Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Benton Harbor in Berrien County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Historic District of Mary's City of David

National Register of Historic Places

 

—Listed by the Keeper of the National Register, April 15, 2009 —

 
The Historic District of Mary's City of David Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
1. The Historic District of Mary's City of David Marker
Inscription. Officially beginning on 14 March, 1930, Mary Purnell’s reorganization of the Israelite House of David began in a very humble fashion on newly acquired properties along Britain and Eastman Avenues. With four agricultural properties, an unfinished and vacant hotel building in the city and these parcels began a chapter of the Christian–Israelite history that is unparalleled in its building and economic success at the outset of the nation’s economic disaster of the Great Depression. By 1937, Mary Purnell had successfully directed the construction for most of the 80-some buildings while adding several hundred acres to her original lots along Eastman Avenue at Britain, which today is the heart of the historic district of Mary’s City of David.

Mary’s Purnell’s success lay not only in her administrative skills, but her rise to become the voice of the Christian–Israelite movement (dating back to the Philadelphian Society of 1652) with her continuing publications that positioned her as an authority in attracting many new members from an international following.

During its years of economic presence in SW Michigan, Mary’s City of David owned and operated several of Berrien County’s largest farms bolstering the Benton Harbor open-air fruit market as it became the nation’s largest “cash to grower” market.
The Historic District of Mary's City of David Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
2. The Historic District of Mary's City of David Marker
Her baseball team became the most celebrated of all the House of David ball clubs in carrying on the tradition of professional excellence through the 1956 season. She welcomed and hosted a summer season Jewish resort from 1930 through the mid 1960s that included the Gate of Prayer Synagogue and the adjoining Rabbi’s house. Mary’s City of David built and operated a bakery and resort vegetarian restaurant with an accompanying vegetarian cookbook in 1934 that successfully served the resort guests and the area into the mid 1960s.

Property restoration began in 1991, to which a museum and tours programme was initiated in 1997, answering requests from two area historical organizations and the SW Michigan Tourist Council. The coordination of restoration work and museum attraction has enhanced both the success and preservation of the Israelite community now recognized by Department of the Interior, so placing it upon the National Register of Historic Places in America.
 
Location. 42° 6.501′ N, 86° 25.778′ W. Marker is near Benton Harbor, Michigan, in Berrien County. Marker is on Eastman Avenue south of E. Britain Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1158 E. Britain Ave, Benton Harbor MI 49022, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within
Mary's City of David image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
3. Mary's City of David
Nearby there is also a Michigan Historical Commission marker
on Mary's City of David
3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Israelite House of David / Mary's City of David (within shouting distance of this marker); The Morton House (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Fruit Belt (approx. 1.4 miles away); Benton Harbor Fruit Market (approx. 1.4 miles away); Burnett's Post (approx. 2.5 miles away); Boatbuilding Industry (approx. 2.6 miles away); St. Joseph Maritime Heritage (approx. 2.6 miles away); Shipbuilding in the Twin Cities (approx. 2.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Benton Harbor.
 
Also see . . .  Mary's City of David. The website of the Israelite House of David as Reorganized by Mary Purnell, 1930. (Submitted on March 21, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Settlements & Settlers
 
Main Building of Mary's City of David image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
4. Main Building of Mary's City of David
View to the southeast from E. Britain Avenue
Main Building of Mary's City of David image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
5. Main Building of Mary's City of David
View to north from Spring Lane
Near Front Entrance to<br>Main Building of Mary's City of David image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
6. Near Front Entrance to
Main Building of Mary's City of David
Informational Sign on Mary's New Shiloh image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
7. Informational Sign on Mary's New Shiloh
Lizzie's Stand image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
8. Lizzie's Stand
Informational Sign on Lizzie’s Stand image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
9. Informational Sign on Lizzie’s Stand
The Martha Washington Rose image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
10. The Martha Washington Rose
The rose bush is located behind the informational sign
Informational Sign on Martha Washington Rose image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
11. Informational Sign on Martha Washington Rose
Gate of Prayer Synagogue image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
12. Gate of Prayer Synagogue
Informational Sign on<br>A Jewish Haven in a Christian Community image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
13. Informational Sign on
A Jewish Haven in a Christian Community
Mary's Vegetarian Restaurant image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
14. Mary's Vegetarian Restaurant
Informational Sign on Mary’s Vegetarian Restaurant image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
15. Informational Sign on Mary’s Vegetarian Restaurant
Mary's Auditorium image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
16. Mary's Auditorium
Informational Sign on Mary’s Auditorium image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
17. Informational Sign on Mary’s Auditorium
The Bakery Building image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
18. The Bakery Building
Informational Sign on Bakery Building 1930 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
19. Informational Sign on Bakery Building 1930
Site of the 1890s Athletic Field image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
20. Site of the 1890s Athletic Field
Informational Sign on Col. Harry and Elizabeth Eastman Field image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
21. Informational Sign on Col. Harry and Elizabeth Eastman Field
Miami Trail at Eastman Spring image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
22. Miami Trail at Eastman Spring
Informational Sign on Miami Trail image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
23. Informational Sign on Miami Trail
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 277 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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