Date in History:
7,046 acres of land was purchased from the Disston Land Company in Osceola County to establish a “Shaker” community on this date. Shakers are a traditionalist Christian religious group with deep roots in early colonial New England and pacifist beliefs as well as a belief in the equality of sexes. The Shaker Colony in Florida settled near the town of Narcoossee and began cultivating a small portion of the land, as universal labor was also a central tenement of their religious beliefs. Known as the Olive Branch Colony, the small community began growing citrus, cut and sold timber, fished commercially, and even exported bananas and pineapples to Cuba. The community remained small however, and by 1915 the Olive Branch Colony had dissolved entirely. Although only a brief experiment settlemtn, it is an interesting example of the range of groups seeking new beginnings in rural Florida during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.