games. The organization also fielded nationally known musical bands between 1906 and 1927. During that period these bands toured the country almost non-stop primarily on the three top vaudiville circuits: the Pantages, the Keith and the Orpheum. The House of David also operated a world famous Amusement Park & Zoo Barnstorming was a popular form of entertainment in the 1920s in which stunt pilots would perform tricks with airplanes, often in groups as a flying circus. ... The 1920s is a decade that is sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ...


The House of David commune reached the peak of its operations in 1907-1927. Difficulties arose in the 1920s, as the Detroit Free Press and other newspapers began running articles attacking Purnell, who was accused of violating the commune's oath of celibacy. Purnell was tried in Berrien County for "public immorality," and 13 young women, placed under oath, confessed to having had sex with the patriarch. The trial led to Purnell's expulsion from the commune in 1927, and the former leader died in 1929, his body remains mummified in a glass coffin in the commune. The group suffered further splintering after his death and ultimately split into two groups. One group, run by Benjamin Purnell's wife Mary, remained successful until her death at 91 in 1953. The group has since declined, but still has a few dozen members. Along with The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press is one of the two major metro Detroit newspapers. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Berrien County is a county located in the extreme southwest of the U.S. state of Michigan. ... For other senses, see Patriarch (disambiguation). ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


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